Possibly a Reason To Start Liking Big Brother?

From Nathan Barley and Guardian writer Charlie Brooker comes Dead Set which is the Channel 4 companion channel E4?s first-ever horror series,, and is to be released exclusively by 4DVD on 3rd November.
Starring Jaime Winstone (Donkey Punch, Kidulthood) Dead Set is a chilling new horror series in which the dead are returning to life and attacking the living.

Seems to be a nice way to resurrect Big Brother from the dead.

Curiously there are a few people left in Britain who aren?t worried about any of this ? that?s because they?re the remaining contestants in Big Brother. Cocooned in the safety of the Big Brother house, they?re blissfully unaware of the horrific events unfolding in the outside world. Until an eviction night when all hell breaks loose?

Kelly (Winstone), a production runner working on a fictional series of Big Brother, finds herself trying to fend off the walking dead alongside her producer boss Patrick (Andy Nyman, Severance), boyfriend Riq (Riz Ahmed, Britz) and the remaining Big Brother housemates.

Over the ensuing days, in a cruel reflection of the game show they thought they were entering, the contestants fall victim one by one to the hungry masses outside. Staying alive requires crucial teamwork ? which can be tricky when you?re a group specifically selected by TV producers to wind each other up.

Dead Set Video

Featuring a range of cameo appearances from Davina McCall and several former Big Brother housemates, the series is due to be broadcast on E4 in October.

Ok it is not the most original fusion of reality show and horror, but as this is made by E4 and features the real Big Borther house I bet that this will be something a little different and definitly worth a watch

Featuring a raft of DVD extras such as sneak peeks behind the scenes, a tour of the set, special effects featurettes and interviews with cast and crew, Dead Set promises to be a gripping horror bound to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Release date: 3rd November 2008
RRP: ?19.99
Running time: 138 mins approx
Extras running time: 56 mins approx
Format: 1 disc
Cert: 18(Tbc)
Cat No: C4DVD10243

I Want One!!! – Millennium Falcon

The fastest ship in the Star Wars galaxy is setting its sights on becoming the biggest toy this Christmas. This detailed replica of the rebel spaceship packs powerful secrets and special modifications inside and out!

Measuring more that two-and-a-half feet long, the is ready to blast off into hyperdrive with light-up headlights and loads of electronic vehicle and weapon sounds, including engine boast, cruise mode, fly-by, firing cannons and much more!

Check out the CribZ style promo video below

The ship comes with Han Solo and Chewbacca figures and can fit up to 16 more inside its secret smuggling compartments, pivoting gunner station or missile-firing mini-fighter vehicle. You can remove the outer panels to access the ships interior with the medical bay and treat some wounded troops or enjoy a game of Dejarik.

Bring the Millennium Falcon to life by activating the deployment sounds and landing lights with the auto-opening boarding ramp. You can plan your attack against the Empire with a pivoting gunner station, rotating laser turret and 3-missile launcher, with plenty of realistic blasting sounds and projectiles to keep enemies at bay.

For those who want to practice their Force fighting skills, the interior has a pivoting training probe that makes lightsaber and movement sounds. Trigger more than 20 authentic movie phrases and sounds from the voices of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2!

As Han Solo says: This babys got a few surprises left in her, sweetheart. – so buckle up and get ready for the hyperdrive adventure!

Speed Racer DVD and Blu Ray

Speed Racer DVD Pack shot

The live action anime classic is bought to the small screen on? November 10th. Apparently Speed Racer has been a big thing for a while, but never reached the UK audience until this block buster movie came along, preceding calls for another change of lunch box!

DVD LinkBlu Ray Link


Speed Racer was called Mach GoGoGo in its native Japan, you either new this before or did not care!

Speed Racer is a special effects packed racking scifi adventure idea for all? boys (even those that are 31!).

The performing talent in Speed Racer?s? is lead by Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild, Alpha Dog) and Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow), with Matthew Fox (TV?s Lost), John Goodman (Bee Movie, Cars) and Susan Sarandon (Enchanted, Mr Woodcock) supporting the cast. Asian pop superstar Ji Hoon Jung (popularly known as ?Rain?) makes his major feature film debut, but lets face it the star if Speed Racer is the car, the thundering, unstoppable Mach 5 that gives Speed the edge to beat all the bad guys in his way. Written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix trilogy), this high-octane, action packed family adventure will have you revved-up and on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Emile Hirsch

Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is a teenage boy who always dreamed of living life in the fast lane. Racing is in his blood. His brother, record-breaking driver Rex Racer (Scott Porter ? Prom Night, Music & Lyrics) was tragically killed when Speed was just a young boy, during the treacherous Casa Cristo cross-country rally race; notorious for intense driving and foul play.

Now, Speed is taking the racing world by storm with his finely tuned, artistic driving skills. His weapon of choice is the beautifully crafted, lightning-fast ?Mach 5? race car, designed by his father. But when the power-hungry, maniacal Mr.

