Friday, August 5, 2011

Coppola Returns to Horror

Elle Fanning as "V" and Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather trilogy; The Outsiders; Apocalypse Now) started his career working for prolific producer Roger Corman in the 1960's. His first project was re-editing a Russian Sci-Fi movie that was released domestically as Battle Beyond the Sun in 1962. The first movie he is actually given credit as directing is the 1963 horror movie Dementia 13.The movie is a twisted tale of madness and murder among a  wealthy Irish family.

And while many (myself included) consider his 1979 masterpiece Apocalypse Now to be a horror film, Coppola wouldn't truly revisit the genre until 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula, a moody and visually stunning (though somewhat miscast - Keanu, anyone?) adaptation of Stoker's classic Gothic novel. Visually stunning and atmospheric, Coppola's first vampire movie is a treat for the eyes, even if Reeve's faux British accent rankles the ears. Of course, it also features the gorgeous and underrated Billy Campbell ("The Killing;" "The 4400") as the American Quincy Morris, a character ignored in most movies based on the novel. Though I must admit that it is Sadie Frost's astonishing performance as Lucy that makes the film one of my favorite versions of the Victorian thriller.

Revisiting the genre, Coppola has written and directed Twixt, the story of a minor Horror novelist (Val Kilmer) who makes a small town stop on his latest book signing tour, only to find the small town he's visiting may very well be under siege b y vampires. Costarring Bruce Dern; Ben Chaplin; David Paymer; Don "Father Guido Sarducci" Novello and the amazing Elle Fanning (Super 8), Twixt may well be the strangest wide-release film of the year. See the rather unconventional trailer for yourself:

There is no set release date for Twixt (formerly known as Twixt Now and Sunrise) but I must admit that I am very curious to see what Coppola has come up with in what may well be the antidote to the repulsively bad Twilight series.

More, anon.


Pax Romano said...

This looks fascinating...really looking forward to it.

Michael Offutt said...

Elle Fanning is going to surpass her sister's career easy (not that this is hard to do).