Blood-suckers. The pale ones. The Undead. Leeches. Parasites. Bats. Shapeshifters.
Whatever you want to call them, the Vampire remains one of the most used (and mis-used) mythical creatures in existence. Thousands of films, books and comics have adapted them in so many different forms, that the word ‘Vampire’ now means a million different things.
The core definition of ‘Vampire’ still remains however. A creature that survives off another living thing’s essence – usually blood, or occasionally the soul or life force.
Whether such a thing really exists is doubtful – a Vampire is a creature of storybooks and folklore. However, there are people in the world (perhaps mentally disturbed) who consider themselves ‘Vampiric.’ People who dress in black, avoid daylight and drink teaspoons of each other’s blood. (Check this or thisout if you don’t believe me.)
It’s a fanciful idea, and some people believe the existence of a blood-thirsty human based creature has a solid grounding. However, let us not dwell on whether or not we believe in real life Vampires, but forget that there may be a 0.00001% smidgeon of a chance they really exist, and focus on the ideology of the ‘Vampire’ – portrayed in literature and film.
There are very early Vampire films dating right back to 1913, but for the purpose of this article we’ll start at one of the earliest films that helped shaped our modern perception of the blood-suckers (you all know who I’m talking about.)
Written and directed by Luc Besson, Léon stars Jean Reno as the titular cool, calm, calculated killer for hire. From the opening introduction to the assassin via a one man assault on a locked down apartment filled with armed guards all dispatched with the skill and ease of a shadow lurking man who knows how to kill in more ways than he has had glasses of milk.
What we think: Whoever decided not to recast Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross should be fired on the spot.
Freeman whose played the character twice already in the very good Kiss the Girls and the abject Along Came a Spider would have surely been the front runner here.
Instead they chose Tyler Perry, someone whose more famous for cross (no pun intended) dressing into the character Aunt Madea – surely alarm bells should have been ringing?
Alex Cross is loosely based on the novel written by James Patterson and focuses on the Detective come Dr as he goes head to head with a venomous serial killer called Picasso (Matthew Fox) who specializes in torture and pain.
Fox is practically unrecognizable as the softly spoken and all over nice guy Jack we were so used to seeing in Lost, here he’s a shaven headed psychopath with an exceptional physique.
Here at Generic HQ, we absolutely love independent film production. There’s just something special about waking up early, bleary eyed, fresh and full of ideas, ready for a whole day of exhausting filming.
So because we like doing it so much, we also love supporting others doing it (and doing a better job!)
A few weeks ago, an email arrived in the Generic Movie Blog email, and I found a gem of a short film had been linked to us by none other than Dan Allen – a fantastic 19 year old director.
I’ve stumbled upon Dan before when he asked me to review a short film of his called Husky. Unfortunately I never had the time, so this post can act as a small apology as well as a way of helping Generic readers to see a wider range of independent films.
Written by: Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee, Hong-jin Na
Starring: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo
Pimp Joon-ho (Kim Yun-seok) has a problem. Or, rather, he has several problems in the shape of his small coterie of call girls shrinking ever smaller, employees going missing one by one in the previous few months. As a former policeman, nay detective, as he is wont to profess to anyone who’ll listen and usually those who won’t, Joon-ho isn’t going to stand too much more of this but, unable to deduce if his lost girls are on the lam, have been sold on, or just escaped the life altogether, he hasn’t made much headway.
Now down to his last illicit employee Mi-jin (Seo Yeong-hie), Joon-ho is getting desperate. Mi-jin for her part, is desperate too. Wishing to make good her getaway from her uncouth employer, but sick and with a young daughter to support, Mi-jin grits her teeth for one last customer. Unfortunately, that customer is creepy young client Young-min (Ha Joong-woo) who has some extremely ugly surprises in store for his evening’s carnal companion, Mi-jin.
Discovering that Young-min is actually a repeat customer, and that all his girls who vanished had been booked in with him, Joon-ho sets out to find him. But with no address to go on, no signal from Mi-jin’s phone, and no help from his former buddies on the force, as Mi-jin’s life hangs in the balance Joon-ho is embroiled in an investigation, a chase, that will change him forever…
Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Peter Weller
I need to get this out of the way first: I’m not a fan of Star Trek as a franchise. In fact, I can’t stand it. I’ve given the various TV series’ a go, as well as a couple of the original films (I forget which ones), and I just can’t get on with it. So you would be forgiven if you believed that anything negative I may have to say about it might come from some sort of negative bias against the franchise and concept of Star Trek. However that is simply not the case.
(From here on out I’m going to refer to the 2009 J.J. Abrams ‘reboot’ as the “first film”, being as it is the first part of a new timeline within that universe)
When I saw the trailers for the first Star Trek film, I was initially very hesitant seeing as it was a new film in a franchise that we’ve already established I don’t like; however on the other hand I thought that it looked like it could be an enjoyable sci-fi action romp, and so on that basis I went to see it. To my complete surprise, I absolutely loved it. This had nothing to do with the ‘Trek’ factor – as a film in its own right, ignoring its origins, it had the right mix of humour, action, sci-fi, adventure, plot and a great cast and characters. It was really fun to watch. I already knew enough about Star Trek to get a lot of the references peppered throughout, without getting bogged down by them. On this basis, I was extremely looking forward to the next installment, the newly-released Star Trek Into Darkness.
Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger walk into a bar…
The slasher genre and its iconic anti-heroes almost became a bad joke towards the end of its golden era, with poorly constructed sequels and unnecessary, outlandish concepts to create a film all about the inventive ways a masked madman could pick off innocent young teenagers rather than plot or characterisation. But from the foundations of the genre to the height in its heyday, the slasher film became more than just a death-by-numbers picture. Though some would cash in on the concept with cheap thrills and spills, the iconic originals have longevity because of the creativity and the subtext beneath their seemingly simple concepts.