Royalton (Roger Allam ? V For Vendetta, A Cock And Bull Story), owner of the evil conglomerate Royalton Industries, offers Speed a lucrative racing contract, Speed declines, believing in the art of the race over financial gain, and remains loyal to the family business. Royalton reveals that some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits and if Speed won?t drive for Royalton, he will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line again.

Teaming up with his girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci), his one-time rival, enigmatic Racer X (Matthew Fox) and shifty Japanese racer Taejo Togokhan (Rain), Speed must win the Casa Cristo to expose Royalton?s treacherous stranglehold on the racing world.

Will Speed overcome Royalton?s wrath, fulfil his brother?s legacy and save the future of racing?

Heart thumping and spectacular pedal to the metal action for young boys that magically brings to life the wonderful world of comic strip adventures, Speed Racer is the ultimate boy-racer hero!

John Carpenter Interview

The following interview is taken from John Carpenter Collection, released now, and is reproduced with permisssion.



Dark Star began as a student film when I was at the university of Southern California in 1970 and I was partnered with Dan O Bannon who is the production designer, editor and one of the actors in the film. He went on to have a very successful career as a writer and has directed on his own, so we put the movie together on 16mm over the course of four years three or four years, and it wasnt a movie shoot like we think of today, it wasnt you shoot the whole movie in one section in one block of time, it was shoot a scene, raise money, shoot a scene months later, raise money, shoot a scene and the effects were basically just a lot of animated effects, of on-set effects, kind of old-fashioned, old-school stuff, and it was a ridiculously ambitious movie for what we were doing and as I look at it now, pieces of it? I dont like to look at the whole thing anymore, its an amateur film. It was kind of a nice little amateur movie made at the time

Dan O Bannon really designed the effects of the movie so I have to give him ultimate credit for that and, uh, the ship itself, the dark star? the ship, was sculpted by Greg Jean and that was, uh? a model maker, and that was fibreglass, but the bomb for instance was a model of a box car I believe, or a train, a truck or a railroad car. Since 2001 its model kits stuck on, thats the standard, state of the art, makes it look sort of believable, as a scientific possibility, so we did the same thing

Well all these movies, Dark Star included, were spawned, influenced by 2001, the Kubrick film, because it broke such new ground with special effects, with shooting outer space, it suddenly looked like it was possibly a real thing. It turned out it wasnt really reality but it looked that way. So, uh, just the ideas in Dark Star, I think were probably more interesting than the way we executed them, the idea of the men isolated, this kind of meaningless mission that theyre on destroying various planets for whatever reason, and their existential dilemma, theyre so cut off from home, and theyre lost, and I dont know if thats really influenced a whole lot of films, but the situation; people in a spaceship, in close confinement having to deal with some problems, thats that goes back to IT The Terror From Beyond Space, I mean that goes way back so

Well my first film was released in theatres which was just fabulous, at least on my birthday, January 16th 1975, and right down here, actually this direction a few blocks away on Hollywood Blvd at The Hollywood Theatre, and it opened there, it great, I mean it was terrific. I was hoping, praying that someone would come and say we want you to direct a movie because thats what Ive always wanted to be as a director, and nobody came? it didnt happen, but I did get an agent out of the situation, and I began writing screenplays to get myself into the business. But it was a first step, it was something to show, I dont think it would impress too many people

Assault on Precinct 13 was one of two ideas that I came up with, uh, for this investor, he wouldnt invest in a certain sum of money, wed make the movie independently, and I just sat down and wrote it uh, what were the influences of it? The basic influence of Assault was Rio Bravo? the situation, but only really in a kind of generalized way, not in a specific way. But it was written to be an exploitation movie at the time, an action film, a siege film, and, er, god when you think about it now, Im sitting here and its been thirty something odd years since I made that film, although 1976, when I made Assault, it had only been about sixteen or seventeen years since Rio Bravo was out, so time was compressed, so oddly, uh, it was still fresh in my memory from having seen it as a kid. That was an inspiration, also just, uh, the limitations of budget. If you look at the movie theres some exterior shooting but mostly it takes place in one set, well that was the, you know that was the gig at the time and also that was my first Panavision widescreen film which I was dying to do, because I love widescreen. The most explicit tribute to Howard Hawks was in the credits of Assault on Precinct 13, the editor was John T. Chance, thats the character, the sheriffs character from Rio Bravo, thats if anyone wants to see it. But, just the idea of people in an enclosed space, dealing with this kind of hostile world outside, that was sort of Hawks, you look at the Dawn Patrol, theres this little bar, where the flyers would find meaning, you look at Only Angels Have Wings its the same thing, everything is dangerous out in the outside world, but here is where you have some sort of safety? Rio Bravo, El Dorado, I mean all the action kind of films, even Airforce? the safety is in the airplane, in a sense, all around is this kind of evil, and thats always appealed to me. I dont know that, uh, this is my own personal opinion, I think Hawks is maybe one of the greatest filmmakers because hes made a great movie in every genre, and hes just so understands movies, he made films with movie stars, and there were popular films that also expressed his personal point of view, his personal feelings about something; his feelings about masculinity, about male and female, uh, relationships, in comedy all throughout his movies regardless of how, sort of, studio-driven they were, they were his personal canvas to work on? that I admire a great deal and also his invisible, his invisible camera technique, which was, in a sense the technique of the thirties and forties when sound came in, and some of the great directors perfected their craft, Hawks included, uh, and Jean Ford? the invisible technique was that you didnt notice the camera in there, it was just in the right place, I always admired that, I think its deceptively simple? its hard to get that and to pull that off


