B-Movie Overload: All Monsters Great & Small
Sometimes I come across a slew of B-movie news items that for various reasons don't always seem to warrant their own individual stories. Such is the case here as I once again present ten different B-movie news items about everything ranging from Godzilla lawsuits to low budget monster movie mayhem, with such notable names ranging from Tiffany Shepis to Ulli Lommel, all consolidated into one enormous news update I call the B-Movie Overload. Are you ready?
We begin where all things should begin - with giant monsters attacking Japan!
First up is the latest news on Calamari Wrestler director Minoru Kawasaki's remake/sequel/whatever of the schlocktacular 1960's daikaiju flick The X From Outer Space. If you didn't read my initial report on this film a short while back - an article Johnny Butane hailed as one of the funniest stories ever posted on the site - then click here and do so now because I'm not going to detail the history of the monster Guilala again. I will tell you that the official title for the new film is The Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit. The website Gomorrahy provided the first still of the now-shooting giant monster epic and an official synopsis has been more provided below.
"In the summer of 2008, the G8 Summit is held at Lake Toya, a beautiful resort near the volcano in Hokkaido. At the same time, a Chinese rocket falls onto the island, causing a monster to be born from a spore attached to the rocket. The monster, Guilala, moves toward the summit conference site in pursuit of volcanic energy. The U.S. president proclaims, 'I will never yield to any monsters! Nobody calls me a chicken.' Other leaders reluctantly switch the sign board from 'G8 Summit' to 'Guilala Task Force'. Now they have to terminate Guilala to show their countries' power and prestige. The first mission is a missile attack by Japan, then Italy, Germany, and.... Deadly combat between human beings and the monster from outer space continues. However, when everyone starts to give up, a journalist finds a strange group worshipping the traditional idol at the lakeside."
I soooooooo want a "Guilala Task Force" T-shirt!
Could it be that Godzilla 3-D To The Max, the long talked about 3-D Imax Godzilla movie from the director of the infamous Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, may actually be happening at last? For those in need of a reminder, this joint US-Japanese Godzilla movie set to be made exclusively for the 3-D Imax format is the brain fart of Yoshimistsu Banno, director of the aforementioned film for which he was essentially blackballed by Toho honcho Tomoyuki Tanaka for having made that film.
Funny story; Mr. Tanaka was hospitalized during the making of that film and when he recovered and saw the finished film for the first time he told Banno he had ruined the Godzilla franchise and would never direct for Toho again. This killed Banno's plans to make a follow-up that would have rematched Godzilla vs. Hedorah, the Smog Monster, but this time having them duke it out in Africa.
Nearly a quarter century later, Banno started talking up licensing Godzilla for Godzilla: 3-D To The Max which would essentially be his never-filmed Smog Monster sequel. Here's the plot synopsis that was put out there:
"The world’s largest monster comes to the worlds largest screen format in "Godzilla: 3D To The Max." In this environmentally conscious effort Godzilla is again matched against Hedorah (Renamed Deathla for this film) a monster who lives on pollution and human waste. The two monsters duke it out in a free for all that begins in the Brazilian rain forest and climaxes on the streets of Las Vegas. Like in "Godzilla: Final Wars" a lot of location shooting will take place in areas stretching from Brazil to Las Vegas."
Little had been heard about the film since its 2005 announcement aside from talk of financial woes preventing the flick from getting off the ground. Now Sony has released a press release for a film called Woke Up Dead and it features a curious blurb about Brent Friedman of production company Electric Dreams Entertainment, stating "his current projects include 'Godzilla 3-D!,' an original 3-D Imax project" So does this mean that there's actual movement on the project? That anything will ever come of this cock-eyed idea? Remains to be seen, but at least it's something.
Meanwhile on the Godzilla front, Bloomberg news reported earlier this week that Toho has sued Subway over their use of a Godzilla-like creature in their recent TV ads. You've seen this commercial by now, haven't you? A few seconds of the commercial features a very chintzy Godzilla-esque monster stomping about a cardboard Tokyo and then it and some young Japanese girl start making hand gestures about how long his penis is (or it might have had something to do with foot-long Subway sandwiches). Toho apparently believes Subway's monster looked too much like Godzilla and has filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. Oddly enough, they're only seeking $150,000 in damages, which really isn't a whole lot of money all things considered. Toho is notoriously protective of Godzilla's trademark and this is hardly the first time they've filed such a lawsuit, such as the time they unsuccessfully tried suing Sears over marketing "Bagzilla" garbage cans. Too bad Toho wasn't so overprotective when it came to a certain American movie from a decade ago.
