A quick flick through the pages of Screen International’s special Cannes edition reveals several films, in various stages of completion, that might be of interest. Most of the main ones are sequels, following in the current American trend of “It worked last time” (not to be confused with “Let’s catch this passing band-wagon”, last seen going past the prison on the way to the sea bottom). First up, and most promisingly, we have “Highlander 2020” (what happened to numbers 2 to 2019, I hear you cry?). At least it’s directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christopher Lambert again; hopefully Queen won’t be available to provide the music. Secondly, and winner of the ‘Better Late than Never’ prize, we have “Scanners II – The New Generation”. David Cronenberg won’t be seen anywhere near this, it does at least have the same producers.
Next up, and most worrying of the lot – what do you reckon is THE successful horror pic, dearly beloved by the fans, yet unsullied by a crap follow-up? Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for “Re-Animator II – The Sequel”. Brian Yuzna moves over from producing to directing this one, and no Jeffrey Coombs either. Another Charles Band-ish sequel is “Trancers II” – Jack Deth returns in this follow up to Kim Newman’s fave B-movie of the 80’s. Whaddya mean, you hadn’t seen “Trancers” till it was on TV? As for ‘Films you hoped never to hear of again’, how about “Graveyard Shift II – The Understudy”. At least that’s one that can’t possibly be any worse than the original.
Nice to see Gerard Kikoine getting another film to direct after “Edge of Sanity” (see elsewhere). This time, it’s Edgar Allen Poe’s “Buried Alive” starring Robert Vaughn and Donald Pleasance – hopefully with more Madonna clones being slaughtered. In pre-productiom, we have Stuart Gordon’s version of another Poe story, “The Pit & the Pendulum”, which should include Peter O’Toole and Jeffrey Coombs. Beginning principal photography in the autumn, there’s “Night of the Living Dead”. Yep, that’s right – directed by Tom Savini this time, from a screenplay by George Romero based on the 1968 ‘classic’. Michael Winner has found time, between sponsoring the Guardian Angels, to plan “Bullseye”, written by Leslie Bricusse (he was responsible for “Sherlock Holmes – the Musical”). Stars Roger Moore & Michael Caine, starts filming in October. Going against what I’d heard elsewhere, Peter “Bad Taste” Jackson’s next production isn’t “Brain Dead” at all, but a “scandalous ‘spluppet’ saga” called “Meet the Feebles”.
Finally, there are always a couple of strange titles to be found – the best ones I could see were “Mutant [sic] on the Bounty” and “Revenge of the Radioactive Reporter”, though on past performance (“Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama” becoming “The Imp”), who knows what titles they’ll be playing under by the time they reach our shores!