I heard a story about how you cleverly avoided an MPAA X Rating on Assault on Precinct 13


I dont know how clever it was, well we had a scene where a little girl gets killed with a gun, and it was pretty horrible at the time, explicit, I dont think Id do it again but I was young and stupid, so there it is on the screen and the MPAA said they were going to give us an X, so the distributor of the movie suggested just cut it out, well show it to the MPAA and then just let it go as it was and those were the old days where they didnt check so much, so thats what we did so I dont know, I dont really think it was very clever, it was pretty ham-fisted

Well the one thing I have to say about me as a composer from my point of view is Im cheap and Im fast and Im riff-driven, meaning that most of the title themes in my films or most of the music is driven by a riff. If you think in rock n roll the most famous riff-driven band is the Rolling Stones, I can say Satisfaction to you and youd know the riff of it, well thats what I, you know, employ not as successfully but I use it and, gee, on Assault I had three days, or two days to do the soundtrack, so I was on a synthesizer, and a piano, and in that case you dont score the film, what you do is you record three or four or five pieces of music that you can use in various places and thats what I did in that case? very quick, very fast, very, uh, simple, and Ive always been inspired by Bernard Herman, who was a composer who was, I think, probably the best, who had this incredible impact, using very simple means, the best example of that being Psycho as a score with strings only, and his idea was more like a knife, or razor edged, and then the scene in the shower with the kind of attacking string section, but his work is just amazing, beautiful stuff, his clockwork, Bernard Herman, so that was inspired by him

I remember in one movie, in Christine, the mixers, I did a particular piece of music for a scene and they said to me we can use this under the whole movie, this supports the mood, and its just there invisibly, so it was a little like Hawks invisible camera style? music is kind of invisible, now theres another style of musical composition, kind of Max Steiner-esque? hes the king of Mickey Mouse, which is that you, Mickey Mousing is that you emphasize every movement on the screen, and then in King Kong is a perfect example that Mickey Mouses BOOM BOOM BOOM? every move is hit with music, and thats also great. The king of Mickey Mousing I would say is probably John Williams


You shot Halloween, once again on a very low budget, three hundred thousand dollars, very quickly? twenty one day schedule, is that in certain ways kind of creatively invigorating, to be under that kind of pressure?


You know its, its a great fantasy to say that, that having a low budget frees you, actually its terrifying because youre never sure whether youre going to make it, get all the work done, so youre operating in, under this enormous fear and pressure, and its not freeing. What it is, its focusing, like going into war, it focuses you on, as a director on saying ok, Im not going to be able to get this material, this script done the way I might prefer it so let me approach this in a different way, and how much can I get done in a single shot? in a wide shot that can carry me along, so Im not relying on a lot of setups, meaning you shoot something, light it, shoot it, move it, then you have to relight it? it just takes you time. So its it focuses your attention, and you just have to go for the essence of the scene, its very good for a director to have to do that I wouldnt say its fun or pleasant, its always nice to have enough time and money to do it, always nice

You do a low-budget film and you dont have a lot of choices, so for the mask for Michael Myers, we couldnt manufacture our own, so our production designer, Tommy Lee Wallace went up to Burt Wheelers magic shop on Hollywood Blvd and he bought two masks. One was a clown mask, so he wears a clown mask, and I suppose theres a certain iconic image to that, but the other choice, he bought a William Shatner mask which is doesnt look anything like William Shatner, but its a human face, with some fake hair on it and he spray-painted it, kind of paled it down, and changed the hair a little bit, changed the eye holes? that was more like what was written in the script, the script was written to say the pale features of a human face? its a face mask, is what it was meant to be, so thats the one that was the most effective? it was as simple as that

Having a lot of time and money creates its own problems ok, but its not necessarily a bad thing to have too much of anything, I dont think any directors going to tell you; oh my god, I have too much time on this film thats awful, cant we just cut some days out of this, can we cut the budget down? This is just terrible!? No, it was better but there are other pressures that go with that, that you trade off, yes you can take your time, you can shoot a film in the way you think is the best way to do it, but on the other hand there are certain things that, er, it kills your momentum in terms of theres something about the momentum in a film, if you can get the case and crew going at a speed that shows up on screen and, thats a problem youve got to watch out for that in bigger budget movies

Halloween came along and I had in mind the girl who was in Jaws 2, I cant remember her name now very talented actress and she didnt want anything to do with it, as a lot of people I wanted to be in Halloween. I wanted Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing to play in it and they didnt want to do it. So Deborah Hill, my partner at the time, the producer, suggested Jamie Lee, she was on a contract at Universal on a TV show called uh, cant remember the name of it now, Alzheimers has set it, and she was young, she was nineteen years old, a young actress and Deborah suggested it as an echo of Psycho. So Jamie came in and read and she was absolutely delightful and perfect for the part

