So for a while there was a lot of talk about the anthology “A Star Wars Story” movies that were potentially in the works, that was until ‘SOLO’ bombed at the box office. An Obi Wan movie, a Boba Fett and even talk of a Lando solo adventure. However the one that interested me the most was the idea of a Yoda movie, where we follow the adventures of a younger Yoda. This for a while seemed like an actual possibility but besides Solo’s failure in theaters, Frank Oz had stated a Yoda movie would simply be too difficult to articulate the puppet for a feature length movie and would likely need to be fully CGI. I think it could be done, utilizing both old school puppetry blended with CGI. The more I’ve thought about it all the better the idea seems to me, that Yoda should indeed get his own movie though.
So in response to Frank Oz, I think doing incredible puppetry in 2018 with the Disney budget doesn’t seem all that impossible, especially with green screens, CGI being able to erase wires, strings & actors who’re controlling it’s actions. I think utilizing CGI as well to bring Yoda to life in full body shots / lightsaber duels is indeed a must but using puppetry for close ups is also a must. It would be the perfect mixture of both to make everyone’s green Jedi really come to life in an epic full length adventure. Doing it the way they did back in 70’s though? Yeah, I’m certain that’d be quite a headache, though in the 80’s they pulled it off beautifully in the ambitious Dark Crystal.
Which leads me to the next point, imagine a Yoda movie that was more of a modern mix of The Dark Crystal and Star Wars. A spin-off Star Wars Story that maximized the use of real Puppets, exotic locations/sets and a stronger blend of old school fx blended with todays modern tech. It’d definitely be something different for a Star Wars movie especially in this day and age of total overuse of CG in blockbusters. I imagine someone like Guillermo del Toro at the helm, or at least someone who truly loves practical fx work, epic fantasy and incredible monsters. Just the hype of the movie featuring heavy puppetry alone I think would bring something truly unique to the table for today’s young and old fans of the franchise. They could even add some animatronic modifications to the Yoda puppet, giving him more complex facial expressions & get help from The Jim Henson Company to bring it all to life. I bet you’d have a hit on your hands at the box office. Continue reading
If you love puppets as much as I do then this is most definitely for YOU! Have you ever imagined what horror movie would look like if everyone one in it was a puppet? Well imagine no more because someone is indeed wrapping up an ALL puppet horror flick called ‘Frank & Zed’! Holy Moly!!
Yeah this one looks like a total blast and it was recently fully funded off of a Kickstarter. It’s also comes straight outta my base of operations here in Portland, Oregon from mastermind Jesse Blanchard. Damn! It looks like a demented version of the muppet show, but with even better looking puppets. It’s gonna be a full on puppet slaughter by the looks of the footage out there. We’ll see if a puppet themed movie can really dish out the goods check this shit out! I’m stoked to see this thing is a go and is a full on feature film!
Frank & Zed is the 100% puppet horror monster movie that lives up to that premise. Done with the attention to detail and world building of the Dark Crystal and the mad mayhem and glee of Meet the Feebles (the only other two features done with this method).
It stars two classic monsters, Frank & Zed whose powerful master is long defeated. Since his death, they have survived the wrath of the mob by hiding in the ruins of an old castle. But they are soon discovered and their fates, along with those of the village below, will be decided in the prophesied ‘Orgy of Blood.’
Let’s face it, puppets totally rule. Period. They are making a big time comeback too. So now that we’ve got that out of the way take a minute to check out this awesome upcoming all puppet horror movie “The Mill at Calder’s End”! Pulling inspiration from HP Lovecraft & Edgar Allen Poe we get something truly unique to feast our eyes upon. This one was funded on Kickstarter and made twice it’s projected goal. Knowing that stuff like this is getting made without the help of major movie studios really make me happy and thankful that Kickstarter exists and has changed the game for film makers and fans alike.
Here’s a brief synopsis of film:
“The Mill at Calder’s End is a gothic ghost story in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft that will be told with 30 inch tall bunraku puppets and old fashioned in-camera special effects.Featuring the voices of Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,X-Men:First Class) and horror legend Barbara Steele (Black Sunday,The Pit and the Pendulum) , this film celebrates two of my great loves: the art of puppetry and gothic horror.”
