There’s a challenge presented with the quasi-remake/new adaptation of the Ira Levin novel “Rosemary’s Baby.” The Roman Polanski masterpiece has been seen by everyone, and it’s been remade and copied a hundred times over by studios since its initial release, and is still being remade unofficially. So how can “Rosemary’s Baby” seem fresh in this day and age? The writers and Lionsgate go about it the wrong way, obviously. They over sexualize, over stylize, and remove any and all themes of feminist repression from the source material. It’s also what made the original Polanski film such a biting horror film. Even in 2014. It was a woman seeking independence and doomed to motherhood by a cult who’d bred the son of Satan through her.
Stephen King creates the ultimate boogeyman and he is neither man nor monster, despite the visage of a clown called Pennywise. “Stephen King’s It” is filled with the usual King doldrums of a small town with hidden demons, and at least one character that wants to be an author. That said director Tommy Lee Wallace’s adaptation is a great horror film, and a perfectly good bit of nostalgia. “It” gets a lot of flack for deviating from the original novel, but considering it is a television movie, director Wallace does a bang up job. “It” for being only TV movie packs a ton of iconic horror moments, as well as an Oscar caliber performance by Tim Curry.
“Salem’s Lot” presents a very humanistic approach toward vampire folklore. Ben Mears, filled with desperation and literally nothing left to lose in the face of a fantastic situation, finds himself in a local morgue prepared to face down one of the unholy walking dead by taping together two tongue depressors and scotch tape, supplying a makeshift crucifix. This little device ultimately aids him in the battle with a horrific vampire who slowly rises from her sheet in all her terrifying glory. It about sums up the whole of “Salem’s Lot,” a film wrapped around despair and tension where a small town’s unrest and inner turmoil of infidelity and abuse is brought to the surface when faced with a hidden menace in the shadows, in the form of a vampire striking down town residents one by one.
Reality television is much too ingrained and injected in to the base of our society and culture to consider it a passing fad these days. We’re living in a world where we’re absolutely obsessed by surveillance, voyeurism and the like to where we can’t get enough of it and we’re provided with an abundance of television that feeds such needs. “Dead Set,” originally a five part television mini-series,” is set in the UK where reality television is a national past time setting down on a society who is consumed by it. It’s so consumed by tabloids and scandals, it can’t stop and notice that we’re being consumed by a ravenous disease turning our entire society in to flesh eating zombies.
They blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell! Ah, Nuclear warheads, will we never learn? Shortly after “The Andromeda Strain” arrived to the A&E Networks last month, here we have the Special Edition DVD which is a shockingly great treatment for a television mini-series that just arrived. I know it’s not the first time a mini series gets a huge treatment, but you should see this. The casing is magnificent with a fold out front that allows you to read some of the content about it, and then there’s the DVD set which are two discs. I still don’t know why they split up the movie with two DVD’s bearing parts one and two, instead of just presenting the entire production as movie, I mean, that would make much more sense.
Timothy Hutton plays physics professor JT Neumeyer, a prominent professor and widow who is very close to his daughter. One her birthday he and his daughter go to visit his wife’s grave and discovers a thin silver brief case only a few feet away that shows up seemingly from thin air. He takes it home out of curiosity and tucks it away, but the curiosity gets the best of him. He opens it and discovers a group of files showing pictures of his death and newspapers clippings. First declaring this as a practical joke from one of his students or colleagues, he sets it aside, but as the days progress, the events in the files play out slowly but surely, and now convinced that he’ll die in five days, tries to find a way to prevent himself from dying and must change his destiny. Plus, he must also find out who out of his friends, family, or colleagues will murder him.