Jack the Giant Killer released June 13, 1962

Jack the Giant Killer

Jack the Giant Killer (1962) is a United Artists feature film starring Kerwin Mathews in a fairy tale story about a young man who defends a princess against a sorcerer’s giants and demons. The film was loosely based on the traditional tale “Jack the Giant Killer” and features extensive use of stop motion animation. The film was directed by Nathan H. Juran and later re-edited and re-released as a musical by producer Edward Small.

Trivia:

Producer Edward Small re-released this film as a musical. Songs were dubbed onto the soundtrack. Some of the footage was doctored to make it look like some of the original cast were singing rather than speaking their dialog.
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This was producer Edward Small’s attempt to cash in on the huge success of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). He even hired the same director (Nathan Juran), hero (Kerwin Mathews) and villain (Torin Thatcher).
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The film was unreleased in the UK until 1967 and then received cuts for an ‘A’ certificate to edit the witch attack on the ship, Princess Elaine being attacked by the giant, and Jack’s fight with the dragon.

 

The Brood released June 1, 1979 (CA)

The Brood

The Brood is a 1979 Canadian horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar and Art Hindle. It was filmed in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario. In 2004, one of its sequences was voted #78 among the “100 Scariest Movie Moments” by the Bravo Channel. The Brood was named 88th on the “Chicago Film Critics Association’s 100 Scariest Movies of All-Time”.  The film was Cronenberg’s first major success.


A novelization was written by Richard Starks.

Trivia:

David Cronenberg wrote the film following the tumultuous divorce and child-custody battle he waged against Margaret Hindson. Cronenberg also said that Samantha Eggar’s character, Nola Carveth, possessed some of the characteristics of his ex-wife.
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Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 science fiction film starring Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, and Bradford Dillman. It is the second sequel to the Planet of the Apes movie of 1968, the first sequel being Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). Its plot centers around many social issues of the day including race, social status, scientific experimentation on animals, nuclear war and government intrusion as well as women’s rights.

In this film, actor Roddy McDowall returns to recreate the character of Cornelius which he created but did not portray in its entirety in the previous film. A new character of Dr. Milo is introduced played by actor Sal Mineo, who hoped his career would gain from the new project much as McDowall’s career had from participating in the first film. Charlton Heston, star of the first film and supporting actor in the second, appears in this third installment only in two brief flashback sequences.

Trivia:

The film’s villain, Dr. Hasslein, had been briefly mentioned at the beginnings of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970).
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Sal Mineo found the make-up uncomfortable, so the script was re-written to kill his character off earlier than planned. This was Mineo’s final theatrical film.
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The third of five Planet of the Apes movies starring Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter.
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Roddy McDowall and Natalie Trundy are the only cast members to appear in 4 of the 5 original “Planet of the Apes” movies. Roddy McDowall appeared all except the first sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). Natalie Trundy did not appear in the original Planet of the Apes (1968) movie, but appeared in all 4 sequels.

 

Pierce Brosnan Birthday May 16

pierce brosnan

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE (born 16 May 1953) is an Irish actor, film producer and environmentalist who holds Irish and American citizenship. After leaving school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, but trained at the Drama Centre in London for three years. Following a stage acting career he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982-87).

After Remington Steele, Brosnan took the lead in many films such as Dante’s Peak and The Thomas Crowne Affair. He took over from Timothy Dalton as secret agent James Bond, starring in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day (1995- 2002). He also provided his voice and likeness to Bond in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing and James Bond 007: Nightfire. Since playing Bond he has starred in such successes as The Matador (nominated for a Golden Globe, 2005) and Mamma Mia! (National Movie Award, 2008).

In 1996, along with Beau St. Clair, Brosnan formed Irish DreamTime, a Los Angeles-based production company. In later years, he has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism.

He was married to Australian actress Cassandra Harris from 1977 until her early death in 1991. He married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, becoming an American citizen in 2004.

