Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dracula Untold & Universal's Resurrection; Penny Dreadful Returns

Having just been so wrong about Annabelle, and with a new detail about the plot, I would like to revise what might happen in the film. Dracula (Luke Evans) is trying to save his family from a "bloodthirsty sultan" (Dominic Cooper: Captain America the Winter Soldier, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Need For Speed) which might prove to be an Obama figure, rather than Dracula himself (which is my original prediction). For example, the Left is inserting the propaganda into the news that our children do not belong to us, they belong to the state and, in a trailer, we have seen the sultan (Cooper) tell Dracula that he needs Dracula's son for military service, which is what conceivably happens in socialist countries. My earlier prediction was that Dracula would turn into a monster because those who have tried to force socialism upon others, are the "greatest monsters" recorded in human history (Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, etc). Now, however, with the detail of the bloodthirsty villain in the sultan, a different reading might be entirely possible: conservative Americans might be warned in this film that, to save their country and family from a "bloodthirsty" sultan, i.e., Obama, we might have to become monsters; how is that possible? Do you know anything about the French Revolution? That might be an extreme, but there is another character who might need to be interpreted in a different light: Caligula. Keeping in mind that the film makers will pick and choose what we learn about the historical figure for the sake of their narrative, Caligula, also referred to as the "Master Vampire"in the film, was the first assassinated Roman emperor that the Guard, senators and courtiers overthrew, hoping to re-establish the Roman Republic only to be frustrated that the military declared Caligula's uncle to be the new emperor before their dreams could come true. If this is the angle film makers take, then it would be an "assassinated emperor" giving a patriot blood to drink with the prediction that the patriot would become as bad as the tyrant he was trying to overthrow. Again, this is just an angle the film might take, but we don't have long to wait since it opens this weekend; The Judge with Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall also opens and I am quite excited about that.   
This is actually a big story.
It has just been revealed that Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans and opening October 10, is the first film in a planned-series by Universal to re-make their classic line of monster films, including Frankenstein, The Mummy, Wolf Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon and The Bride of Frankenstein. Noah Hawley, who wrote the screenplay for Fargo, is preparing the script for the next, unspecified monster film. Frankenstein, for example, will not be easy because so many have been made (I, Frankenstein just came out this year) and there have been several of The Mummy films with Brandon Fraser, so this was a big decision by the studio and they will have to play the audience with great skill.
A German poster for Dracula Untold. So, besides the franchise being re-released, another reason we should see this film this weekend is that they spent $100 million making the film; that's not pocket-change, even in Hollywood. Now, it makes more sense for the film to be directed at people trying to protect their home and families from a tyrant like Obama given the visual references we saw being made to 300 that we explored in this post. Leonides was a patriot and defender of his homeland standing up against the tyrant Xerxes, who wanted to destroy all of Greece; Dracula Untold makes it clear that they are channeling the film through numerous clues in the images they are releasing. There's no more speculation to be made, we will just have to see what's in it. I have all ready posted on most of the classic horror films released by Universal so at least I am ahead of something for once!
Why, yes, Luke Evans will be reprising his role as Dracula for a "cross-over," since the re-making of Universal's monster classics were their most successful "franchise," so to speak, the studio hopes these new films will compete with The Avengers and X-Men and there will be multiple cross-overs of the characters. No news on casting yet, but it seems they will be walking a fine line of making a franchise or just a really, really long remake of Monster Squad. It does not appear that there are early showings available, so I will have to catch it Friday afternoon.
Amazon has Vol III of the Penny Dreadful Multipack Illustrated-Annotated Mysteries available FREE as a e-book download (I guess I missed Vol II being offered, or they are going out of sequence, but there is a total of four and Vol I is no longer free to download, so get it while you can). Vol III contains The Strange Case Of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (an amazing book if you have never read it), The Paris Mysteries (which I have never heard of) and The Compensation House (also which I have never heard of). At least we have plenty of time to get read-up. Tomorrow, Season 1 will be available on iTunes, and on disc and Blu-Ray next week.
The cast and crew of Showtime's series Penny Dreadful have been filming the ten episodes of Season 2 in Dublin and, today, released the first image and teaser trailer for the next installment: a young female's voice asks, "Do you believe the past can return?" and is answered by a male's voice (Timothy Dalton's?), "More than that. It never leaves us," and then it sounds like another male's voice saying something I can't make out, and finally Vanessa Ives says, "God help us, then."
News from about a month ago was that the characters of Ferdinand Lyle (the Egyptologist) and Madame Kali (the spiritualist who wore the green dress) had been elevated to regulars; today it was announced that Madame Kali is the prime antagonist, and a big antagonist at that. We have all ready seen Kali's powers seemingly dwarfed besides Vanessa's in Episode 2 Seance, so this should make for a wonderful season, especially since we will be introduced to Madame Kali's daughter as well.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner