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Max Brooks visits the set and shows off pictures from “World War Z”

Max Brooks visits the set and shows off pictures from “World War Z” (photo)

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While its zombie subject matter might mark it as an easy choice for a feature film adaptation, the fractured “oral history” style structure of “World War Z” doesn’t exactly lend itself to the medium. Despite the fact that filming is well under way on the zombie flick, it’s still shocking that the project, which spent years in development hell, is actually happening, and no one is more surprised than the book’s author, Max Brooks.

In a conversation of the Daily Record, Brooks explained the difficulty of turning “World War Z” into a movie. “It doesn’t have a main character, the storyline is told from a hundred different points of view, would be prohibitively expensive filming in all these different countries,” he admitted. “You couldn’t pay me to turn it into a film.”

While the book version of “World War Z” featured numerous characters relating their zombie experiences to UN employee Gerry Lane, the movie focuses on Brad Pitt, who must traverse the globe in an effort to stop the zombie plague. Despite all the changes to his story, however, Brooks seems excited about the new, resulting piece of art. “I’m not involved so I just want to be able to enjoy watching the movie when it comes out,” he explained. “At least I know they did at least as much research into things as I did for the book.”

Now, after a visit to the film’s Glasgow set, Brooks is more impressed than ever with the movie, particularly with Pitt. The author claimed, “I’ve never seen this much enthusiasm for a film,” which is pretty amazing, considering that his dad was the man behind “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.”

In regards to the film’s many undead extras, Brooks explained that the shoot actually has a zombie school to teach them how to stagger, moan and drool. “They look very much like what my impression would be of new zombies who had not really begun to rot, kind of like phase one zombies,” he enthused.

Check out the photos below to see exactly what Brooks is talking about, and then make sure to tell us your thoughts about “World War Z” in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Warm Bodies

Bloody Valentines

10 Romantic Horror Movies for Valentine’s Day  

Catch My Bloody Valentine this Valentine's Day Sunday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Watching hapless victims running for their lives might not sound romantic, but a scary movie is perfect for a cozy night on the couch with someone special. (Unless you’re a character in a horror movie, as any romantic moment eventually turns into murderous mayhem.) Before you catch My Bloody Valentine this Valentine’s Day on IFC, check out some horror movies that will both warm your heart and chill your bones.

1. Let The Right One In

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A surprisingly touching tale of a bullied child and his vampire crush, the acclaimed 2008 Swedish horror film perfectly captures the feelings of being in the throes of naive first live. Pair it with the solid 2010 American remake, and be sure to have some tissues on hand to go with the blood red wine and dark chocolates.


2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 take on Bram Stoker’s classic tale upped the lavish romanticism with an ageless, yet alluring, Dracula driven by a centuries spanning love. For better or worse, we wouldn’t have Twilight without this sumptuous gothic romance.


3. The Fly

The Fly

One of the greatest body horror movies of all time centers on the most doomed relationship you’ve ever seen. If you find Jeff Goldblum as attractive as Geena Davis does, well, we advise you to make the most of it early on before Cronenberg’s masterpiece mutilates him.


4. Bride of Chucky

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Why can’t movie monsters find love? Because it’s literally horrifying. Luckily that’s the point in Bride of Chucky, where the murderous puppet finds a soulmate who shares his penchant for sharp objects. A high point in the series that spoofed its own silliness while still scaring the hell out of us.


5. Bride of Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein

Of course, there wouldn’t be a Bride of Chucky without the original movie monster romance. James Whale’s horror classic both introduced a new level of pathos to the Frankenstein story and gave us a lady monster for the ages.


6. Hellraiser

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Lemarchand’s box first broke the barriers between life and death as part of a (deeply unromantic) love story. An unfaithful wife seduces and murders men to resurrect her dead lover, and when her daughter finds out things get gorily complicated.


7. A Chinese Ghost Story

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A night in a haunted temple has a man falling in love with a beautiful ghost in this horror comedy from director Ching Siu-tung. Oh, and he has to save her spirit from an evil tree demon. We haven’t mentioned the swordsman or the gymnastic martial arts yet, but you’ll definitely enjoy them too.