Trivia:

He adopted his first wife Cassandra Harris’s children, Charlotte Brosnan (b. 1972) and Christopher Brosnan (b. 1973), after their father died in 1986.

Was made a Freeman of Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland (the town he lived in until he moved to England in 1964) on 11th November 1999.

Owns his own production company, Irish DreamTime. Its first release was The Nephew (1998).

Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful” people in the world. [1996]

Chosen by People magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” in the world. [1991]

The very first film he claims to have seen is the 007 movie Goldfinger (1964).

Enjoys fishing on the River Towy in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Jimmy Carter (former American President) also enjoys the same fishing spot.

Is the third actor to play James Bond in more than two films, along with Roger Moore and Sean Connery.

At the Genesis Awards Ceremony, reunited with “Remington Steele” (1982) co-star Stephanie Zimbalist. [1996]

On December 28, 1991, one day after their 11th wedding anniversary, his wife, Cassandra Harris, died in his arms. She died of ovarian cancer.

His mother, May, was 19 when she gave birth to him. She had married his father, Thomas, on August 16, 1952. However, his parents separated when he was still a baby, and from the age of 4 he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Philip and Kathleen Smith, while his mother went to London to train as a nurse. When he was 6, both grandparents died and he was passed around amongst relatives until Eileen Reilly took him into her lodging house. Finally, when he was 10, his mother was able to take him to her home in Putney, London. While in London, May had met a man, named Bill Carmichael, who had asked her to marry him, but she wanted approval from her son. Pierce gave his approval and the couple were married. From that point on, Bill treated Pierce as his real son and they got along fine. It was Bill who took Pierce to see his first Bond movie, Goldfinger (1964), and it was at that point that decided to take up acting.

At the age of 11 he was almost six feet tall, making him a target of bullies.

Voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 2001.

Is claustrophobic, which made the filming of certain scenes in Dante’s Peak (1997) very difficult.

He was voted sixth in the Orange 2001 film survey of greatest British film actors ever.

In addition to his salary for his James Bond movies, Brosnan received a car. The BMW Z3 from GoldenEye (1995), an 8-series BMW (instead of the 750iL) from Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and the Z8 from The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Early in his screen career he portrayed the title role in the TV series “Remington Steele” (1982). His character was a career criminal gone “straight” as a private investigator, with an amazing knowledge of and obsession with classic cinema. In the episode “To Catch a Steele” (original air date 2/11/83, episode 15), Steele equates the case he is working on to The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), starring Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. Sixteen years later Brosnan starred in the remake of that movie, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).

He was given an honorary OBE by Britain’s ambassador to Ireland, Stewart Eldon, on 8/19/03. Honorary OBEs are awarded on merit by the Queen to non-British citizens who have made an important contribution to British interests. The award formally makes him “an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”.

After the release of Die Another Day (2002), he was approached by a man in a Dublin bar who asked to shake his hand. He complied and then cracked up when the man said, “That’s the closest my hand will ever get to Halle Berry’s arse [butt].”.

On August 12, 1964, as an 11-year-old he flew, for the first time, from Ireland to the UK to join his mother May, the very day that Ian Fleming died.

Three sons: Sean Brosnan (b. September 13, 1983), Dylan Thomas (b. January 13, 1997) and Paris Beckett (b. February 27, 2001). He also has two adopted children, Charlotte Brosnan (b. 1971) and Christopher Brosnan (b. 1973).

He says that his favorite Bond films are From Russia with Love (1963) and For Your Eyes Only (1981), and that his least favorite Bond film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

Became an American citizen on 23 September 2004 but still plans to keep his Irish citizenship.

He studied under Yat Malmgren, a dancer and drama teacher who also worked with Sean Connery in the 1950s and is credited with helping him develop a strong sense of movement and presence.