The movie came out to these dreadful reviews, and it was platformed across the country, moved from region to region, so it would open in Los Angeles and then play in San Diego and then it would play in Phoenix and then slowly but surely the prints, and there werent many of them, would move across the country. By the time it got to the East Coast Ill bet those prints were in pretty bad shape it was a drive-in film, it was an exploitation horror film, but we got a good review in The Village Voice, kind of re-reviewed by people and it started, word of mouth started building on that movie and it began to make some bucks and I noticed it because people started paying attention to me, people began making offers to me to direct films, and that was the surest sign that it had become successful. Today I look back on it as just absolutely wonderful, its real lucky we were just trying to make a movie, hopefully, you know it was going to be something special but I cant say I knew that
My involvement with Rob Zombies remake was to extend my hand and have a cheque placed in it, and then close my hand and return to my position on the couch watching basketball


[Laughs] Did you think he did a pretty good job then?


I havent seen it, I have no comment, I dont know what to say and I will say this for you, Rob is a friend of mine, hes been a friend since ninety six (96), he did some music for me on a film I made, so Im not going to say anything about his version, its his, and Im not going to critique it


Lets go onto The Fog and, again you were working with Jamie Lee Curtis and you got to work this time, not just echoes of psycho, you got to work with Janet Leigh, what was that like?


Janet Leigh was fabulous, shes a real studio trained actress, back from the old days and one of the things that really impressed me was we had a scene where, its we shot it in a restaurant there in Point Reyes, California, and she had to break down and cry, and for technical reasons, because it was a very long sequence she had to do it over and over and over again, boy, she could do it every time, just: Bang Bang Bang? thats that old studio training, you know, she didnt have to sum it up, the emotion, she knew how to do it and, a very wonderful lady


One of the influences on the film is an obscure British movie called The Trollenberg Terror, how did you discover that?


[Laughs] I love that movie, well we, err, its, we in America I know that movie by its re-title called The Crawling Eye. The Crawling Eye was a movie I saw in 1958 when I was a kid? mainly the fog moving, thats the inspiration for it, we didnt have the big eyeballs crawling in the fog


And you also said a visit to Stonehenge was a big influence on The Fog


Just a visual, the fog moving across, standing in the plain there looking at Stonehenge and thinking this is smaller than I thought it would be, I thought it would be bigger, but its still impressive looking across the plain there? theres the fog. The fog? whats going on there, looks like a ghost story type thing, so thats what it was

Escape From New York was written in the seventies, and it was probably influenced a lot by Death Wish, the movie with Charles Bronson about a vigilante in New York killing, getting revenge for what happened to his family, that kind of thing, and that was I made it science fictional and I kind of thought of Clint Eastwood as the character would be playing it, its also based on a, kind of inspired roughly from a science fiction novel called either Planet of the Damned or Planet of No Return, I cant remember which, but the idea is this most dangerous planet in the galaxy and someone has to be sent in there, who do you get? The most dangerous man in the galaxy to go in, so that was the essential idea

Theres a big idea prison movie in the sense that New York is a prison? is the first thing you have to swallow, and the second thing you have to swallow is the president of the United States crashes in there, the third thing is that this eye patched guy goes in to rescue him and the rest is a sort of series of adventures.


James Cameron worked on that movie


Thats right


in the special effects department, did you have any inkling of what lay in store for him?


He was when I went over to visit the Corman facility, where the special effects were done, he was the genius, the resonant genius? everyone was talking about how great he was. I remember meeting him on the set, actually it was over in the San Fernando Valley, he was doing a glass painting for us, he was sitting on a hillside with some glass setup painting New York skyline to be able to shoot the next shot, it was just beautiful? he was really technically great. So I said hi to him, we talked a little bit and that was about it

Kurt and I met on Elvis, he played Elvis Presley? that was the three hour movie I did for television, and he was just terrific, you know, hes an all-timer, in the sense that he was a child actor, his discipline is beyond reproach? he comes ready to go, he knows how to he knows the job, the moviemaking job, and hes just enormously talented, so we became friends


Escape From New York, like a lot of your early films portrays a very post-apocalyptic future world, are you surprised that weve made it this far?


