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Now in our seventh calendar year
PCR #351  (Vol. 7, No. 50)  This edition is for the week of December 11--17, 2006.

The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region, Part Two  by Will Moriaty
"Eragon"  by Mike Smith
"Charlotte's Web"  by Mike Smith
First Screening of Creature Productions' "Dark Dimensions"  by Nolan B. Canova
The Tampa Film Review for December  by Nolan B. Canova
Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Part 3  by Drew Reiber
DVD Grindhouse: Horror Classics - 50 Movie Pack DVD Collection (Part 1)....Peter Boyle is Gone  by Andy Lalino
The Globes....Texas Boud....Passing On....Next Year....My Favorite Films, Part 50: "1941"  by Mike Smith
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Chiller Cinema by Drew Reiber

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

Part 3

House of Re-Animator (2008)
In what may be a colossal feat, the Re-Animator franchise has survived for over 20 years with most of its original creative team and cast intact. While some of them began to move out in the later entries (Bride of Animator, Beyond Re-Animator), producer (now director) Brian Yuzna continued to successfully manage the series with star Jeffrey Combs in tow. Feeling that the story may have reached somewhat of an end with the current trilogy, Yuzna has now set out to bring original director Gordon back to the fold, with the original co-writer Dennis Paoli and co-stars Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton too.

Stuart Gordon has since gone on to a lengthy career and branched off from horror, directing and producing a variety of feature work. He co-created the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise with Yuzna and adapted a distinctive array of books including Ray Bradbury’s The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Charlie Higson’s King of the Ants. His latest feature, the dark drama Edmond, was an adaptation of a controversial play by David Mamet, starring William H. Macy (Fargo). Having done a fantastic job with Edmond, Gordon was able to convince Macy to join him on his return to Re-Animator.

Even more exciting is that the new film, House of Re-Animator – conceived by Gordon and initially considered too controversial to produce – will take place at the White House as Herbert West is brought in to revive Dick Cheney (aka, “The Vice President”), having recently passed as the result of his latest heart attack. Unfortunately for the executive branch, George Bush (aka, “The President”) proves completely incapable of running the place without his second-in-command. The question is will the President even notice the difference between the old Vice President and the psychotic, re-animated incarnation?

Adding to the fun will be the re-introduction of West’s old partner, Dan Cain, played once again by Abbott. Cain hasn’t been seen since the second film, having turned West into the authorities to avoid state prosecution. Crampton will return to play “The First Lady”, as her original character has long since been destroyed. Finishing out the major players, Gordon regular George Wendt (John Landis’ Family) will play Mr. Vice President. If you haven’t already guessed it, yes… Macy will be portraying none other than Mr. President. Undoubtedly, such a casting coup will definitely spark interest for those previously unfamiliar with the long-standing Re-Animator series.

Considering the political subject matter inherent to the recent zombie films critical of the Bush administration – George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead and Joe Dante’s Homecoming – director Gordon and producer Yuzna’s House of Re-Animator will complete a previously unrelated trilogy of sorts. These films will provide a fascinating historical context for future generations to analyze and, hopefully, appreciate the frustrations and concerns over the governmental policies expressed in these creative works from the genre masters of this decade. Who knows, they may yet prove to have an impact today.

World War Z (in development)
Hot off the success of his surprising smash hit of zombie satire, The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks has just released an entire account of his fictitious zombie apocalypse, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Cataloguing interviews and statements from the survivors of “The Walking Plague”, Brooks goes to incredibly original lengths to provide a distinct perspective on the familiar Romero-esque worst-case scenario from those who saw it first hand. Instead of a straightforward fictional narrative, he pieces together a larger picture through his multiple personas from a variety of military, civilian and foreign backgrounds. At one point Brooks is interviewing a character who discusses the view of the end times from a military base, at another he’s listening to the reflections of the long, impossible trek through a dead world made by a blind sensei.

If Brooks has succeeded at anything, it is breathing new, interesting angles into a literary genre saturated with assembly line, Night of the Living Dead knockoffs. This isn’t the first time either, so naturally his new book has garnered interest from a wide variety of celebrities. For the condensed audio book, Brooks was able to bring in an eclectic group of performers, among them: John Turturro, Jurgen Prochnow, Henry Rollins, Mark Hamill, Alan Alda, Carl and Rob Reiner. Brad Pitt, through his Plan-B production house, has already optioned the book to produce a feature film version. One can only hope that Pitt is wise enough to see the unique qualities of its mockumentary-style approach and does the original work justice with a similar, if not dead-on, adaptation. However, as with any movie that is simply being developed, there is no guarantee that it will ever be produced.

"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.