According to the James Bond tailors in London, he has been both the lightest and heaviest of all the James Bonds. The tailors who fitted him for his Bond films state that in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995), he weighed 164 pounds, making him the lightest actor to play Bond. However, in his fourth Bond movie, Die Another Day (2002), he weighed 211 pounds, making him the heaviest actor to play Bond.

He says that the first two films he saw at the cinema, Goldfinger (1964) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), are also the two films that have had the most influence on him.

Graduated from the prestigious MA program at the Drama Center in London, England.

After Timothy Dalton was unavailable, Brosnan was originally chosen to play 007 in 1986 and was given the script to “The Living Daylights”. Although he was contracted to “Remington Steele” (1982) for seven seasons, NBC decided to cancel the show at the end of the fourth season, which meant that Brosnan was free to play James Bond in The Living Daylights the following year. However, shortly after the end of the fourth season, NBC had second thoughts about canceling Remington Steele and subsequently approached the Bond producers directly in an attempt to strike a deal that would allow Brosnan to play both James Bond and Remington Steele the following year. NBC also offered to completely reschedule the shooting of Remmington Steele to ensure that there were no scheduling conflicts. But eventually, Albert Broccoli famously told NBC that “James Bond will not be Remington Steele and Remington Steele will not be James Bond.” Accordingly, Brosnan would only play Bond if the show remained canceled. NBC had a 60 day deadline to revoke their decision to cancel Remmington Steele series and at 6.30pm on the 60th day of the deadline, Brosnan learned that NBC decided to make a fifth season. So, the role of the new James Bond went to Timothy Dalton. NBC went on to make only six episodes of the fifth season of Remington Steele before finally canceling the show for good.

Was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989).

Brosnan’s Bond was mainly dressed with shirts and ties from Turnbull & Asser, shoes from Church’s, and suits from the Italian company Brioni. The cuff links and the belts were mostly Dunhill’s.

In 2004, Quentin Tarantino expressed an interest in directing Brosnan in a version of Casino Royale (2006), but was turned down by the Bond producers.

He is a professional “fire eater”, having performed a fire eating act in a circus at a young age. Knowing this, the writers for “Remington Steele” (1982) asked him to hone his skills as a fire eater for an episode during the series’ second season, entitled “High Flying Steele”, where Remington and Laura are to go undercover in a circus.

Is a fan of “Doctor Who” (1963).

He and fellow Bond actor Sean Connery have both played King Arthur. Connery played him in First Knight (1995) and Brosnan provided the voice of Arthur in Quest for Camelot (1998).

Quit smoking cigarettes before the release of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

While it may be incorrect to suggest that Brosnan was fired from the role of James Bond, since technically the producers simply chose not to renew his contract, they had agreed in principle to collaborate on a fifth Bond film before the producers pulled from negotiations. This makes Brosnan the first Bond to end his reign not of his own accord.

Supported John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

He’s an only child.

Met his Bond predecessor Sir Sean Connery for the first time at The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) (TV), but only for a few minutes.

Due to rising budgets and declining audiences, Brosnan’s last three Bond films were the only ones in the series to not take more than five times their cost. Even Timothy Dalton’s two films took in more than five times their budget, and George Lazenby’s one Bond film (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) more than ten. Whether you go by budget-to-gross or inflation-adjusted ratios, Brosnan’s films did average business. Die Another Day (2002) in particular, despite being the second highest grossing Bond after Casino Royale (2006) before inflation, made the smallest profit on its theatrical run of any Bond movie – a major reason for revamping the franchise. Sean Connery’s Bond films remain the most successful, with Thunderball (1965) having taken 22 times its cost at the worldwide box-office.

He is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gun control and protecting the environment.

The production of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) was a troubled one, owing in part to the producers agreeing to have the film ready for a December release. Brosnan rejected the script after it had been rewritten; it was then rewritten again during filming by the writer of the original script; director and scriptwriter were not talking to each other, and Brosnan and Teri Hatcher were not compatible. The film cost around $110 million, but only took in more than $346 million at the box office worldwide.

