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One of the more popular items at the recent Monster-Mania convention in New Jersey was a T-shirt being sold by actor Doug Bradley expressing a sentiment many genre fans agree with: “Stop the Remakes” (see photo after the jump). As the HELLRAISER star explained to us, he was inspired to spread that thought as much by the movies that aren’t being made these days as by the ones that are.
“One of the many things that makes me angry about the remakes,” he tells Fango, “is that while money is being spent on taking a safe ride, rehashing stuff we’ve already seen, already know and already love and don’t need to see ruined, they’re not backing new filmmakers, new writers. They can’t say that they have to do the remakes because there’s no fresh talent out there, because I know that’s not the case.”
As examples, he cites a few potential projects that he has expressed an interest in doing, provided the financing can be found to get them off the ground. “There’s a wonderful horror/comedy script I was sent called DEADLY TANTRUM, which is really, really good. It’s a Lovecraft comedy, but it takes Lovecraft very seriously. It’s about a rather slow-witted serial killer who has a Cthulhu worm living in his brain that he feeds cheese sandwiches. And every time he kills someone, a portal opens and the soul is fed to Cthulhu, and when he has killed 50 people, Cthulhu can break through the portal and take control of the world. And he has this list of people he wants to kill, which is anyone who’s ever worked in public relations—and the 50th victim is anyone who buys an Elton John album. It’s very funny, and there’s a very nice part in it for me. There’s also TAMORA GAMBLE, which both myself and Robert Englund are very, very excited about. I kind of brought Robert on board for that project, and he has been making a lot of positive noises about it. I’ve been attached to TAMORA GAMBLE for a few years now, and I can’t believe it hasn’t been greenlighted; it’s an outstanding script that really deserves to be made.
“You wait, you hope, you gamble,” Bradley says of these sorts of independent projects. “I get sent a script, I’ll say yep or no depending on the quality, or maybe if I’m not quite sure, and then wait and wait and wait. There’s another one called THE GATHERING which has come my way that’s like an Amicus movie; the idea is basically that Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe meet every Halloween to tell stories to the devil, and he chooses the winner. They want me to play Bram Stoker, and they tell me they’ve got David Naughton to play Lovecraft and they’re talking to Jeffrey Combs about playing Poe. If the three of us are going to do it together, then I’m on board, because that would be tremendous. That’s the landscape I live in. You wait for the green light.”
One film that might be a little closer to rolling than the others is THE 4TH REICH, about Allied soldiers vs. Nazi ghouls in occupied France during WWII, from writer/director Shaun Robert Smith. “That’s a movie that has been hanging around for a little while,” Bradley says. “Basically, I was offered a cameo role as an SS officer. I guess everybody’s got to play a Nazi at some point in their career, and it’s quite a cool idea. That, I believe, is happening in May; I was contacted again recently, but it has gone a bit quiet since then. This is the way of life.”
So how can fans who can’t pick up one of Bradley’s T-shirts at a convention wear “Stop the Remakes” on their chests? While the shirts aren’t available on-line at the moment, “I’m going to make sure that they are in good time, and I’m planning to have some available at my website. I’m also planning a new version of the same idea, which will rehash a familiar line from HELLRAISER. I want to make a shirt that reads, “Pinhead says, ‘No more remakes, please—it’s a waste of good celluloid.’ ”
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