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The Good and The Bad – May 4, 2009

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Some weeks this column might as well be called “The Bad and the Worse.” Then there are weeks like this one, when the good news is actually pretty good — honestly, there was more than I could fit into five slots. Two great franchises are reborn, two foreign films get American makeovers, and a director I slammed last week redirects himself. Impressive, Hollywood! You’re still on Double Secret Probation, but keep up the good work!


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The Good
Rank Movie
1 alien75x75.jpg Alien Prequel
Ridley Scott says he’s on board for a new Alien film, which should send a little shiver down the spines of everyone who reads this column. The producers are excited; apparently they were going to make it with or without him, but with is definitely better.
2 l_interieur_75x75.jpg Livid
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside), who are at the forefront of the new please-don’t-call-it-torture-porn movement, are working on this spooky old house movie. It might not involve young women getting tortured to death… and if it does, at least it’ll be classy.
3 slade75x75.jpg Cold Skin
David Slade ( last week ‘s -5 slot) to make this creepy, atmospheric horror movie with nary a vampire anywhere. Since “atmospheric” usually equals “has a brain,” I’m willing to forgive him.
4 phone75x75.jpg Phone
The fact that it’s a K-Horror remake is scaring away bloggers, but Ahn Byung-Ki’s story of a haunted phone number (yes, really) was a solid piece of spookiness. And since he’s directing the do-over himself, it shouldn’t be dismissed — let’s at least wait for a trailer.
5 predator75x75.jpg Predators
“Remake” is officially a dirty word, so enter the “reboot.” Robert Rodriguez, who makes good movies for kids and even better ones for adults, is set for this new entry in the much-loved franchise and promises there will be no hybrid “predaliens” or spy kids.

…and now for the bad. Be warned: It’s pretty rank.


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The Bad
Rank Movie
-1 silent-venom75x75.jpg Silent Venom
It’s… “Snakes on a Submarine!” Tom Berenger and Luke Perry star in this direct-to-DVD effort, and judging by the synopsis, the writer actually spent more than 20 minutes on the script. But why? “Snakes on a Vespa” would have a better shot at an Oscar.
-2 poe75x75.jpg Edgar Allan Poe
Michael Jackson once wanted to make a biopic of America’s greatest horror writer… and star in it, too. He went broke, Sylvester Stallone nabbed the rights in 2005 and Robert Downey Jr. can’t seem to decide whether or not it’s a joke. Yo, Adrian, nevermooooore!
-3 piranha-3d75x75.jpg Piranha 3D
Stars Ving Rhames and Elisabeth Shue are about to be joined by a bunch of pretty young people who have, like, no professional credits? But they always wanted to go into acting, y’know? Plus, thousands of drunken Spring Break extras! Woo!
-4 saw75x75.jpg Saw VI
The premise has finally been revealed! Cue the drum roll, please. Someone has taken up Jigsaw’s mantle and… wait for it… is unleashing a deadly new game, full of traps and people dying in ways Alannis Morrisette would call ironic. Boy, am I surprised.
-5 gremlins75x75.jpg Gremlins 3
Joe Dante is being very clear about this: He will not direct Gremlins 3. Not even in response to huge fan demand. But he’s pretty sure somebody will, some day… perhaps in a distant age when such stories are actually considered newsworthy.

Please, please, please help me find a new name for this column! I will accept any ideas posted in the comments section below! Thank you, that is all.

David Wellington is a horror novelist whose latest book is Vampire Zero. He lives in New York City with his wife Elisabeth and his dog Mary, named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

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