Shares two roles with two previous James Bonds. He and Sean Connery have also both played King Arthur. He and David Niven have also both played Phileas Fogg, Niven in Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) and Brosnan in “Around the World in 80 Days” (1989/I).

In addition to playing a small role in The Broken Chain (1993) (TV), actor Girard Swan briefly worked as Brosnan’s stand-in.

Spent three years studying acting at The Drama Centre, in north London in his early years.

Nicknamed “Colonel Chunky” by the crew on Mamma Mia! (2008).

Attended Elliot Secondary School, Putney, South London in the 1960s.

After being chosen to play “James Bond”, Brosnan wasn’t allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other film. This posed a problem for the wardrobe staff of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).

He’s Meryl Streep’s close friend.

His favourite comic actor is the former Python, John Cleese.

Lives in Malibu, California.

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me is a 1981 American slasher movie filmed in Canada & directed by J. Lee Thompson, written by John C.W. Saxton and starring Melissa Sue Anderson and Glenn Ford. It was released May 15, 1981. The film has since become something of a cult classic among fans of the slasher genre, who primarily hail it for its bizarre (and vicious) murder scenes and its twisted climactic revelation.


Trivia:

When certain cast members were stuck in their gore make-up for numerous hours, they decided to walk around the neighborhood scaring the wits out of people.


The press reported that in order to keep the “twist” ending a secret several endings were shot. This is untrue but helped hide the fact that while shooting, the film had no ending. The script was written with one ending that made sense to the story, but did not have a twist. So producers proceeded to film while tinkering with a twist. This explains why there is no build up to the ending.

 


Most ads and posters for film carried a photo of a young man about to be orally impaled with a skewer of meat and vegetables, with the slogan “John Will Never Eat Shish Kebab Again.” However, there is no character in the movie with this name.

 


Many fans were upset with the 2004 DVD release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment because, not only did it have a completely different cover to that of the infamous original poster and VHS cover, it featured a disco score in place of the atmospheric piano piece that originally played over the opening credits in theaters and VHS releases. In 2009, Anchor Bay/Starz Home Entertainment re-released the DVD using the original poster as the cover and restoring the original music over the opening sequence.

 

Critters released April 11, 1986

Critters


Critters is a 1986 action sci-fi comedy horror film starring Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush and Scott Grimes. It was directed by Stephen Herek and written by Don Keith Opper and Stephen Herek. It is part of the Critters series.

Trivia:

Terrence Mann actually perform the song “Power of the Night” as Johnny Steele, especially for this movie.

Body count: 2.

There are a total of five (5) poison spikes shot from the Critters.

There are only 2 deaths on-screen, all other characters are simply just ‘harmed’.

The Return of Dracula 1958

The Return of Dracula is a 1958 horror film directed by Paul Landres.  Starring Francis Lederer (as Count Dracula), Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn, Jimmy Baird and Greta Granstedt.

Plot: After a vampire leaves his native Balkans, he murders a Czech artist, assumes his identity, and moves in with the dead man’s American cousins.

Trivia:

  • This film was first released as the top half of a double bill with The Flame Barrier (1958).
  • Ray Stricklyn noted in his autobiography “Angels & Demons” that co-star Norma Eberhardt had one blue eye and one brown eye. If you look carefully at a few of her closeups, even in this black and white film, you can notice the difference.
  • The original theatrical release prints contained a brief shot, lasting several seconds, that was in color. When the stake is driven into Jennie’s heart, there is a close-up of bright red blood spurting from the wound. The approximately three foot section of color film was manually spliced into the black and white prints.
  • Slither released March 31, 2006

    Slither

    Slither is a 2006 comedy horror film produced by Gold Circle Films and Strike Entertainment, released by Universal, written and directed by James Gunn, and starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, Tania Saulnier and Jenna Fischer, and was produced by Paul Brooks and Eric Newman. Slither was James Gunn’s directorial debut, and was influenced by B movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Shivers.

