Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dream House & 5 Other Horror Movies That Were Disowned By Their Makers!

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You may be wondering why I never put up a review for Dream House, being that I generally review all the new theatrical horror releases pretty soon after they're released. The reason for that is because I still haven't seen it. When you combine a lack of money & a lack of interest in a film with pretty much godawful reviews across the board, it's hard to head out to the theater and shell out $11.50 to see it, despite the fact that you want to have a review of it on your site. Still though, despite my lack of interest and the shit reviews, there was one factor that was giving me some glimmer of hope that Dream House might be at least somewhat of a watchable film, that being the fact that it was directed by Jim Sheridan, who also directed one of my favorite recent films, In America, along with several other critically acclaimed movies including another recent one I quite liked, Brothers. I wondered how the guy who made those films could make a movie as bad as everyone was saying it was. And then it all made sense when Sheridan came out recently and revealed that even he is not happy with the film, more specifically with what the studio did with his film. Though a clause in his contract kept his name attached to the studio's recut of the film he made, Sheridan disowned it entirely and refused to do any press to help promote it.

This isn't the first time a horror film has been disowned by the person who directed it. Here are five other ones that were similarly kicked to the curb by their fathers!

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Though David Fincher is a pretty big name Hollywood director these days, with films like Fight Club and The Social Network under his belt, he was a newcomer to the director's chair back in 1992, when he directed the second sequel to the Alien franchise. Story goes that the first timer was brought onto an already sinking shape fairly late in the process, with a shooting schedule that began before the script was even finalized. The odds already stacked against him, Fincher faced tons of creative interference from the studio and eventually walked off the production before editing began, ultimately disowing the finished product. These days, he openly agrees with most fans that it sucks. Fincher has removed himself from the franchise so much that he didn't even take part in any of the box set re-releases of the series that have come out in recent years. So the next time you flip past Alien 3 on TV and think to yourself how bad it is, just know that Fincher thinks the same thing whenever he comes across it!

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Over thirty years after Alfred Hitchcock released The Birds came The Birds 2 : Land's End, a TV movie directed by Rick Rosenthal, who also directed both Halloween 2 & Halloween : Resurrection. The movie was trashed by nearly all who saw it and is largely still considered to be one of the worst sequels ever made. It's clear that Rosenthal agrees, as the film boasts a "Directed by Alan Smithee" credit, the fictional name used by directors when they no longer wish to be associated with crappy movies they make. I bet a few of you reading this didn't even know there was a Birds 2 and i'm sure Rosenthal would be quite pleased to hear you say that. He must also be happy that the film never flew its way onto DVD.

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When make-up artist Kevin Yagher was brought on board the franchise after Hellraiser 3 : Hell On Earth, he planned on making a dark and brutal film that relied less on Pinhead and more on story. The producers didn't agree with Yagher's vision, insisting that the violence be toned down and Pinhead play more of a pivotal role in the proceedings, and Yagher eventually left the project over the differences. The movie was finished by Joe Chappelle, though it ended up bearing the Alan Smithee credit. Yagher went back to his dayjob of make-up FX and never directed another film again. As for Hellraiser, Bloodline ended up being the last theatrically released film of the franchise, a franchise which still continues pumping out direct to video garbage to this day.

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Being that Mimic was Guillermo Del Toro's first American film, he didn't have nearly the creative pull that he has nowadays, which resulted in him fighting many creative battles with The Weinsteins, the producers who had him by the balls. Del Toro was never happy with the way the film turned out, publicly stating so, as it just didn't fit his intended vision. But this one's got a happy ending. Just last month, in an attempt to reclaim his film after so many years, now that he has that creative pull to do so, Del Toro released Mimic : The Director's Cut on Blu-ray, a re-cut version of the film that changes the tone to reflect more of what he was originally going for. Over a decade after the film originally came out, Del Toro is finally happy with it. Rest easy, big guy.

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House of the Devil director Ti West calls Cabin Fever 2 the greatest film experience he ever had, as he had a blast making it with a cast he was happy with and a script he personally got to re-write. But it was once the film was finished that it became a nightmare for West, with the studio demanding he make all kinds of changes to what he had spent so much time creating. West declined and instead decided to leave the project, requesting his name be replaced by 'Alan Smithee'. Being that he wasn't a member of the Director's Guild of America, the request was denied and West's name remains attached to a film that he feels is not even his. Due to extensive re-edits and re-shoots that he had no part of, he sees the finished film more the work of the executives and producers than his own. If you've ever seen the movie, you know that the post-production mess certainly shows itself onscreen.

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Though not disowned by director Kim Henkel (who also co-wrote the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre), I simply can't leave without tacking The Next Generation onto this list. This much maligned sequel, the 'jump the shark' moment for the franchise, nabbed both Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger before they became big time stars. When McConaughey's career blew up before the film ever came out, his agent put pressure on Columbia Pictures to bury it, which resulted in it being released theatrically on less than 20 screens. But this victory was only temporary. Judging by the above art the DVD was given, it's clear that the producers got the last laugh!

3 comments:

Emily said...

Oh, The Birds 2, how ridiculous you are. I remember being realllllllly excited as a kid when this premiered--on Showtime--and pretty devastated by the result.

And boy do I agree on Cabin Fever 2. There's definitely proof that West was there, and some of the film works extremely well, but ultimately, it is, as said, a mess. I would've loved to see it tweaked by West, but sadly that will never happen and as a result, I'll probably never return to the movie.

Justin Graves said...

The Birds 2 sucks so hard. I even hated it when I was 10 years old, or whatever age I was. At either rate it was an age when I was much less a discerning viewer than I am today.

I quite love Alien³. A lot actually. Its the fourth film, all flash and no substance (and frustratingly full of promising ideas that are never capitalized on) that I think is a bigger mess than the 3rd.

And uneven as it may be, I still think that Cabin Fever 2 is far and away a superior film to the first one. But then Hostel 2 aside, I vehemently dislike Eli Roth's...er, perspective on just about everything.

I'm gonna have to hunt down this Director's Cut of Mimic and give it another go as I, like Del Torro, was never a big fan of it.

MW said...

MIMIC is too good of an idea to go to waste. Plus, it was plagued by amateur and - in the case of MIMIC 3 - abysmal sequels.

It could easily be remade the right way - in 3D.