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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Dante’

The Hole – Trailer for Joe Dante’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on April 30, 2010

Joe Dante…let’s see what films he has done Piranha, The Howling , Segment 3 of Twilight Zone: The Movie; Gremlins, Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Explorers, Innerspace, Amazon Women on the Moon, The ‘Burbs, Matinee, Small Soldiers. Quite a few good ones and some okay ones. This one looks like a good one.

Life couldnt possibly get worse, or so thought 17 year old Dane and his 10 year old brother Lucas, when their single mother Susan uproots them from New York City to the sleepy little town of Bensonville. For Dane the only exciting thing about their new town is the beautiful girl next door, Julie. With Susan spending more and more time at work, Dane and Lucas are left unattended to explore the depths of their eerie new residence.

With Dane paying more attention to Julie, he has far less time and patience for his little brother. But then everything changes when they find a sinister bottomless hole under a locked trap door in the basement. As the brothers experiment with the hole they realize that the cold pit goes on forever. They drop a nail and never hear it hit bottom. They lower a flashlight and a video camera and they get consumed by the darkness. Hoping for some answers about the houses past, Dane and Lucas bring Julie in on their new discovery. When the hole is exposed, evil is unleashed. With strange shadows lurking around every corner and past nightmares coming to life, the trio will have to come face to face their darkest fears to put an end to THE HOLE.

Source: Quiet Earth

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Film Production Nightmares

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

By Richard Bodsworth.

Benicio Del Toro stars in the remake of the 1941 classic horror The Wolfman which is set to open next week but it has not been an easy ride to get the finished product to the screen.  Mark Romanek left the project right before principal photography was about to start citing the old chestnut “creative differences” and was replaced by Jurassic Park 3 helmer, Joe Johnston.  The Wolfman is not the only film due this year which has had major production problems; Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood has also been hit with issues, most notably constant script rewrites resulting in the release date being pushed back numerous times.  Of course this is not a new thing, so let’s take a look at some other films which have struggled in production…

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer in the tropical rainforests of Australia, what could possibly go wrong? Um, a lot actually.  Three days in to production of the H.G Wells adaptation director Richard Stanley was given the heave-ho (a move apparently forced by Val Kilmer who earlier, for no apparent reason, decided he wanted his part drastically cut) and was replaced by John Frankenheimer, never a good start.  Brando and Frankenheimer then rewrote the majority of the script before later clashing over the direction the film was taking; Frankenheimer would also have heated exchanges with Val Kilmer several times throughout the shoot before vowing never to work with him again. Brando and Kilmer both had their own personal problems on-set, Kilmer being issued divorce papers on location while Brando struggled with the suicide of his daughter.  Amazingly Brando, who by this time had given up on the film, was fed his lines through a frequency radio.  David Thewlis (a late replacement for Rob Morrow) who would later skip the premiere supposedly said “He’d be in the middle of a scene and suddenly he’d be picking up police messages and Marlon would repeat ‘There’s a robbery at Woolworths’”.  The film received negative reviews and barely managed to scrape back its budget, Brando went on to win a Razzie for his performance.   

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Produced by Steven Spielberg, this feature length film of the classic 60’s TV show was split in to four segments, part one directed by John Landis, the second by Spielberg himself, Joe Dante directed the third and George Miller the fourth.  The events that occurred during the filming of Landis’ segment overshadowed the film itself as a freak accident cost the lives of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.  Whilst filming a scene featuring a helicopter, pyrotechnics were set off but the helicopter was flying too low causing it to spin out of control and crash to the ground killing the trio.  Legal action followed and many regulations were changed including those that featured child and stunts filmed at night. 

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Another well documented Gilliam nightmare, the guy seems to have no luck (here’s a nice article over at Hey You Guys Being disrupted by a nearby NATO target area and a flash flood which would destroy equipment and locations were just the start before lead actor Jean Rochefort suffered a herniated disc cancelling production.  A blistering $15m insurance claim would later be brought and resulted in the company owning the rights to the film (these have since been transferred back to Gilliam). If you haven’t already seen Lost in La Mancha I recommend you do so, like now!  Gilliam has since resurrected the project however and hopes to start filming this year. Fingers crossed.

Alien 3.

One of the most obvious choices is Alien 3 because, well, it was a complete nightmare.  The film went through various writers starting with William Gibson, Near Dark scribe Eric Red to David Thwoy before Vincent Ward took over.  Ward had the idea of a wooden planet inhabited by monks, some of the set designs look great and it would have been very intriguing to see the finished product.  Ward however never got his chance as his idea was scrapped and he was replaced by David Fincher for his feature debut.  The script ended up as a mesh of various ideas from previous drafts which was thrown together by series producers Walter Hill and David Giler.  Since Fox wanted to rush the film out to hit their desired release date, Fincher went into the project without a set script and spent most of the time rewriting on set.  Trying the best he could, things got worse for Fincher when the film was reedited without his knowledge leaving him to basically disown the project.  The reception to the final cut was not great and generally regarded as the weakest of the four; you have to wonder how it would have turned out if Ward or Fincher were given full creative control.  If you can, try pick up the special edition DVD which features some interesting interviews and goes into detail about the early ideas and scripts; Fincher sadly does not feature in an interview.  

