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FILM by Shane “Chrome Balls Of Death” Hnetka

I haven’t seen many 2015 films. When you spend a year watching every Tarzan movie from 1930s to the 1960s, you kind of miss out. On the other hand, I’m kind of looking forward to the new Tarzan movie coming out in 2016.

Don’t Play With Strange Balls

Way back in 1979, writer/director Don Coscarelli created an awesome, weird and creepy horror movie called Phantasm. The plot had a young orphaned boy witnessing a tall man digging up graves, taking the bodies, turning them into creepy versions of jawas and then sending them to his dimension to do forced manual labour. If you got in the tall man’s way? A flying chrome ball with knives and spikes would kill you, spraying blood all over the place. The movie became a huge cult hit and spawned three sequels, with a fifth on its way.

What does this have to do with Star Wars, you ask? That’s a strange question. Why are you bringing Star Wars into the conversation? Okay, fine, there is a connection. The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams is a big fan of Phantasm — in fact, he named Force Awakens villain Captain Phasma after the movie (she’s a chrome stormtrooper — get it?). Abrams’ company has done a high-def restoration of Phantasm that will be screened in theatres next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in theatres. While I’m sure it won’t hit the multiplexes, there is a chance it’ll hit the Rainbow/RPL circuit.

Sequel No More

Despite 20th Century Fox’s insistence it was going ahead with a sequel to its dismal Fantastic Four reboot, the studio has now quietly removed it from their schedule. This doesn’t officially mean the sequel is cancelled… but without a release date it’s hard to see how it gets made. It’s just as well, since Fox clearly has no idea how to make a Fantastic Four movie. It’s really not that hard — hire a good director and get a smart script that honours the groundbreaking Jack Kirby/Stan Lee comics about a bickering but loyal super-powered family that has science-fiction adventures. The Incredibles was pretty good. Where do studios think that idea came from?

Frankly, Fantastic Four probably inspired half of Star Wars and that’s done okay.

Just make good movies and the rest will follow, people. It’s not as hard as 20th Century Fox keeps making it look.

Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd who also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.

2015-12-23