August 25, 2008
Slither, Fuzz, Dr. Horrible, and new TrekA friend suggested that the best way to celebrate my birthday would be ordering pizza and renting a horror flick. We ended up with Slither (IMDb) and Hot Fuzz (IMDb).
I recently posted a video where Nathan Fillion discusses Slither. And as a huge fan of Firefly/Serenity I thought I'd check it out. Another reason I wanted to see it was knowing it was written and directed by James Gunn who previously wrote the screenplay for the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, which is in my opinion one of the best in the survival horror genre. (Thats the film that put director Zach Snyder on the map by the way, and probably why he's directing the big-screen version of Watchmen due out next year -- maybe*). Slither stars Nathan Fillion as the sheriff investigating a strange alien-born disease that turns residents of a small South Carolina town into something of an amalgam of all nasty creatures found in horror films, mostly resembling zombies at first. Co staring is Elisabeth Banks who you may remember as the hot bookshop girl from the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin. Once the 'sickness' is discovered, the Sheriff organizes a posse (reluctantly including the character played by Banks) and together they try to track down the creature responsible for mysterious animal slayings and rescue a kidnapped girl.
*I mention that Watchmen (IMDb) will come out next year, maybe, because recently a friend pointed out to me that its come to light that 2oth Century Fox is claiming the rights to make the the film which is now in post-production at Warner Brothers. This Wired blog posting sums up the details nicely. Hopefully this lawsuit will not cause any delay in the release of Watchmen
Something else interesting I recently herd about (while listening to the most recent net@night podcast)...Leo and Amber were at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas interviewing actress Felicia Day about a project by Firefly/Serenity and Buffy the TV-series creator Joss Whedon, co-starring Nathan Fillion in a Web-based musical series called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I'm going to have to check this out.
Hot Fuzz (IMDb) is both directed by and stars much of the same cast that was in Shaun of the Dead (IMDb); and the principle two actors of both films are the same, Simon Pegg as the lead, and Nick Frost as his buddy/sidekick. As Shawn of the Dead was a parody of zombie films, Hot Fuzz does the same for cop-dramas, especially parodying the films Bad Boys II and Point Break, almost to the point of being overly redundant, but not quite. For me it was almost as great as Shaun of the Dead.
I noticed that Simon Pegg will play the part of Scotty in the upcoming remake/prequel of Star Trek (IMDb) the original series as a feature film to be directed by JJ Abrams (who previous work includes producing the TV-series LOST as well as the horror film Cloverfield). Its scheduled for release Christmas day this year. Being somewhat of a trekkie, and thinking about the remake of Star Trek caused me to wonder just how prolific the original show and its follow up feature films and spin-off series' have become... So it seems, there have been six separate TV-series' about Star Trek (including: the original series 1966-1969 [3 seasons - 79 episodes], an animated series I never really knew about featuring the voices of most of the original series cast 1973-1975 [2 seasons - 22 episodes], The Next Generation 1987-1994 [7 seasons - 176 episodes ], Deep Space Nine 1993-1999 [7 seasons - 176 episodes ], Voyager 1995-2001 [172 episodes ], and most recently a prequel series called Enterprise 2001-2005 [4 seasons - 98 episodes]).
The original series (or TOS as its often abbreviated by fans) was followed by six feature films continuing the missions with the original cast. The Next Generation (or TNG as its often abbreviated by fans) was followed by four feature films featuring the TNG cast, my favorite of which was First Contact (IMDb)--so including the upcoming remake, thats a total of 11 films.
There is even a unofficial fan-based continuation of the original series, named Phase II (it was previously called New Voyages) based on the fact that TOS was never actually completed--It was supposed to be a five-year mission but the show concluded after only three seasons. Some original cast and writers are involved. Their goal is to create 22 episodes to finish the “next” season; at this time there are five episodes available that you can download and watch for free at their website.
So if you consider each series and feature film as an individual entry into the cannon of the star trek universe, and including the upcoming feature film remake/prequel of the original series, as well as the unofficial fan-based continuation of the original series; then thats a total of eighteen individual projects in the Star Trek fictional universe, (and thats not even considering the stories contained in books and video games). Star Trek has had a prolific cinematic history indeed.