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Old July 22 2009, 10:46 AM   #346
Spookman Spiff
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Sure, but if Universal has one of them trademarked, then, technically, this film can't use that one.

It might just be that Universal isn't particularly aggressive about it where the Wolf Man is concerned.

Anyway, I hope this will be good, because the reasoning behind the remake's reshoots has me concerned.

According to new information from Baz Bamigboye at The Daily Mail, there have been six weeks of reshoots in total, and part of the purpose in the fix-up was the present a new design of Wolfman. Bamigboye quotes an ‘actor’ working on the film as saying “the Wolf was on its heels and it looked daft” and describes the new-look lycanthrope as tougher and fiercer.
Goddammit. It's like they paid no attention to all the enthusiastic comments about Rick Baker's design on horror websites. Now it's unclear whether he's having any influence over this movie at all.

One thing I can’t find out is how involved Rick Baker has been with this redesign. Are we really to assume that a Rick Baker wolf looked silly and Universal have had to scrap it and fix it? Either Baker dropped the ball here or his design has been muscled out unnecessarily - a disappointment in any case. Here’s hoping he was at least responsible for the second version too.
Jeez. I was really looking forward to it, too. And if you read the bit in the article about a fight between "The Wolf Man" and "The Werewolf," it sounds pretty dumb. I don't want it to look like Underworld or, God forbid, Van Helsing.

I'm hoping they can still pull off an interesting movie, but it already sounds pretty disappointing.
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Old July 22 2009, 12:33 PM   #347
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

From pictures, IMO, it looks more like a parody. The look of the characters isn't particularly genuine to the 1930s. Grainy/soft film stock with occasionally rough editing and tinnier audio would help.

And yes, I've noticed that the way people talk in films between then and now are so glaringly different. At best, they could degrade the audio and image quality. Having the actors speak very formally and dramatically is needed. Remember that the 1930s still relied on a lot of silent film-style acting (horror films especially). Heavy focus on the big, dark eyes with dramatic makeup to make up for the high-contrast black and white film stock, persed cupid-bow lips and silent film-like emotional shots would help make it more authentic. A generally slow, plodding tone, also. Horror films in those days were closer to being dramas than horror films.

Despite being a parody, Young Frankenstein actually did a remarkable job of getting the 'look' and 'feel' right.

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Old July 22 2009, 03:48 PM   #348
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Sure, but if Universal has one of them trademarked, then, technically, this film can't use that one.

It might just be that Universal isn't particularly aggressive about it where the Wolf Man is concerned.

Anyway, I hope this will be good, because the reasoning behind the remake's reshoots has me concerned.

According to new information from Baz Bamigboye at The Daily Mail, there have been six weeks of reshoots in total, and part of the purpose in the fix-up was the present a new design of Wolfman. Bamigboye quotes an ‘actor’ working on the film as saying “the Wolf was on its heels and it looked daft” and describes the new-look lycanthrope as tougher and fiercer.
Goddammit. It's like they paid no attention to all the enthusiastic comments about Rick Baker's design on horror websites. Now it's unclear whether he's having any influence over this movie at all.

One thing I can’t find out is how involved Rick Baker has been with this redesign. Are we really to assume that a Rick Baker wolf looked silly and Universal have had to scrap it and fix it? Either Baker dropped the ball here or his design has been muscled out unnecessarily - a disappointment in any case. Here’s hoping he was at least responsible for the second version too.
Jeez. I was really looking forward to it, too. And if you read the bit in the article about a fight between "The Wolf Man" and "The Werewolf," it sounds pretty dumb. I don't want it to look like Underworld or, God forbid, Van Helsing.

I'm hoping they can still pull off an interesting movie, but it already sounds pretty disappointing.
Yeah, from what I'm seeing/hearing/reading it sounds like a complete write-off at this point.

Sure hope I'm wrong.
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Old July 22 2009, 11:39 PM   #349
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

NileQT87 wrote: View Post
From pictures, IMO, it looks more like a parody. The look of the characters isn't particularly genuine to the 1930s. Grainy/soft film stock with occasionally rough editing and tinnier audio would help.

And yes, I've noticed that the way people talk in films between then and now are so glaringly different. At best, they could degrade the audio and image quality. Having the actors speak very formally and dramatically is needed. Remember that the 1930s still relied on a lot of silent film-style acting (horror films especially). Heavy focus on the big, dark eyes with dramatic makeup to make up for the high-contrast black and white film stock, persed cupid-bow lips and silent film-like emotional shots would help make it more authentic. A generally slow, plodding tone, also. Horror films in those days were closer to being dramas than horror films.

Despite being a parody, Young Frankenstein actually did a remarkable job of getting the 'look' and 'feel' right.
This is all very good and accurate, but the movie doesn't have to fit in with 1930s movies the way Young Frankenstein did, because The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula were all made between 1941 and 1945.

The look of it fits in pretty well with those movies. The sound will have to be in mono, though.

Also, I'm not getting the sense that it's a parody at all.
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Old July 22 2009, 11:44 PM   #350
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
At this point he's the monster with Ygor's brain, right? Maybe he's shrinking to fit.

