Sci-Fi Rod Lott Alien has no shortage of rip-offs, but Sector 7 has the distinction of hitting video while Prometheus is in theaters. While Prometheus isn't great, it's better than Sector 7. Heck, even the much-maligned Alien vs. Predator is better than Sector 7.
Drama Rod Lott
Its plot may stretch the boundaries of believability, but damn it,
feature-debuting director Brian Crano nails the alternately comedic and
dramatic tone of the appealing A Bag of Hammers.
Talking with the mastermind behind ‘Monster Brawl,’ the movies’ ultimate fight of the living dead.
No apologies necessary if you don’t recognize the name of Jesse Thomas Cook. Just know that the Canadian filmmaker is to the new film Monster Brawl what Vince McMahon is to the WWE: its supreme leader. The wrestling analogy is apropos, given that the writer/director’s movie is, as the title promises, all about creatures battling it out in the ring.
R&R: From watching the movie, it's obvious you love wrestling and monsters, but what about comic books? Because I got a definite comic-book vibe from it.
Cook: Yeah, I mean there is that feel to it. I wasn't a huge comic book fan, but a lot of the people involved in the movie were, especially Jason Brown, who designed all of the monsters and the sets.
R&R: Being structured as a wrestling match, Monster Brawl is not traditional storytelling. And you’re catching flak for that from some reviewers. Did you expect that going in?
Cook: It exists outside of a traditional movie structure, for sure. It's more of a pay-per-view event and tournament-style movie. That's why we put in the backstories, that let us cut away here and there to get a glimpse of each monster.
R&R: Was DVD your ultimate goal from the start, or did you have visions of a huge theatrical release?
Cook: We knew going in this would be probably more of a VOD and DVD and Blu-ray. It's really hard to do theatrical nowadays as an indie film. No, we didn't have huge ambitions for that. We had a limited theatrical release in Canada and thought it would play well at midnight screenings, and it has.
R&R: I was surprised at how kid-friendly it actually is. Other than the character being named Witch Bitch and some minor gore, I could let my 7-year-old watch this. And believe me, he really wanted to, but since I hadn’t yet seen it, I couldn’t find any info online at how appropriate it was.
Cook: We wanted to make it accessible to everyone, even people who weren't huge fans of wrestling and monsters. We just wanted to make a fun movie.
R&R: And you may be too close to it to answer this, but are you pleased with it?
Cook: Absolutely, looking back a year or two after, we could've done things here and there, but with the money with had and such a small crew, I think we pulled off something really special. The budget wasn't much more than a documentary film would have. If there were ever a sequel, it'd be nice to have a bigger budget, but that's something down the road.
R&R: How possible is that?
Cook: I think it's very possible. There's been talks of a remake. We've had discussions about that with a few companies. If that weren't to happen, we'd definitely explore trying to do a sequel or turning it into some kind of franchise.
R&R: If you do have a sequel, what monsters might be in it? Or were they any you had to cut that you’d want to bring into another one?
Cook: We definitely wanted to do a yeti and a sasquatch as a tag team. We wanted to do a Royal Rumble with some zombies against some trolls. We had a list, but logistically and practically, some we could not afford to do with our special-effects budget, so the monsters we did select, we wanted to appease fans of the classic monsters and toss in a couple of ones that would kind of mimic wrestling archetypes.
Like, Swamp Gut is the essential obese wrestler, like King Kong Bundy. Witch Bitch, we wanted to have a couple of female wrestlers in there. We had a list of several mythological monsters, but Cyclops is the only one off that list we chose. But yeah, there's a long list of possibilities. And obviously, in a sequel, you could bring monsters back to life. —Rod Lott
Don’t go near the directorial debut of Vincent D’Onofrio.
Horror Rod Lott
New to DVD, 2010’s Don't Go in the Woods is not to be confused with 1981’s Don't Go in the Woods.
That one was a cheap slasher movie; this one is a cheap slasher movie
in which characters wonder what John Fogerty and the Donner party have
in common, and then sing songs.
Even if her movie does not, Kathleen Turner shines as a moralistic matriarch.
Drama Rod Lott
The joke of The Perfect Family, of course, is that no such thing exists. Yet in the film, just as in real life, some people put on airs that suggest otherwise. The situation at the The joke of The Perfect Family,
of course, is that no such thing exists. Yet in the film, just as in
real life, some people put on airs that suggest otherwise. The situation
at the heart of this dramedy is timely, if also a bit made-for-TV.
Thriller Rod Lott
With little exception (National Treasure, Kick-Ass, about one minute of Grindhouse),
there’s no denying that Nicolas Cage has spent the better part of the
past decade in a career slump. Witness such critically lambasted
underperformers as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Bangkok Dangerous and, most recently,Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Comedy Rod Lott
Those initials of The FP stand for Frazier Park, a small town in California riddled with gangs — 248 rules the north; 245, the south. These aren't the Boyz N the Hood gangs you're thinking of; these guys are interested only in Beat-offs. That's not the X-rated activity you're thinking of, either; it's the named for competitions of the Beat Beat Revelation video game — this creative film's don't-sue-us equivalent of Dance Dance Revolution.
Action Rod Lott
Love it or hate it, the Clash of the Titans remake accomplished
something the 1981 original could not manage: Birth a sequel. As much
cash as that 2010 upgrade made, the shoddy job of converting it to 3-D
after production left a lot of moviegoers feeling burned, which may
explain why Wrath of the Titans was unable to draw similar numbers.
Action Rod Lott
When The Expendables reinvigorated my love of Dolph Lundgren, the
one movie I couldn't wait to get my hands on from his golden age of
wide theatrical releases was the one I never got to see: 1988's Red Scorpion. So naturally, it was out-of-print.