Actually yes, after the, err, Cuban Missile Crisis, which I lived through knowing what was going on and after that whole confrontation, the possibility of nuclear holocaust, everything is amazing to me now, everything that weve made it this far, and Im probably a short term Im a long term optimist but a short term pessimist, you know, I think its all fucked in the short term but in the long term it may work out

The Thing was a movie that was an assignment, thats the first movie that weve talked about that I did not write, that this was my first studio feature and, uh, it had nothing to do with the Hawks movie, thats one of the things that immediately from the beginning I decided not to even get near. Hawks film, well The Thing From Another World, that Christian Nyby directed, supposedly, was very much of its time in the fifties, very early fifties, it was flying saucer Kenneth Arnold inspired idea? it came from a short story called Who Goes There, actually a novella, so we went back to the novella, and uh, it has a lot of neat stuff in it, this whole imitative business was never covered in Hawks movie, so I just struck out on our own and this was the early eighties, eighty two (82), so I made it very dark but, somewhat I thought at the time, realistic movie, as opposed to a Hawks film was very idealized, in a sense. Errm, but those are the differences

The Thing and The Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness are essentially about the end of the world, in one way or the other; in a fanciful way, in a real way and thats in the end of the world theres no hope, you know, its gone, its over and those films suggest in a way, in their own individual ways; its all over, its done, you know, its time to whip her

It seemed to me that They Live was a needed a kind of working guy, non middle class, blue-collar guy whos a working poor, who are real and who are still real in this country so, uh, I thought he (Rowdy) had a quality about him and not the personality you see in the wrestling ring or in his interviews, not that over the top guy, but a different fella, but a little rough you know and it was terrific, he did a great job for me


And did he really come up with the line himself; Im here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but Im all out of bubblegum?


When we started working on the film together he gave me several sheets of paper and he said these are things that I have said that I made up for my wrestling interviews. Theyre lines that Ive used. If Im gonna do an interview about some wrestler Im gonna meet on Saturday night, Ill say these lines and some of them were not what I needed for the film but that particular one I thought thats pretty great? and we can use this, its way out of way out of context here in a way but its fun, its his, so he wrote it.


Do you think the film has, still, some relevant social commentary?


Thats never in it, thats still with us? They Live is a documentary about whats going on now relevance, of course, yeah its still here. Heres my philosophy on it, Ill just tell you? Ronald Reagan along with your gal there, Iron Lady Thatcher came into power my saying government was a problem, thats an absolute lie? good government is a solution, bad government is a problem, not government, thats all it is


What are your feelings on movie violence?


Thats a tough one, you know uh, because I defend the directors right to show almost anything, I think we all have to use our err, we have to use whats inside of us to be the judge of whats too much, on the other hand there are things that I think go too far child pornography, I think, goes too far. But theres a part of me that says yeah I can see, coz if you fake it I can understand, and theres another part of me thats the dichotomy, in the sense the battle with an artist if you approach if you approach a piece of material that has some real violence in it, you know uh, you have to figure out how to do it


How do you feel about the latest vogue in horror cinema?


I bet youre gonna say the words torture porn arent you? I bet youre gonna say that, and now you didnt say it, ok everybody says that

Horror movies always indicate something in the culture in which theyre made and I think if you just think a minute about the plots of a lot of these films, you have Americans going to another country, and are being tortured now if you think about our world, how does that fit in to what we know now?

The John Carpenter Collection is out on DVD on October 6th courtesy of Optimum Releasing.

Building a new Empire

How could you not have missed Star Wars: The Clone Wars releases last week, the ‘accidental’ Star Wars film only existing as George Lucas loved test footage from the TV show so much. Those magic people at LEGO have launch of a new range of vehicles and lego mini-figures based on scenes and characters from this new Star Wars film.

The attack vehicle of choice for General Grievous? elipersonal bodyguard, the MagnaGuard Starfighter (?39.99) is a formidable vessel. Heavily armed with deadly flick-firing missiles, the ship includes an opening cockpit and engine compartments, fold-down rear hull and two all-new MagnaGuard droid minifigures.

Battle the Separatist forces with the Republic?s V-19 Torrent (?49.99) and join the clone pilot in a deadly deep-space battle. With a geared wing and landing gear system that can automatically switch between landing and flying mode, the V-19 also includes flick missiles, opening cockpit and all-new clone trooper pilot minifigure.

An intimidating armoured assault vehicle, the AT-TE Walker (?69.99) dominates the battlefield. With articulated legs for propulsion, the AT-TE also features LEGO Technic firing missiles function and opening hatches that reveal the detailed cabin and crew bay. Providing the perfect armoured hide-out for Anakin and his padawan learner Ahsoka, as featured in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, the set also includes six new mini-figures, including clone trooper, battle droid on STAP, Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka.

A rugged, combat-equipped repulsorcraft, the Republic Attack Gunship (?79.99) rains down blistering barrages of laser and rocket retribution against the droid forces of the Separatists. Offering air-to-ground and air-to-air support as well as serving as an infantry transport, the winged gunship is heavily armed with flick missiles and also includes a separate speeder bike concealed within its hull.

Multi-use compartments, flip-open cockpits and opening side doors conceal 5 mini-figures: new versions of Commander Cody, clone trooper and Obi-Wan Kenobi, alongside Jedi Knight Plo Koon and the villainous Asajj Ventress, a Sith Lord equipped with a double lightsaber. BUY HERE NOW
LEGO? Star Wars? is available from all good toy shops nationwide from August 2008. For further information head to www.LEGO.com

Also Check out here for rare, hard to find and exclusive Star Wars Lego sets

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Rob Cohen Interview

With the release of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor this weekend scifind.com presents a glimpse into the mind of director Rob Cohen.

