Daybreakers was last Saturdays midnight movie. What is to become a scheduled thing in the Conkle House. The week before was Last House on Left remake which despite my complete disdain for all remakes of classic exploitation 1970-1980s horror won me over because of the following.
1. Microwave Ending
2. Claw hammer with sink garbage disposal
3. well acted all around, especially by the dad.
4. scary performances by the white trash clan (in a non Rob Zombie way).
The scene in the woods was brutal, as brutal as the original but with the modern slick production values made it more offensive, as if it was the most misguided Timex commercial ever made. The original looks so crappy that it fits better with the subject matter. You believed there was something wrong with the creators of the original, like there was no way any of these people could ever have a regular day job, these were outcasts making garbage to freak out the straights. The remake is the straights with 9 to 5s making polished beautiful imagery of sadist acts of violence to freak out suburban kids. So if the remake doesn't work out the technicians and producers can always go make a Lexis commercial. In the original, it looked like some kind of home movie made in-between prison sentences.
Daybreakers was the best thing since the Descent. I am all about the Sperig Brothers and their laptop studio mentality. I am also all about Daybreakers for the following reasons.
1. They used real vampires with all the trappings (steak in heart, blood addiction, living forever) and didn't try to explain it as a virus. Kept it spiritual, like these are damned souls, sort of the whole point of the movie.
2. Sam Neil is the bomb in this as evil corporate vampire guy.
3. William Defoe with crossbow is great, and playing an Elvis junkie, even better.
4. Ethan Hawke I cannot stand (Hamlet BAH!), but he was right for the role and pretty good, makes a nice companion film to Gattica (and that is Alan Arkin's movie in my opinion).
5. Starbucks with blood. Hit home for me.
6. Teenage girl who looked like Twilight character has a great small role and is perfect antidote to sparkly vampires. People who do not like Twilight should see this.
7. Lots of nice ideas added to the Vampire mythos, my favorite is the vampires self feeding in desperation and hunger.
8. It is all a nice what if movie that has a great "end of the world" vibe to it, and erases the whole Blade Trinity thing from your memory.
9. It really used the blue filter, but at least it has some daytime and reds in it so your eyes are not starving by the end.
10. GORE GORE GORE, this thing is bloody. It gets an A for that.
Also, a special shout out the rubber suit vampire in the kitchen who really made it work and gave an excellent starving vampire vibes after (if you watch the special features) spending 12 hours in the makeup chair.
Last night I feel asleep to The Last Dragon, something I have never seen all the way through but is one of the corner stone movies of the thing I am writing right now (working title Dead Hooker Holocaust). Something about urban rot and kung fu just goes together. Last Dragon is a lot of fun, Bruce Leroy vs. Sho'nuff: the Shogun of Harlem, and everything is so light and fun and EIGHTIES, and really a simple, just a movie out to show you a good time and not tell you how screwed up the world is, because Oliver Stone had cornered the market on that.
Here are the top things I'm trying to cram into Dead Hooker Holocaust
1. Charles Bronson movies in the 80s made by Cannon Pictures, especially Death Wish 2, Acts of Vengeance, and Murphy's Law.
2. Big Trouble in Little China and Last Dragon.
3. Anime, as in the style of action and character design, with lots of really bizarre stuff going down where your mind pops. The movies Versus, Wicked City (live action), and Tetsuo The Iron Man.
4. All the zombie movies, but they are more like blood suckers, and use bullets to pop open heads and drink the blood, and out for revenge like in The Crow, but instead of Brandon Lee think a dozen dead hookers.
I've written an incoherent first draft that is all action and thunder and blood and guts, but no humanity. I'm ten pages into the rewrite now, and the trick is to blend these influences together into a nice smoothie of destruction.
I just heard in the cubes that Kevin Costner has spent over the years 40 million dollars of his own money building a centrifuge that separates oil and water, and now BP has given him permission to go and try it out in the gulf of Mexico. If Kevin Costner saves the gulf of Mexico I will eat my own brain.
Zombeak update - all is quiet, the movie continues to get mostly positive reviews from the Irish, and me hats off to them. Whenever I get a good write up I forward the link to the distributor just to remind them that a North American release wouldn't be a totally bad idea. It all has to do with what the buyers want, so I'll just keep tipping things forward and eventually there will be enough of a demand someone will go for it.
Clown Versus Monkey update - we are shooting on the 30th with Jimmy Lee and Fasmagger. I have the script and all I have to get ready is a mime look. But the big thing this week was I got two people to sign on to draw props. One is Corey Murdock, who was a big supporter of Zombeak and who's band Handsome Sweater played at a Zombeak screening back in 08. He was I guy I met temping and who has a really bent head. He has a friend that he says lives to smoke cigarettes and draw pictures, and that is exactly the people I am looking for. I am behind on the post production, but you know what, not worried. I see this as one big title sequence and I love doing this type of stuff, so once I start, it will be hard to stop. And! Jessica DeMaria has Saturdays off now so I can get her to start looping in some lines along with the other actors. CVM is going to rock people's heads right off. I'm thinking of just going ahead and advertising at "The Weirdest Film Ever Created".
Kids update - An addictive cuteness where they run up and attack me when I get home at night, Cameron screams "Daddy Hug!" and Sarah screams "Jump on Daddy".
This is for real stuff and I feel pretty lucky to get to experience it, despite the worry, mess, insanity, sleepless nights, covered in boogers, diapers, kids television programming, never leaving the house, constant demands, and instant loss of patience at times. It is ground zero for craziness. I pretty much blast my way through it using quad espressos as dynamite to push me in the right direction. On top of it all is the constant mundane drudgery of home ownership where there is always some portal of hell opening up that you have to patch up. BUT! Normalcy has its own charms. I prefer it to stewing in a dog chasing its tail self destructive cycle of mania. It also forces me to be more balanced. It is all about dancing for midgets, really that has become my life's profession. Guardian of the Midgets. And regrouting the shower actually has its place after dealing with abstracts in a cube all day. The textile immediacy is a good antidote to the mushy keyboard typing away at nothing. Building a better bureaucracy one spreadsheet at a time.
Steph update - She is having Hypnosis CDs handed out at a big New York book convention (New York Book Expo) where her mother is promoting a book on Astrological Soul Pairing. This is the book that Steph edited. The convention is pretty huge, and her mom has a booth on the main drag, so it will get the CD handed out to the right people. I've enjoyed this working relationship with Steph, she writes and records the inductions, then I listen and edit them, check the levels and add music. She is the creative and I am the technical on this project and it works a lot better than when we try to come up with a screenplay or something as our tastes are pretty much opposite. I want abstract carnage and she wants human people with relatable problems. So this has been nice to collaborate and not be at each other's throats. Getting a good collaborator is really tough! The whole Josh Ford thing has been actually the first time it has ever happened with me and actually worked. But Josh and I stay out of each other's business so that helps. I don't tell him what to write and he doesn't tell me how to direct it. Perfecto. But people ask me how anyone could be married to me and wonder what Steph must be like, she must be insane, or mega control freak, and I tell them she is the practical one, but about crazy things. I mean, she methodically goes about creating a business, but it's selling hypnosis cds. That seems pretty coo-coo to me. For me it is always set up an environment of chaos where maybe nothing successful happens but something unexpected and interesting might. Steph is much more think positive and let it happen. I'm much more blow it up and run away.