Forget Zaat, now we've finally got a brand spanking new creature feature about a mutant catfish monster on the prowl. And this mutant catfish monster has a lust for bikini-clad go-go dancers too!
The movie is Monster from Bikini Beach, described by the fiends of Trash Film Orgy as an "action-packed exploitation film, combining your favorite elements of 50s monster movies and 70s drive-in flicks into an all-new cinematic thrill-ride of hot go-go action, shocking crime violence and lurid monster mayhem." They already had me at "mutant catfish monster".
Monster From Bikini Beach is "the story of a primordial fiend who rises from the murky depths to quench its insatiable lust for Bikini-Clad Beauties. One man dares suspect a truth too terrifying to believe, while a crooked cop tries to cash in on the score of a lifetime! Thrown together by destiny, the two find themselves locked in the final bloody battle to defend Bikini Beach. Will they be in time to save the Lovely Ladies of Camaroville from the Beast’s Wanton Rampage of Total Terror or will they die trying?!"
Expect plenty of gory chills and gratuitous nudity thrills, accompanied by music from Danny Amis, The Pyronauts, The Hypnotic Four, and Necrobeach. I've never heard of any of them, but then I'm not music guy.
If you're in the Sacramento area next month you'll get a chance to experience the horror of Monster From Bikini Beach at the historic (and haunted) Crest Theatre when it screens May 2nd, 3rd, 9th, and 10th. Head to Trash Film Orgy's website for more details or surf on over to the movie's official MySpace page to watch the newest NSFW trailer.
Writer-director-producer Michael Feifer, the guy who has already given us Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield and Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck, and whom will soon be gifting us movies about the B.T.K. killer starring Kane "Jason" Hodder and the Boston Strangler starring David "Bud Bundy" Faustino, apparently decided to take a break from making sensationalistic horror movies cashing-in on the horrific crimes of true-life serial killers to take a stab at Dracula. The movie is Dracula's Guest starring Andrew "Leatherface" Bryniarski as Dracula and "Charmed" co-star Wes Ramsey as author Bram Stoker himself.
Dread Central previously reported on Dracula's Guest back in late 2006, including a pic of Bryniarski as the famous bloodsucker. Now there's finally some new news to report about, such as a plot synopsis.
"Bram Stoker has fallen in love with his girl friend Elizabeth but he is denied the opportunity to propose to her by her father, Admiral Murray. Elizabeth is heart broken and flees London only to be abducted by Count Dracula who keeps her hostage in his castle in Transylvania. Count Dracula knows that this will draw Bram Stoker to him as Bram will be compelled to rescue Elizabeth. Count Dracula's plan is to trap Bram Stoker and settle an old dispute among the two families."
I was not aware that Bram Stoker ever feuded with his fictional creation but then that's what motion pictures are for. This motion picture is awaiting a DVD release - possibly later this year - courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Natalie Jackson Mendoza may not have survived The Descent (she played the ill-fated Juno), but now she's got bigger problems ... Filipino problems ... Evil Filipino problems! Mendoza's real-life Filipino heritage no doubt played a part in her getting the lead role in Surviving Evil, a $2.5 million UK/South African co-production for Focus Films from writer/director Terence Daw, a new creature feature that'll have her wishing she was back underground running away from feral albino womaneaters.
"There is nothing more terrifying than the creatures of ones' imagination, until a film crew arrives on a remote Philippine island and discovers that their nightmares are as nothing compared to their reality."
That reality would appear to be an Aswang, the most feared creature of Filipino folklore, a hideous-looking ghoul with shape-shifting abilities and a fondness for eating hearts and unborn fetuses. Yummy!
Surviving Evil co-stars Christina Cole (The Deaths of Ian Stone, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), Filipino actor Joel Torre. According to IMDB, filming began at the end of March. Expect more details to emerge in the weeks to come.
If you haven't listened to the latest edition of Dinner For Fiends with myself and others practically recapping the entire killer animal genre, well, what are you waiting for? If you have already given it a listen then you know even I said my giant list of 100+ nature run amok movies was incomplete. One film I forgot to include was the 1974 David Janssen TV movie Fer-De-Lance, in which a submarine crewman smuggles aboard a container of poisonous snakes that get loose, causing the sub to get stuck at the bottom of the ocean while the crew tries to save their lives without suffering a fatal bite in the process.