Director of The Mummy’s third movie installment, Rob Cohen is tired, sitting here in this Soho Hotel. This interview is made in early June when Rob Cohen is in the finishing stages of post-production supervising the scoring for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with London?s Symphony Orchestra. Rob appears to be enjoying himself, his wife has recently given birth to triplets and he is full of enthusiasm for his vision of the latest instalment of the Mummy franchise.

Q: How?s the scoring going?

Rob Cohen: It?s fantastic, Randy Edelman has done such a great job with the music but having it scored by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road, you cannot get any better, you cannot do better! It has just been a joy. And I wanted to do some publicity while I was here because now I am a father of 3 new babies, so if I can talk to people while I?m here it will be easier than trying to arrange coming back.

The Mummy Director Rob Cohen

Q: Can you tell us what Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is all about?

Rob Cohen: To unite the themes, it?s about the quest for immortality. But this time, the quest for immortality is uniquely Chinese. And uniquely invested in a real historical personage. This Emperor, the first Emperor of China, was a very complex character. He was a genius of nation building but he was brutal beyond conception. And after he conquered all of China, unified the written language, unified the road system, unified the money, he then turned his entire life force to becoming immortal. And basically from my research, I think, he died prematurely trying to be immortal.

The seed of the script was that this Emperor and the Terracotta Army of Shi Haung were the mummies and if he comes back alive, he?s going to raise the army and conquer the world again. The idea that I could bring the Terracotta Army of Shi Haung up above ground, and back into battle and that they would be the mummies and that Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, Isabella Young and Michelle Yeoh would have to find a way to battle them was just too tempting.

And so that?s really what it?s about, plus it has creatures for the first time. Jet-Li plays a shapeshifter and at a certain point in his ?reboot? as a mummy, he gets back the ability to become a three-headed dragon as well as this big pit-bull temple guardian dog! Plus we have the Yeti and all the undead that built the Great Wall of China that were buried underneath. It has 949 visual effects shots, all very complex 3D work, I have 338 to go. It?s a movie that?s different in tone from the others, it?s not so goofy, its got humour but it?s not jokes. Brendan is much more real, he?s struggling with a son and the son is struggling with a dominant dad. Old bull, young bull. It?s got a lot of cool stuff in it!

Q: Did you have any concerns about taking on the franchise and resurrecting it?

Rob Cohen: No, not really. I?ve never done a sequel to my own movies and I don?t like the sequels that have been done to my movies. The point is, I think there is always new and fresh stuff to do. And that?s what made my career, looking for the new thing that would be challenging and exciting trying to figure out. Once I read the script, I knew what I wanted to do with it, which was to change it a lot.

Q: How did you go about changing the script?

Rob Cohen: I went to see the producers, including Stephen Sommers, and I said, ?look, it has to be a movie of mine, not a movie that?s sort of a movie of yours? and I wanted it to be clear on what that would mean. I laid out my 10 talking points about the script and the casting and I said if you like these ideas then we should go to the studio but if you don?t like this then let?s not. They talked and they felt comfortable.

Q: And what was different about the movie you had in mind?

Rob Cohen: I don?t like goofy humour or slapstick. I like adrenaline inducing action, not people making jokes in the middle of the action. I just like there to be jeopardy and tension and I like it to be a ride and fun. I?m not trying to turn it into The Bourne Identity, but it?s got to be closer to the Raiders (of the Lost Ark) model. Everyone was behind that. And that?s when we got going and that?s why I didn?t have any fear because it was basically, ?I?m going to do my version of a Chinese movie about mummies?, as opposed to ?I?m doing The Mummy 3?, and this is why I changed the title to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor as opposed to The Mummy 3. So it?s its own new thing.

Q: And what were the biggest challenges?

Rob Cohen: Well the special effects were a big thing. But the biggest challenge was to get a script and get a cast and get a story that made you really invest in the people. That?s always the hardest thing. I learned from Stealth, I made a profound set of mistakes. I got caught up of with doing a movie in the air at mach 3 and I worked so hard on solving these impossible technical challenges that seemed so difficult that I lost the people and when you lose the people, the effects just become nothing. If you got great characters and then there?s some flashy action or special effect stuff, then everybody is cool because they are invested in the characters. So I learned, and that was the challenge. Can we tell a family story that actually has emotion in the middle of this big spectacle? I think we did that and I think you will be surprised at the connection you will feel.

Q: There is a wealth of acting talent on show in this movie, what was it like working with such a fantastic cast?

Rob Cohen: We worked our asses off and we suffered through some pretty intense conditions in the deserts and in China. I mean, daily I had to find a new place to use as the bathroom!
It brought us closer together, we lived in a dingy Chinese 2 star hotel at night and it took over an hour and a half to get from the set to the hotel each way ? there were pot holes in the roads to the point that you had to go 1 mile an hour so you don?t break the axles! And these people were with me but never ever complained. Everybody laughed about how tough it was but nobody went, ?I?m calling my agent, I don?t have my double banger trailer!? I mean, Brendan, Maria, Jet, Michelle, there were all out there, Luke, Isabella, Russell and everyone dealt with it and you will feel that in the performances. They are there, you aren?t in some CG green screen world, not Morocco, you are in China. Really in China. And you feel it because China has a very unique energy and it?s very visually rich and I tried to make the film have that cultural richness. The first 10 minutes of the film are in ancient Mandarin with no English.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is released on the 6th August 2008.

