Saturday, June 6, 2015
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a busy week with new roommates moving in (and of course former roommates moving out) and getting ready for the National Homebrewers Conference next week in San Diego. Did I mention that we were going? Maybe a few months ago… but yeah, Izzy & I are taking about a week off to enjoy the San Diego area including the three-day homebrewers conference where we’ll have a booth for the SF Homebrewers Guild, check out the San Diego Zoo & even a quick stay at probably my favorite hotel in the entire world… The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Anyway, more on that in a future entry… but it’s going to be a fantastic vacation!
Tuesday night, I watched a Netflix streaming movie called “The Horde”. This movie… is pretty badass. The story starts out with a dead cop… and his fellow officers& family around the grave at the funeral… and there’s only one thing that will cure the pain… VENGEANCE!!! So a group of four plan an unofficial “Raid: Redemption” style assault on an abandoned apartment building where the criminals who killed the cop are housed… and things are going good… until they get to the last room… and then sh*t goes awry & the criminals have captured them. Oh… and just when they’re figuring out how to kill these officers on an unofficial assault… something is going on outside… the city is on fire… and the Zombie Apocalypse has begun! Now these officers & criminals have to join forces just to make it out of the building that is under assault from HUNDREDS of undead marauders! There are subtitles… but the premise of the movie is pretty cool… and the action scenes are pretty intense… and I just REALLY enjoyed this movie. It’s definitely a Man Movie… but pretty damn good and only 90 minutes… if you like zombie survival movies and/or “The Walking Dead” you’ll enjoy the hell out of it. Check it out.
Thursday night, Izzy & I watched a movie that I had seen once before… many years ago when it came out… and I was recovering from my fairly major car accident when I was 16 years old. Most of what I remembered… was that it was bad… and I possibly may have been having some sort of fever dream as it didn’t make a whole lot of sense & the images that I retained from it were pretty f**king ridiculous. That movie is the 1997 adaptation of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” starring Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk & David Thewlis… and directed by John Frankenheimer (as is emphasized twice in the trailer, more on that later). The story is based on the classic H.G. Wells novel and set in the not-so-distant future of 2010 (made in 1997) where a shipwrecked man named Edward Douglas (Thewlis) finds himself rescued & taken to an island in the Java Sea by a surprisingly good-looking man named Montgomery (peak Kilmer) and soon finds that… sh*t is outta whack… or more specifically, the island seems to be inhabited by two crazy scientists, one hot albino chick (Balk) and a bunch of Man-imals!!! Now, the source material book… is a great read that I recommend to everybody… and a great science-fiction piece dealing with scientists playing God, what makes us human, evolutionary ideas, all that crazy stuff. This movie though… not so much. Here are a few things that I noticed watching it:
· First off: Look at the poster… watch the trailer… the top billing goes to Academy Award Winner & Hollywood legend Marlon Brando, “1997 Channing Tatum” Val Kilmer & the makeup effects of Stan Winston (by the way, f**king kudos to him). Who’s the main actor & in more than 95% of the movie though? David Thewlis!!! “WHO?” Before Harry Potter no less…
· David Thewlis – Great actor… but let’s face it, not the most attractive man in the world… yet when matched up against some of the “monsters” of this movie, not that bad… you can see why Aissa (Balk) might be interested in him at all.
· Give it up for David Thewlis… you can really see that he’s trying to act his ass off… while the main two actors are totally phoning it the f**k in… and you can tell that it’s frustrating the hell out of David. It adds a bit of genuine believable frustration in the role (since they’ve basically taken him prisoner & won’t answer simple f**king questions) but at the same time, you see the frustration at random times too where you have expect the next line out of his mouth to be, “Are you f**king serious? Did you just improve that sh*t? John (the director)???” “Cut!!! We’ll edit it in post… next scene.”
· What the f**k is Val Kilmer wearing? He’s dressed like a Polynesian woman…
· What the f**k is Marlon Brando wearing? Is he wearing a mosquito net & dressed in Whiteface?
· HOLY SH*T!!! I almost forgot about his buddy the Original Mini-Me!!! Is that a real dude or some kind of puppetry? I mean Stan Winston IS an amazing… oh f**k he’s a real dude on IMDb!!! The world’s smallest man… and he’s got some great YouTube videos of him dancing… f**king crazy…
· Okay… so from what I can gather… this Nobel Prize winning geneticist basically bought an island (was he just a billionaire & bought it Brando-style?) in the Java Sea… started experiments combining human & animal DNA… and created a small town of hybrids… to basically serve him, right? That’s why he has them all implanted with electro-chips & brainwashing them to go against their instincts to eat meat? Is it just a social experiment after he’s figured out the genetic elements? Is he planning on ever sharing his findings with the world community (who will certainly napalm the island, destroy all records of his findings other than their own Manimal Soldiers & have Dr. Moreau hung for his hideous crimes against humanity)? Perhaps I’m thinking too much about all of it…
· Wait, I just did some math… he’s been on the island 17 years… and it’s set in 2010… so he started doing the experiments in 1993… holy sh*t, was he inspired by the movie Jurassic Park??? Was that what sent Dr. Moreau out of the conventional science community and onto his own Isla Nublar?