I've always been slightly disappointed by that, by the way. That, basically, the original monster was killed when his brain was swapped for Ygor's. Poor guy.
True, but what does that really mean in a world where Larry Talbot wants to be cured of lycanthropy with a brain transplant? I don't think brains mean the same thing in the Universal Universe.

As for the name, I've always been a little fuzzy on just what name is trademarked. In the original films, it was always "The Wolf Man," which is why I suspect movies like The Monster Squad got away with calling him "Wolfman." And then there's Nicholas Pekearo's novel, The Wolfman, which has no connection to Universal.
Actually, I was referring to the name Larry Talbot. I don't see how they can get away with calling him by name in the movie, which means he'll spend his Human time in a coma or as an amnesiac or something.

NileQT87 wrote: View Post
From pictures, IMO, it looks more like a parody.
It will probably be at least partially parody, like Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove, if not totally parody, like Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra. I wish more people were like the HPLHS and had the ovaries to do it straight.

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Anyway, I hope this will be good, because the reasoning behind the remake's reshoots has me concerned.
"Four legs good, two legs bad." Sounds like they're going for the American Werewolf look, after all. This is why I don't like remakes.
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Old July 22 2009, 11:58 PM   #351
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I'm plenty aware that The Wolf Man was made in 1941. However, they're also showing Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein's monster (1931) in those promos. Even at the time of The Wolf Man, the Dracula/Frankenstein aesthetics weren't a whole lot different. It was around the 1950s-1960s that horror films started getting much sillier and campy (the space race).

Though, whereas James Whale's Frankenstein films seem pretty comfortable with being talkies, Tod Browning was known for being uncomfortable with the format change (and it shows, because he still uses a lot of silent film-making techniques). Certainly, by 1941 the changeover was solidly complete, but the acting styles weren't totally different. The late '30s/early '40s were a slightly more polished, Hollywood-ized version of the '20s/early '30s changeover period. The Hayes Code had certainly entered the picture as far as content.

People acted pretty formally... even in the schlock. And the audio-visual equipment available at the time definitely gave a feel that people seem to struggle with trying to degrade enough (it's like they are uncomfortable with degrading the technology so harshly) to reproduce the same feel.

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Old July 23 2009, 12:06 AM   #352
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I'm wondering if they will use the name at all. They could skirt it by simply calling him Larry or Lawrence, without using his last name.

Comments at Dread Central and Nuke the Fridge have pointed out that some of the clothing looks more 1950s. If that's intended, it may be that he's supposed to be Larry's son. I guess we'll see.

NileQT87 wrote: View Post
I'm plenty aware that The Wolf Man was made in 1941. However, they're also showing Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein's monster (1931) in those promos. Even at the time of The Wolf Man, the Dracula/Frankenstein aesthetics weren't a whole lot different. It was around the 1950s-1960s that horror films started getting much sillier and campy (the space race).
Yeah, they're showing Dracula and Frankenstein's monster in the trailer because they were in both House of movies, which is what this movie is trying to emulate.
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Old July 23 2009, 12:19 AM   #353
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
I'm wondering if they will use the name at all. They could skirt it by simply calling him Larry or Lawrence, without using his last name.
I was thinking that. I was just wondering if calling a Wolf Man "Larry" in a movie clearly emulating the old Universals would be going too far.

Comments at Dread Central and Nuke the Fridge have pointed out that some of the clothing looks more 1950s. If that's intended, it may be that he's supposed to be Larry's son. I guess we'll see.
Interesting, because I thought that too, especially concerning the letter jacket; I just wasn't certain enough to actually say it.
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Old July 23 2009, 01:58 AM   #354
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Well, Lettermen jackets were certainly well in use before the 1950s, and in fact, I wouldn't cry foul if it were in the 1940s with that jacket. But it does scream 1950s in the overall look of the character. The same with the stereotypical 1950s geek character.

However, the Bettie Page get-up on that one girl just screams 1950s.

Though the two girls do look a bit too close to modern girls trying to look retro. Something just doesn't quite fit. The Bettie Page thing is perhaps going a bit too far into era homage territory (at least there are no glaringly unauthentic Fonz-like greasers). They seem to have cut down on the imagery a bit in the stuff they show in the trailer and make her a bit more vampish than in the promos.

The older folks look more era-authentic (they actually look very good). The younger ones... There's something glaringly modern about them. The blonde girl (horrible wig), in particular--even in the trailer.

The Ron Chaney thing is awesome, though. Both Lon, Sr. and Jr. were legends. Talk about a legacy.

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Old July 23 2009, 02:26 AM   #355
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I tried to find a good version of the House of Frankenstein trailer online, but this is the best I could find. The trailers on the DVD itself are pretty degraded, presumably because they were run so much more often than the prints of the actual film.

The actual print of the movie is really clean, though; most of the '40s Universal horrors are. The '30s films are grainier, and there are more attempts to emulate German expressionism. By the '40s, they pretty much did away with that, which is a shame, in my opinion. The lighting is much flatter, and they lose some of the great, dreamlike quality of that first cycle.