Lost Boys 2: The Tribe

I have been waiting for this for a while now, I did hope for a cinema release as Lost Boys was one of my favourite 80’s coming of age vampire movies. But any release for Lost Boys 2: The Tribe is better than none, and yes it is direct to DVD – but I am not worried, it is destined to be quality vampire fun.

The Lost Boys, If you don’t know the plot of the Lost Boys shame on you, get down to the video store or amazon now and rent/buy it. You should know that The Lost Boys remains today as one of the most popular and iconic feature films ever made transforming the humble vampire into a swaggering cult phenomenon – both on the big and small screens. Where would Buffy, Charmed and Supernatural be without the brothers Frog? And this all new chapter of the cult classic – Lost Boys 2: The Tribe will continue to enthrall fans both old and new. The film, which is directed by P.J. Pesce from a script by Hans Rodionoff, brings Corey Feldman and Corey Haim back together on screen for the first time in 20 years. (Passing Strangers) keeping things in the family and following in his famous half brother?s footsteps by playing the part of a vampire. The film also stars Tad Hilgenbrinck (American Pie: Band Camp) as Chris Emerson and Autumn Reeser (The O.C.) as Nicole Emerson.

A wonderful homage to The Lost Boys legend, Lost Boys 2: The Tribe sets a sinister tone of impending doom that fans will find irresistible as they follow the story of a brother and sister who move to a sleepy surf town in California, only to get mixed up with a gang of surfers and extreme sports junkies that are more than they appear to be.

Lost Boys 2: The Tribe also features a remake of the iconic The Lost Boys song ?Cry Little Sister? by G Tom Mac. (Which I think may be a bad idea – I never like remixes – well with some exceptions) The updated version of the classic song is performed by the post-hardcore band Aiden. The up-and-coming band Canadian band ?Yeah Whatever? also have a cameo in the film.

Released as a celebratory 2 disc set with the original film, you couldn?t hope for a more enticing fright fest of gore.


Never grow old. You?ll never die. And you?ll never know fear again.

The sequel to the 1987 cult hit The Lost Boys takes us to the shady surf city of Luna Bay, California, where vampires quickly dispatch anyone who crosses their path. Into this dark world arrive Chris Emerson and his younger sister, Nicole. Having just lost their parents (their father is Michael Emerson, Jason Patric in the original Lost Boys) in a car accident, the siblings move in with their eccentric Aunt Jillian and become new prey for the locals? way of life. When Nicole unwittingly falls for a local vampire, Chris must locate and destroy the gang?s lifeline before his sisters transformation is complete. To do this Chris finds himself relying on the expertise of none other than Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) and Sam Emerson (Corey Haim).

Release Information:

Release Date: 8 September 2008

Format: 2 disc DVD release: Lost Boys 2: The Tribe and The Lost Boys

RRP: ?15.99

Cat No: DY18378

Barcode: 7321902183787

Special Features: Alternate Endings

Lost Boys 2: The Tribe Action Junkies featurettes

Edgar Frog?s Guide To Coming Back featurettes

?Cry Little Sister? video

Three Yeah Whatever videos: Downfall, Hell is Full and It?s Over Now

Chemical Wedding

So what do you get if you cross Iron Maiden, Monty Python, a classic British actor and an Edwardian occultist?
Well I suppose you get Chemical Wedding, a big mish mash of the above, with some virtual reality mumbo jumbo added for good measure.
The film is written by Julian Doyle ( and Bruce Dickinson (Classic Iron Maiden Lead).

In a laboratory at Cambridge University, a state-of-the-art virtual reality suit is being linked to the world’s biggest super computer. Unknown to his colleagues, programmer and occult obsessive Victor Neumann has been secretly uploading all of the late Aleister Crowley’s black magic ceremonies into the computer in binary form, intending to fuse science and magic with the help of his accomplice, the stuttering Classics lecturer Dr. Haddo. When Haddo enters the suit, the addition of a random chaos equation to the mix results in his apparent transformation into Crowley himself. Wreaking havoc with the students and faculty, the professor’s new found arrogance and depraved appetites mirror the nature of his dead leader to the point where he believes himself to be the reincarnation of Crowley. Realising Haddo has knowledge that only the real Crowley could possibly possess, his colleagues finally accept that the incredible may be true and they are forced to focus their attentions on finding a way to send “The Beast” back to the hell from which he came.

Starring Simon Callow as Aleister Crowley, the film is available on DVD on the 8th September 2008. Special Features include: “Making of Chemical Wedding” ? documentary; Commentary with Writer/Director Julian Doyle, Co-writer Bruce Dickinson and Producer Ben Timlett, Deleted Scenes and UK?theatrical trailer.

Watchmen First Trailer

“Watchmen” is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight.