· Ugh… I just did some more math… he’s been on the island 17 years… which means his cat-daughter Aissa (Balk) is AT MOST 16-17 years old… but I’m guessing that she wasn’t his first experiment… since I’m assuming there was at least SOME trial & error (“Please… k-k-kiiiilll… m-me….”) before perfecting his techniques, I’m guessing she’s probably even like… twelve years old? That’s statutory bestiality, my friend!
· “But $teve, maybe she ages in cat years so she’s a fully mature being?” As odd as that theory seems… you may have a point. So now you’re f**king a 3-year old cat-lady whose matured to the ripe age of 21 or so? That may also explain why the blind Goat-Man named Sayer of the Law seems like an elderly blind man who yells the law though he’d be less than 17 years old as well… even if he was one of the first experiments.
· BTW… Ron Perlman is a f**king blind Goat-Man name Sayer of the Law in this movie!!! Also, The Chairman from Iron Chef is a cheetah-man named Lo-Mai in this movie… you’re welcome.
· Dr. Moreau just got ripped to shreds… what the f**k is happening with his assistant (Kilmer) after that? He spends the rest of the movie doing (what I assume is) his best derogatory “Marlon Brando as Doctor Moreau” impersonation… while tripping on drugs & inciting Manimal orgies where he’s f**king Pig-Women!!! Like… flipping a f**king switch from douchiest douche that ever douched… to “This is what the movie would’ve been like if I were playing Dr. Moreau”! F**king crazy…
Anyway, so spoiler alert: This movie is pretty horrible. The makeup effects are well done… there’s definitely a sense of disgust that comes up in your stomach from time to time, creating a sickening atmosphere… but it’s one of those movies where you can’t believe that a big studio movie could be so horrible. Maybe watch it with friends while high on mushrooms (like Kilmer allegedly filmed it) and just enjoy it for the hunk of sh*t that it is. However, if you do decide to watch it… watch this next movie afterwards…
“Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau” is a documentary by director David Gregory about the making of this movie. Basically, long story short… is in the early 90’s there was an up-and-coming movie director named Richard Stanley who had two critically acclaimed sci-fi horror flicks called “Hardware” & “Dust Devil” and one of his favorite books growing up… was H.G. Wells’ Island of Dr. Moreau. He was signed on to do this “dream project” with New Line Cinema… and after doing all scripts, pre-production, character design with Stan Winston, and well on his way to starting the filming… and then the Mega-Movie Machine started to rear its head. Here are some quick things about what this movie could have been:
· The story was pretty different obviously with more of a focus on the original work, but still in a more modern setting, and the artwork involved in pre-production is pretty f**king amazing! I recommend watching it if just for that stuff.
· The original cast still included Marlon Brando as Dr. Moreau (that’s why New Line greenlit everything) but was going to have James Woods in the role of Montgomery… and our main character Edward Douglas was to be played by… wait for it… BRUCE WILLIS!!! Unfortunately, Bruce was divorcing Demi Moore& couldn’t really leave the country for long periods of time… so instead, Bruce went off to make the greatest movie ever made (“Fifth Element”) & become the namesake of my future firstborn son Korbin…
· In dire need of star power at that point… they reached out to Val Kilmer to star as Edward Douglas… but he’s apparently some kind of prick at the time & didn’t want to work a lot… so he became Montgomery… but he was still plastered ALL OVER the marketing materials.
· Then after doing all of the prework for the movie, the studio realized that Brando was notoriously difficult to work with (and had been paid a RIDICULOUS amount of money) and now notoriously-difficult Val Kilmer was part of the project… and they had to get some real star power wranglers behind their big-money project… and they really didn’t think that an eccentric Wiccan indie filmmaker (Richard Stanley) was the best choice… so they basically told Richard through his agent that Roman Polanski was going to be the director. Think about THAT for a moment… especially when you work in the math from my previous thoughts.
· Obviously from this point… the whole thing starts spiraling out of control… Richard Stanley is fired & replaced with John Frankenheimer… and there’s plenty of tales about how the visions for the movie clashed, hurricanes destroyed most of the set, the general lack of interest from the actors & filmmakers (but certainly not the producers), Marlon Brando’s crazy ass, Val Kilmer’s crazy ass, Fairuza Balk’s crazy ass, and just basically how the Hollywood Machine kinda destroyed the movie in many, many ways.
· Fun fact: Main actor David Thewlis is NOT MENTIONED ONCE in this documentary. Like… almost not even in 3rd person pronouns or really shown on screen much. I’m not sure if it’s a legal thing… but as much sh*t as they were talking about everybody else… it’s either a sign of respect for the job that he did in spite of all the crazy sh*t, or he wanted nothing to do with this movie in any way.
Anyway, I highly recommend checking this out… and I’m sure there are MANY stories just like it regarding other movies & what they were originally pitched as… and what they ultimately became… but yeah, it’s a very interesting look into big budget filmmaking and how decision are made regarding them.
That’ll do it for this entry… this weekend we’re going to a wedding in Sacramento (Congratulations to Andrew & Clarissa!!!) and sharing our Root Beer (dry wedding location) and the rest of the time we’ll be gearing up for National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego next week!!! We’re hella excited!!! Until then, have a great weekend everybody!!! Happy Donut Day!!!