Thursday, September 24, 2009

Whoa, the Weinsteins must REALLY need the money!

     It's true, the 1990's were pretty much a dull decade for horror.  Fatigue and political-correctness set in, and the slasher film, the driving force of the genre for the whole of the 80's, was laid to waste.  It would be quickly replaced with the "psychological thriller" after the critical and financial success of The Silence of the Lambs.  Although that film was quite brutal, the funhouse mentality of horror, which had been there since the beginning of cinema, seemed to be gone.  However, one company did provide the 90's with a few classics (or faves): Dimension Films, a division of Miramax, started by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein. 
  
     Dimension gave the world Scream, From Dusk 'til Dawn, and The Crow.  However, the company did also supply us with numerous unnecessary sequels to these flicks, a lot of them went straight to home video.  Scream 2 and 3 were pale, over-the-top imitations of the first film, all of the Crow follow-ups were piss poor, and I didn't even bother with the From Dusk 'til Dawn sequel and prequel.  In addition, the Weinsteins also gain the rights to properties such as Halloween and Hellraiser, dishing out more sub par sequels to those movies, including Halloween H20, which was made solely to capitalize on the success of Dimension's earlier hit, Scream.  The Weinsteins made a career out of the phrase, "If it works, run it into the ground."

     Harvey and Bob Weinstein left the Disney-owned Miramax in 2005 and took the Dimension label with them, but it hasn't been rosy for new Weinstein Company.  Since striking out on their own, they have had only modest successes with films like 1408, Clerks II, and Rambo, while Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of Halloween and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds are their only big hits.  The Dimension Extreme DVD line hasn't helped enough to keep the brothers from experiencing financial troubles, either.  All of this prompted the Weinsteins to lay off workers and hire a restructuring firm this summer.  So, I guess out of desperation, Bob Weinstein told Variety that he's "going back to what I do best."  That is, he's going back to running his old properties even further into the ground.  I already passed on the news that Halloween III is a go for next summer, but there is also going to be more remakes and sequels to Hellraiser and Children of the Corn (which already has a remake debuting on SyFy this weekend!).  The biggest Weinstein revival, though, is a new Scream trilogy, reuniting the Arquettes, writer Kevin Williamson, and now Neve Campbell.  Even Wes Craven is in talks to come back to the director's chair.  Rest assured, if this works, Harvey and Bob will be dishing out remakes or sequels to From Dusk 'til Dawn, The Crow, and the brothers' most recent horror breakout, Feast, which has already spawned two direct-to-DVD follow-ups since it bowed in 2006!

     With the Weinsteins, it seems like the more things change the more they stay the same.  Again, read for yourself, decide what you think:

http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=11970

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/sep/24/weinstein-company-staff-cuts

~Doctor Splatter

        

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