Don't call it a remake (because it's not) but Fred Olen Ray announced the other day on his Retromedia message board that next month he would begin production on a thriller tentatively titled Recoil that could just as easily be called "snakes in a submarine". The low budget effort will utilize real live snakes (with some CGI/puppet snakes used where need be) to terrorize the unlucky crew of an atomic submarine. Expect more details on Recoil when they become available.
Remember the classic sci-fi thriller The Incredible Shrinking Man? Of course you do. If not, you really ought to acquaint yourself with that 1957 masterpiece. But was it really a masterpiece? If it truly was a classic work of cinema would Hollywood feel the need to remake it? As a comedy? Starring Eddie Murphy? From the writers of Balls of Fury? Possibly to be directed by Brett Ratner? Yes, Hollywood knows best. I weep now.
It feels so strange to be writing about two different killer puppet movies coming to DVD in July and knowing Charlie Band had nothing to do with the making of either. It just doesn't feel right.
Even weirder is how I just reviewed a Japanese import DVD of Triloquist a week or so ago and then Genius Entertainment turned around and announced they'll be putting the film out onto DVD come July 15th. For those who haven't read my review, this new horror-comedy from Mark Jones (AKA the man who gave the world Leprechaun) centers on a twisted trio on a violent road trip: a psycho blonde, her mentally deficient brother, and the walking, talking, killing ventriloquist dummy they consider a member of the family. Kind of hard to explain this one in few words so I'd suggest you just read my review.
But first, on July 1st to be exact, comes Puppet Show, a microbudget effort from the small-time FX company Monsters of Extinction that the prolific Brain Damage Films will apparently be distributing to DVD. The lethal star of this puppet show is named Charlie Chowderhead, a Howdy Doody-style marionette that looks like a miniaturized killer klown from outer space. Once the star of Circus Town, a kiddy show from TV's golden age, after a bizarre tragedy claims the life of the show's host, Charlie Chowderhead is passed on to his granddaughter. Unbeknownst to her, grandfather had made a deal with the devil to bring the puppet to life. Charlie Chowderhead once again reanimates and proceeds to do what killer puppets do best.
A bit more info and a trailer for Puppet Show can be found at the film's official MySpace page. Looks like it might not be too bad. If nothing else, the film reportedly clocks in at only a scant 65-minutes so even if it stinks it won't stink for too long.
Friend of the site and all-around horror uber babe Tiffany Shepis has a new movie set to begin filming soon that she will be making a guest appearance in so that she can no doubt die as only she can. Written, directed, and starring J.A. Steel, Denizen is an action-horror movie about a quiet small town that suddenly becomes a lot less quiet when a mysterious creature starts leaving a bloody trail of carnage. The last hope for the residents to fight the terror and prevent the destruction by military forces rests on the courage and the resourcefulness of a small group of scientists. IMDB states filming begins this week. Head over to Warrior Entertainment's website for more a tad more info about this low budget shocker, including word of a comic book tie-in.
And finally, Ulli Lomell.... HEEEEEEEEEEE'SSSSS BAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!
Anyone who thinks Uwe Boll is the worst filmmaker alive, boy, have I got a newsflash for you. Boll isn't even the worst German filmmaker whose name begins with the letter "U". Good ol' Ulli Lommel has that slot wrapped up with such wonderful efforts like Diary of a Cannibal, Curse of the Zodiac, Zombie Nation, and (insert cheap ass horror movie loosely based on the actual events of a real-life serial killer that wasn't made by Michael Feifer here). That rich tradition continues with Dungeon Girl, his newest no budget opus based on the true-life events of an Austrian abduction, a young woman who was held captive in a madman's basement for six years.
Our good friends at Lionsgate will once again be giving Ulli Lommel richly deserved DVD shelf space for Dungeon Girl, once again sporting the enticing "From The Director of The Boogeyman" tagline that all Ulli Lommel flicks do. Dungeon Girl marks the 36th movie Lommel has made since 1980's The Boogeyman. What does it tell you that he's still riding the coattails of a movie he made almost thirty years ago? Lionsgate releases Lommel's Dungeon Girl on July 8th. Mark your calendars.
And when I typed "STOP!" just now that wasn't directed so much at ending this article so much as it was a personal request to Ulli Lommel to stop making movies. Pretty please?
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