Based on the classic comic book, it, unfortunatly merges into the scenery of a media environment packed with the likes of The Incredibles, Heroes, Fantastic 4 etc.

But this film should surpass all of these – I suggest that you find a copy of Watchmen comic books / Watchmen Trade Paperbacks and get up to speed

Watchmen comes to cinemas in Spring 2009

Coming In August On The Scifi Channel UK


On SCI FI the Thunderbirds are coming starting with a special launch weekend on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 then this iconic puppetry series continues every weekday at 11am and 5pm.

HEROES (Season 2)

If you missed it on BBC 2 Friday nights at 9pm from August 15 is when you NEED to tune in. Scifi have kindly scheduled it in double-bills so that if you missed its terrestrial premiere, you can catch up in no time. If you haven?t heard of the show, then all we can say is ?Welcome back from the pole?.

Doctor Who – Classics

Apparently there is to be a DOCTOR WHO stunt on the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Starting on Saturday 23 at midday, there are at least four feature-length episodes from the cult series each and every day. With TOM BAKER and PETER DAVISON playing the iconic Timelord, this is British science fiction at its very best.


Yes they made a series 2, just hoping it is better than the first (sorry Stan) every Sunday at 8pm.

Indie’s Crystal Skull at British Museum

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is released to dvd and Blu Ray on 10th November 2008. With Crystal Skulls being the one enigma in the new film; here is some information about the Crystal Skill at the British Museum in London.

What is it?

A life-size carving of a human skull made from a single block of rock crystal (a clear, colourless variety of quartz). It was acquired by the Museum in 1897 purporting to be an ancient Mexican object. However scientific research conducted by the Museum has established that the skull was most likely produced in the 19th century in Europe. As such the object is not an authentic pre-Columbian artefact.

How did it enter the collection?

The skull was purchased by the Museum from Tiffany and Co, New York in 1897. At the time of its purchase, the skull was said to have been brought from Mexico by a Spanish officer before the French occupation (in 1863). It was sold to an English collector and acquired at his death by Eugene Boban, a French antiquities dealer, later becoming the property of Tiffany and Co. The skull was exhibited for many years at the Museum of Mankind in Piccadilly (which housed the British Museum’s Ethnographic collection), it is currently on permanent display at the British Museum in the Wellcome Trust Gallery (room 24).

What scientific research has been undertaken?

The British Museum has examined the skull several times between 1950 and 1990. In 1996 an on-going collaborative project focusing on the British Museum’s skull and a skull in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC was started. Contrary to popular belief there are currently no scientific techniques which can be used to accurately establish when a stone or mineral object was produced. Research has therefore focused on how the skulls were carved, where the quartz originated from and what is known about the early history of the skulls. Observations made under a binocular microscope and in a scanning electron microscope suggest that the techniques of carving used to produce the skulls post-dated the Aztec period. The tool marks on the skulls do not match those on other Aztec period rock-crystal objects, which were invariably carved by hand. It is most likely that the British Museum skull was worked with a rotary wheel (or jeweller’s wheel), which was unknown in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans. The research also suggests that the rock crystal used in the manufacture of the British Museum’s skull may have come from Brazil, an area outside of the ancient trade network of Mexico.

Do others exist?

There is a larger white quartz skull in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC and a number of other large skulls in private ownership. There are also a number of smaller rock crystal skulls. It seems highly unlikely that any are genuine Aztec objects. Large rock crystal skulls first began to surface in public and private collections, during the second half of the nineteenth century, and an increasing number of large and small quartz skulls have become known in recent decades, mostly in private hands. However, no such skull has ever been reported from well-documented official archaeological excavation. Archival research has, in addition, produced a link between the British Museum”’ and another rock crystal skull (in the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris). Both skulls passed through the hands of the French dealer Eugene Boban, raising suspicions regarding their provenance.

Why were the skulls produced?

It is impossible to be sure why the skulls were produced. It maybe that they were produced to satisfy demand in the US and Europe in the nineteenth century when interest in collecting Mexican material was at its height.

Are there any genuine Aztec crystal skulls?

It seems unlikely, since no quartz crystal skull has ever been found on any of the many well-documented official archaeological excavations of ancient sites.

Did the Aztecs make these kinds of objects?

Skulls and skull imagery feature in Aztec art at the time of the first contact with the Spanish in 1519. However they were usually carved in relief in basalt as architectural elements rather than produced in rock crystal or white quartz.

Do they have special powers?

There are some who claim that crystal skulls have healing qualities, emit energy, have the ability to convey vital information or are repositories of ancient wisdom. Large quartz crystal skulls have generated great interest and fascination since they began to surface in public and private collections during the second half of the nineteenth century. The British Museum views the skull in its collection as an enigmatic object of great interest but with no supernatural properties.

What is the British Museum’s response to the new movie?

As entertainment the movie will surely appeal to the public, but it is very much a work of fiction. We hope, however, that it will encourage visitors to see the skull at the British Museum and to learn more about Aztec culture.

More information can be found by visiting: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aoa/r/rock_crystal_skull.aspx