8. Candyman

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The creepy Candyman is looking for love, which is a hard sell when you’ve got a hook for a hand and are usually covered in bees. Oh, and you’re a revenge-fuelled murderous specter. Helen Lyle must deal with his romantic intentions as well as an unfaithful boyfriend, and it really doesn’t go well for anyone. You’d think it’d be nice to have someone who always comes when you call…


9. Warm Bodies

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An unlikely love story between the living and the dead, Warm Bodies follows “R” as he grunts and groans his affection for the chief zombie-hunter’s daughter. No other story has ever so completely shown the healing power of love.


10. My Bloody Valentine

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My Bloody Valentine stars the Grinch of the holiday, the murderous miner who has sworn that a small town should never again host a dance on that day. Of course a gang of sexy teens decide to ignore him. And of course he comes back, with wonderfully horrific results.

“The Worst Movie EVER!” lives up to its name with epically bad grosses

“The Worst Movie EVER!” lives up to its name with epically bad grosses (photo)

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If Columbia University gives out Pulitzer Prizes in the category of Bad Cinema Reporting, then S.T. VanAirsdale surely has a lock on this year’s award. All week, he’s been working the bad movie beat over at Movieline, digging up the facts on something called “The Worst Movie EVER!” Made by Denver-based filmmaker Glenn Berggoetz, the picture opened last weekend at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles to the worst box office results ever: just one admission, for the grand total of $11. On the bright side, at least it was a full-priced admission. Just imagine what we’d be saying if that one ticket sold had been to a senior citizen or a member of our armed forces?

In a great piece called “The $11 Question: How The Worst Movie EVER! Scored the Worst Opening Ever,” VanAirsdale lays out the whole story behind this momentous event. He even speaks to Berggoetz who provides his own theory as to how a movie could make so little money.

“I figured I would promote the film as I had done with my previous film that received a theatrical release… do a bunch of social networking through e-mail and Facebook, and contact local media people and schedule interviews and reviews. I was busy all day last Monday the 15th traveling, so on Tuesday the 16th I began contacting media outlets in the L.A. area and sending out e-mails and postings. As the week wore on… I noticed two things — all of my contacts in L.A. were either busy for the weekend or out of town (I’m based in Denver, but a number of my previous cast members from other projects live in the L.A. area), and not one of the many media people in L.A. were getting back to me. I began to worry.”

That worry was well-founded since the film did return grosses in the lower two figures range (a spokesman for the Laemmle told VanAirsdale that “Worst Movie EVER!” is one of the worst showings in the theater’s long history). But perhaps there is light at the end of this $11 tunnel. The film’s quickly becoming the stuff of Internet legend as the worst grossing movie ever, a sales hook that plays nicely with that title. This week, almost 70,000 people watched the film’s trailer on YouTube. If even a fraction of those folks become curious enough to seek the film out, we could have a new cult hit on our hands.

Speaking of the trailer, here it is. Hard to say whether it’s the worst movie ever made based on just 90 seconds of footage but I will say this: the trailer doesn’t rule that possibility out.

Would you ever see something called “The Worst Movie EVER?” Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s what I like about “The Rum Diary” trailer

Here’s what I like about “The Rum Diary” trailer (photo)

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The intoxicating trailer for “The Rum Diary” starring Johnny Depp:

Here’s what I like about this trailer:

1)Depp back as Hunter S. Thompson. Anyone who’s seem Johnny Depp playing the ultimate gonzo journalist in Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” know this was the part he was born to play. Depp lived with Thompson while preparing for “Fear and Loathing” and the two remained friends until Thompson’s death in 2005. Depp narrated Alex Gibney’s Thompson doc “Gonzo,” even paid for the journalist and author’s elaborate funeral. Depp knows this character better than any he’s played not named Captain Jack Sparrow.

2)It’s based on a Thompson book I don’t know. I’d already read “Fear and Loathing” when the film came out; I’ve never read “The Rum Diary,” which was written in the 1960s but never published until 1998. The story is loosely based on Thompson’s experiences working in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s as a writer for a San Juan newspaper. Since I’ve never read the novel, I don’t know much more than that, which is just the way I like it.

3)It’s by the writer and director of “Withnail and I.” That would be Bruce Robinson, who hasn’t directed a movie since the 1992 thriller “Jennifer 8.” He’s written a few things, but he’s basically been MIA from the film world for almost 20 years. It’ll be very interested to see what he brings to Thompson’s tale and find out how he adds to his oeuvre of alcoholic cinema.

4)I think I saw a bedazzled turtle. I’ve got a lot of questions about that guy.

Not much to fear and loathe overall; the movie looks like a lot of fun. It opens October 28.

Excited to see “The Rum Diary?” Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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