    Trivia:

    • DIRECTOR CAMEO (James Gunn): as another teacher at Starla’s school
    • People, places and buildings, throughout the film, allude to various late-20th-century monster movies. See Movie Connections for specifics.
    • Jenna and Emily Strutemyer were named after Jenna Fischer, director James Gunn’s wife, and her sister.
    • Cameo: [Rob Zombie] voice of Dr. Grant, talking to Starla on the phone
    • Haig Sutherland was the first person to be cast. Elizabeth Banks was the second. Gregg Henry was the last actor to be seen for the part (out of more than 100 actors from Los Angeles and Vancouver) and nailed his audition. Nathan Fillion was the last actor to be cast, about a week before shooting began. Shooting lasted 47 days.
    • In the script, Jack tells Bill that Brenda is the niece of Randy Flagg. Randall Flagg is the bad guy in several Stephen King novels including “The Stand” (1994).

     

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920 poster

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 horror silent film based upon Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and starring actor John Barrymore.

    The film was directed by John S. Robertson and co-starred Nita Naldi, and is now in the Public Domain

    This story of split personality, has Dr. Jekyll a kind and charitable man who believes that everyone has two sides, one good and one evil. Using a potion, his personalities are split, creating havoc.

    Trivia:

    • Many adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson’s novelette were written as plays and performed; the earliest in the United States by Thomas Russell Sullivan opened in Boston on 9 May 1887 and moved to New York City on 12 May 1887.
    • In the short Renaissance flashback memory sequence, where Hyde is explaining to Gina about the poisonous mysteries of his secret ring, set pieces and costumes were brought from “The Jest”. That was a hit play in which John Barrymore had starred with brother Lionel Barrymore on Broadway in 1919 before shooting this picture.
    • John Barrymore hauled many of his prized potted plants from his apartment to the set to appear in scenery in the movie.
    • This was one of the first major productions filmed in Paramount’s then new Astoria Long Island studios. Opened in 1919 the studios underwent a major soundproofing renovation when talkies arrived in 1929.
    • Tallulah Bankhead was originally offered the role of Millicent, which eventually went to Martha Mansfield.

    Andy Warhols Frankenstein

    Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein is a 1973 horror film directed by Paul Morrissey and produced by Andy Warhol, Andrew Braunsberg, Louis Peraino, and Carlo Ponti. Starring Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren and Arno Juerging, and filmed in the famous Cinecittà by a crew of Italian master filmmakers, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein is suffused with the crumbling glamour of old Italian films, paying homage to (while simultaneously parodying) the earnest and stark visual and psychological beauty of the horror films on which it is based. Morrissey’s sense of ironic detachment gives the film a gruesomely comic modernity and beauty all its own.

    In the United States, the film was marketed as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, and was presented in the Space-Vision 3-D process in premiere engagements. It was rated X by the MPAA, due to its explicit sexuality and violence. A 3-D version also played in Australia in 1986, along with Blood for Dracula, an obvious pairing. In the seventies a 3-D version played in Stockholm, Sweden. In subsequent US DVD releases, the film was retitled Flesh for Frankenstein, while the original title was used in other regions.

    The film was later cut to 93 minutes for an R-rating, thereby increasing its ability to be screened in more theaters. The U.S. DVD releases have utilized the full uncut version, which is now unrated. The film had its television premiere in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2009 and was broadcast in 3D as part of Channel 4′s 3D Week.

    Trivia:

    • Originally filmed in 3D, although most presentations found today are in 2D.
    • While some Italian prints give second unit director Antonio Margheriti credit as co-director, Udo Kier has stated that Margheriti had nothing to do with directing the movie.
    • Both this film and Dracula cerca sangue di vergine… e morì di sete!!! (1974) shared many of the same sets and the same principal cast (Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, and Arno Juerging).

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