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Now in our seventh calendar year
PCR #346  (Vol. 7, No. 45)  This edition is for the week of November 6--12, 2006.

La Floridiana Lite †by Will Moriaty
"Babel" †by Mike Smith
The 2006 Holiday Preview †by Mike Smith
Get Miff'd!....Concert Review: THE CULT †by Andy Lalino
Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Part Two †by Drew Reiber
Happy Birthday....Bond Is Back....And There Was Much Rejoicing....In Texas, "Doing A Great Job" Means "You're Fired!"....I H8 You!...What??...But Can He Bite The Head Off A Bat?...Passing On....My Favorite Films, Part 45: "All That Jazz" †by Mike Smith
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Chiller Cinema by Drew Reiber

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

Part 2

Grindhouse Ė Robert Rodriguezí Planet Terror (April 6, 2007)
Dating back to the 1990ís, director Robert Rodriguez has been trying to develop his own original spin on the zombie genre. Years later, he finally found his hook and managed to find himself smack dab in the biggest zombie film craze since the mid 1980ís. Originally pitched as a one hour feature as part of his and Quentin Tarantinoís Grindhouse double-bill event, his chunk of the project has since been expanded into a full 75+ minute film. Described as the movie John Carpenter would have made between Escape from New York and The Thing, the story follows a mysterious disease that spreads through a townís populace transforming them into zombie-like creatures that prey upon the uninfected. Ok, so youíve heard that plot a thousand times? Alright, well what about the 50ís inspired teen rebel who finds himself caught between the diseased and some mean Assault on Precinct 13-style police (Michael Biehn, Tom Savini and Carlos ďEl MariachiĒ Gallardo). Still not enough? Ok, how an amputee (Rose McGowan) who fights back with a leg made out of a machine gun with a rocket launcher attached? Yeah, you read that right. Take a look at this, as the picture speaks a thousand words.

I was lucky enough to attend the San Diego Comicon this past summer where Robert Rodriguez screened 5 minutes of exclusive footage from his segment and a faux trailer he made to run between his and Tarantinoís features. Now, this footage wasnít the same that ran on Spike TVís Scream Awards. That was just 1/4 or even 1/5 of the detailed, dialogue-laden, action-driven cluster-fuck that they ran for Comicon attendees. I am still not quite physically capable of describing the magnitude of Carpenter-esque atmosphere, Romero-zombie carnage and John Woo-inspired gun and knife battling that went on in those clips. Adding to the excitement, Rodriguez confirmed that he was in talks with John Carpenter to collaborate on the score for his feature segment. Though I am still eagerly anticipating the confirmation of Carpenterís attachment to the project, other details to have surfaced are inspiring my confidence. Rodriguez has not only promised to riddle his film with the film damage expected in cheap theater exhibition, but at one point in the movie a title card will appear to announce that a reel is missingÖ thereby pushing the film ahead 20 mysterious minutes into complete chaos! Iím not going to bother to explain Planet Terror any further, suffice to say if you havenít seen it already, you should hunt down the Spike TV teaser footage ASAP.

Bryan Singerís Trick or Treat (October 5, 2007)
You may know that Bryan Singer is the director of the Usual Suspects, the X-Men films, and even Superman Returns. You may also know that heís a rabid Star Trek fan, having made a cameo in the films and included numerous references in his work. But did you also know that heís a huge fan of horror? Apt Pupil was not his first foray into the genre either, as his work in the field dates all the way back to his earliest career days as a production assistant on the cult classic, Street Trash. Twenty years later and he hasnít changed all that much. Between random appearances on the sets of films like Freddy vs. Jason, or attending the famed Masters of Horror dinners with alums like Stuart Gordon and Joe Dante, Singer has been so focused on helping to lead the current superhero trend that he hasnít yet had his chance to contribute much to the genre outside of the Stephen King thriller. Now is his chance, acting as producer for the directorial debut of writing collaborator Mike Dougherty.

You may recognize Dougherty for his writing credits on Singerís most recent films, including Superman Returns and X2: X-Men United. Though he will be both writing and directing Trick or Treat, I wanted to include Singerís background to emphasize that the inclusion of his name into the title should not be taken lightly. Singer has made clear his interest to be involved in a smaller film before returning to the inevitable follow up to last summerís Superman sequel, but I had suspected it would be his long-in-development The Mayor of Castro Street. His active history in the horror genre was one I had written off, as he seemed too busy to set his sights on a more traditional entry than a drama like Pupil. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by this announcement, I am also firmly convinced that he will support Dougherty with as much fan-driven passion as he has applied to any other genre in his still young career as a major Hollywood player. Perhaps he was just waiting for the moment when horror would go mainstream again.

Information on the film itself is still hard to come by, but the plot structure has been described as similar to that of Go or Pulp Fiction in that it will revolve around several interconnected stories that all take place on the same All Hallows' Eve. The stories will include a number of appropriately placed monsters and threats, reportedly including zombies. Obviously, that last bit of information is the conceit for my including this film in this weekís column. Anyway, keep your eyes open for the movie that stands to open just 11 months from now. As more details come to light, Iíll see what I can do to provide updates.

"Chiller Cinema" is ©2006 by Drew Reiber.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.