You're right about the actresses looking modern-dressed-as-retro. I can accept that, though, because of budgetary constraints. That, and in some ways, it seems like people just look different from that time, generally speaking. I remember reading some opinion about Ian Fleming's vision of James Bond (resembling Hoagy Carmichael), that it was very pre-WWII. I kind of get what they were saying, in terms of facial structure, and wonder if there's something similar about the way people look now, compared to the '40s.

I'm rambling, but I hope you guys know what I mean. Whenever there's a movie that's supposed to take place in that time, the actors rarely seem to fit that world 100%, at least in comparison to film stars of those times. If you drop someone like Tom Cruise into a '40s/'50s movie, for example, he just wouldn't look right, no matter how you do his hair and clothing.

Maybe it's something age-specific about modern actors. Maybe 40 really is the new 30, if you're in Hollywood.
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Old July 23 2009, 03:22 AM   #356
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

You know what actually bugs me a lot about '50s retro attempts... They always get the pants wrong. It's just so uncool to wear your pants up to your navel for guys that they never seem to get actors who are willing to keep the pants there. It was cool for YOUNG guys in those days.

A recent example was the fact that they screwed up massively with Shia in KotCS. I couldn't take my eyes off the hip-huggers (besides the fact that the film was pants). The historical accuracy was far worse than the '80s films (even Capshaw's permed '80s hair was forgivable). I remember seeing tons of pictures of extras where the guys had clearly pulled down their wide-legged pants. I'm enough of a '50s music fan that I've seen a gazillion pictures of authentic '50s wardrobe.

As far as films that got it right, look no further than American Graffiti. Everyone seemed authentic (the utter lack of makeup, horrible lighting and some rather non-model-looking actors helped). Beefy Milner is about the most non-Hollywood version of the greaser put on film. Mackenzie Phillips really did look like an awkward, young, undeveloped teenager. Even Ron Howard had his acne on display.

They seemed to know how to do the '50s until American Graffiti. Happy Days is about when it started getting iffy (we're still struggling to get rid of the Grease version of the '50s--an example of Broadway not getting it). A few '80s films still could manage fairly decent period films and the actors were still natural-looking enough. Now, they just are so far out of touch with the look and acting styles. The digital look that everything has today (even by people who make a big deal about using film stock) just makes it impossible for it to look right.

Mad Men is actually more decent at authenticity than most. I heard they actually have trouble casting because they can't find enough actors who don't have perfect, unnaturally-whitened teeth, aren't too pretty or aren't so modernly skinny. There are several actors in there that definitely are inspired choices due to not being all that attractive by modern standards.

Limited television budgets actually get closer than the bigger Hollywood productions, IMO, which is kind of funny. You take away the budget (especially on the audio-visual technological side of it), make it look relatively bland/talky/character-heavy and you actually have a shot at it looking more authentic.

I still remember my mom making a comment about how most girls didn't have pierced ears in the '50s and most wore clip-ons. It's that sort of thing that is overlooked a lot. That and the waist-level of pants.
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Old July 23 2009, 10:07 AM   #357
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

NileQT87 wrote: View Post
Well, Lettermen jackets were certainly well in use before the 1950s, and in fact, I wouldn't cry foul if it were in the 1940s with that jacket. But it does scream 1950s in the overall look of the character. The same with the stereotypical 1950s geek character.
Yes, exactly. I thought those two characters looked kind of 50s. Didn't notice the Bettie Page thing somehow; I'll have to give another look.

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I'm rambling, but I hope you guys know what I mean.
Actually, I've thought this many times when watching 30s movies; same thing with the voices. I've wondered if it's just a question of Natural Selection, with certain types being more fashionable with producers, casting directors and the general public in each decade.
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Old July 24 2009, 01:55 AM   #358
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Here's a look at the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake's teaser poster.

It doesn't look like they mucked with Freddy's look too much, but I don't have a whole lot of faith in Platinum Dunes.

Still, I bet Jackie Earle Haley will be good in the role.
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Old July 24 2009, 09:50 AM   #359
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Sigh. Another reboot. The original Nightmare On Elm Street was a great movie; no need to do it over.
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Old July 24 2009, 11:04 AM   #360
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I don't have a problem with remakes or reboots, generally, but I haven't been too impressed with the attempts to resurrect Michael Myers, Jason, or Leatherface. Platinum Dunes was responsible for those last two, and they pretty much dropped the ball with both.

I mean, the Friday the 13th movies aren't really all that good to begin with, and they still managed to cock up the remake. I went into it thinking naively, "Well, at least they can't really screw it up," but Platinum Dunes somehow managed. The only thing to make the experience any fun was a really good crowd.

The only thing I'm hopeful about with this one is Jackie Earle Haley himself. But I'm fully expecting it to be disappointing overall.

But that's getting to be par for the course with these studio horror films these days. If you want to see anything good, you have to go independent or foreign. I had fun watching Alien Raiders the other night (you just have to ignore the title, like most reviews say), and before that it was Let the Right One In.

There you go; independent and foreign. Now I'm waiting for Dead Snow to get its DVD release, since it didn't play anywhere near me. Nazi zombies? Sign me up!
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