Apocalypse Now

The finished product may be classed as a cinematic masterpiece but all was not rosy during production of Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic.  Martin Sheen replaced Harvey Keitel a few days into production before a typhoon destroyed some of the sets, including the Playboy Playmate set, leaving the project behind schedule and over budget.  That man Brando was at it again after he showed up on set far too fat to play Colonel Kurtz forcing Coppola into rewriting the ending which in itself would prove a mammoth task.  Things didn’t get much easier after star Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack on set and had to crawl in to the middle of the road to get help. But after a lengthy post production the film was released to both financial and critical acclaim winning the Palme d’Or in 1979 and still features on numerous “Best of All Time” lists. 


A film starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter O’Toole and Helen Mirren charting the rise and fall of Roman Emperor Caligula sound like a classy affair right? Not quite.  Written by Gore Vidal as a historical drama the only we way to secure funding was by partnering with adult magazine, Penthouse, editor Bob Guccione which should have spelled trouble from the start.  Italian director Tinto Brass was hired but he would argue with both Vidal and art director Danillo Donati over both the script and set design.  Star McDowell and Brass would later try and rewrite the script and Vidal would subsequently have his name removed before launching legal action.  After Guccione saw Brass’ final cut he fired him and brought in Giancarlo Lui to reedit the film and reshoot about six minutes of hardcore pornography to replace Brass’ shots.  Before the film was released Brass would also launch a legal suit further delaying the films release.  When the film finally did make it to the screen it was universally panned.

Others include; almost anything to do with Edward Norton who has a tendency to rewrite his parts onset, he also tried to reedit American History X himself leading to director Tony Kaye unsuccessfully attempting to have his name removed from the credits.  Life on the Blade Runner set was also rather challenging for cast and crew with director Ridley Scott being a notorious hard-ass leading squabbles with Harrison Ford and protests from the crew, oh and then there was the infamous ‘final cut’.  Scott and our old chum Terry Gilliam have both suffered the tragic misfortune of an actor dying mid-shoot, Oliver Reed on Gladiator and Heath Ledger during The Imaginaruim of Dr. Parnassus.  There can’t possibly be anything worse than completing a film, a pretty good film at that, but having it shelved and reshot by Renny Harlin.  Well that’s what happened to Paul Schrader.  His film Dominion, a prequel to horror classic The Exorcist was deemed “too dark” by the studio and Harlin was brought in to hack together Exorcist: The Beginning

 So what others would you like to see on the list? The Wolfman hits cinemas from Friday 12th February (I believe there are advance previews Wednesday and Thursday) keep an eye out for the LFF review.

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Nightmares In Red, White, and Blue – Trailer for history of American horror films documentary

Posted by LiveFor on October 8, 2009

RedWhiteThis looks very, very cool.

Narrated by the always cool Lance Henriksen. Featuring exclusive interviews with legendary directors such as John Carpenter, George A. Romero, and Joe Dante and illustrated with clips from over 150 films, Nightmares in Red, White and Blue explores the timeless, universal appeal of horror movies from Lon Chaney to Hannibal Lecter and beyond.

Check out the official site for more info.

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The Hole – New Poster for Joe Dante’s new 3D Horror

Posted by LiveFor on September 17, 2009


After moving into a new town, brothers Dane and Lucas and their neighbour Julie discover a bottomless hole in their basement that brings their nightmares to life. With shadows lurking around every corner, they must face their darkest fears in order to put an end to the mystery of the hole.

Source: Bloody Disgusting

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Joe Dante is in The Hole

Posted by LiveFor on July 30, 2009

Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling) was at the San Diego Comic Con where he debuted a trailer for his latest feature The Hole in 3-D. It’s his first film since Looney Tunes: Back in Action although he has done a couple of Masters of Horror episodes and a zombie-themed CSI:NY.

The Hole stars Teri Polo, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble and Quinn Lord. Written by Mark L. Smith (Vacancy), it concerns a family that moves into a new home. There they discover a hole in the basement that feeds off of their darkest fears and manifests them. It sounds a bit like a cross between The Gate, Sphere and Poltergeist. STYD managed to speak to the director about his new film.

“I read a lot of scripts, seldom do they strike me on a character level,” says Dante. “This is not a big movie, it’s a modest picture. I managed to convince them to do it in 3-D because I thought of the visuals and also the drama. It’s not a gore-fest. It’s more in the line of The Others or The Devil’s Backbone. It’s creepy and sneaks up on you, and it’s not filled with eyeballs on sticks poking out at you in the third row. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, that’s just not what this is, there are plenty of those movies out there. So the idea was to try and make the kind of movie they stopped making in the ’80s when you can take your family to a scary picture and they were not traumatized, they were scared.”

I like the sound of the creepiness rather than all out gore.

Regarding the 3D technology Dante had this to say. “We found a way to do it that only added a modest amount to the budget an we went ahead and did it. I think it was a great idea. It’s an unusual 3-D movie in the sense that it’s not what you expect from a 3-D movie. It’s still got all of the stuff – breaking the frame – but to me it’s immersive. You feel a little more like you’re in the room with the people and what their problems are. I think you find that in some of the current 3-D movie, the animated ones at least.”

He also said shooting went smoothly and that his fans will “find this to be a Joe Dante movie. It has its silly aspects, of course, as I do. But it’s pretty straight-forward, a character picture. The kids are very good. I have Bruce Dern. It’s a small cast and not a lot of locations, but people who are movie fans will get a lot of the references.”

The Hole is still in post-production and doesn’t have a release date yet.

“The trick is to not repeat yourself, but then again, what is Small Soldiers but Gremlins 3, so you can’t escape that stuff.”


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