“From my experience working as a special effects artist in Hollywood for over twenty years and now collaborating with some of the most talented creature effects artists,concept artists, and puppeteers in the industry, The Mill at Calder’s End will be unlike any puppet film you have ever seen before.”
Check out this epic gothic puppet trailer! Hopefully the full movie will drop soon!
A little behind the scenes too:
I had to take a moment here to share with you a little something awesome I stumbled upon recently! Being a giant fan of anything and everything monsters it was to my surprise to pleasantly find out about Nightmerriment!
Nightmerriment is a one man operation out of Portland Oregon run by Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins is a puppet/monster maker and his creations are incredibly creepy, cute and fierce all at the same time. I guess when I first got a glance of his work I pictured him working in the Jim Henson Workshop, putting together monster puppets for movies like The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. Self described as monster art somewhere between sculpture and puppetry, his creations look like they could come to life at any moment despite being showcased like taxidermy on wooden mounts.
Most of his creations from what I understand are for sale, so in fact we all could own a little creature of our own! Hipsters aren’t the only thing found in Portland these days, now we’ve finally got something real cool to brag about-hand made Monsters!
Check it out and Nightmerriment’s facebook page and follow his creations!
I ran across this amazing Kickstarter campaign for “The Mill at Calder’s End” an amazing looking short film by special effects wizard Kevin Mcturk. He’s already worked on some great movies like Hellboy II and the awesome horror comedy Black Sheep to name a few. Now he’s completing a fully puppetized film in the vein of Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe.
This film brings to mind movies like The Dark Crystal, which when you watch it still, it’s mind blowing piece of movie making. The behind the scenes are incredible and I think creative hands on movies like that are nearly obsolete these days. No matter how amazing computer generated imagery is or will become I think we can all appreciate something as incredible as a fully puppetized film full of real sets. So check this little video out it’s pretty amazing. He’s shooting for a $50,000 goal and god damn do I hope he makes it…
Hey everyone it seems word on the net today is about the possible ALF reboot / remake full length feature film! Sounded good to me when I first heard about it, I mean you have to have no soul to not like ALF! I am certain there are some youngsters out there are like who the shit is ALF? But all of us 1980’s kids need no introduction, his name stands for Alien Life Form. He’s a furry smart ass alien who loves to dine on….Cats!
It was also one of best 80’s sitcoms around & Alf was brought to life entirely by puppetry. This version boasts a CG Alf. Uggh…hey Hollywood did you see the latest installment of The Muppets movie? Do you think that would have been any good if Kermit and Co were CG? It’s no wonder that this is the direction the movie is taking as Jordan Kerner the “genius” behind the latest Smurfs movie is Alf’s producer. This movie could be a completely nostalgic & delightful throwback for all of us. Somehow I have a feeling this new version of Alf will be a bunch of watered down Hollywood Schlock. Only Hollywood could ever be accused of something as atrocious as watering down Alf. But they are already en route to doing so. The good news is that original voice of Alf, Paul Fasco is on board at least! Maybe I am being too hard on Hollywood? But hey Alf was never broken, he doesn’t need to be fixed….in the meantime puppet ALF is saying F’ off to CG Alf via this ALF Metal, this isn’t the first time I posted this here because it’s goddamn amazing!!!
Wow we were all fooled into thinking “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was so damn original when it came out-but that’s because most people I know never even knew that Rankin / Bass’ “Mad Monster Party” even existed!! I know that I didn’t but it’s a documented fact that Tim Burton did and it was a big influence on his stop motion stuff. I am probably the biggest Rankin / Bass Christmas Special fan of all time – but today I just discovered the Rankin / Bass stop motion animated world is larger than I imagined! That’s quite a good thing!
This movie has got classic monsters like The Werewolf, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Hunchback, Invisible Man, Jekyll & Hyde, Mummy, It ( a King Kong knock off), Dracula, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein and his Bride played by Phyllis Diller. It’s also penned by MAD magazine writer Harvey Kurtzman!
So this is on my list of must see dvds. I know that it was released in 2009 on dvd so I assume it’s going to be easy to find and probably right on youtube. It came out in 1967 yet it took me until 2012 to discover-I love it!! It makes me wonder how many other great stop motion movies are out there that I have no clue about?! It will be a fun search….