Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

RES. EVIL Anderson To Drive DEATH RACE 3000

Dread Central reports that RESIDENT EVIL Paul W.S. Anderson’s next gig will be not CASTLEVANIA but DEATH RACE 3000 — the remake of the 1976 action comedy about a no-holds-barred race through the desert — and over pedestrians who get in the way. There is a videogame version, too: As in the Paul Bartel-directed movie, you rack up points by running down hapless old people, kids and wrecked cars with rival drivers inside: kaboom, splat, etc. (For some reason, the original DEATH RACE 2000 is mixed up in my mind with the cartoon show THE WACKY RACES (featuring Snidely Whiplash and his laughing dog Mutley)

Props to reporter Johnny Butane being for the exclusive ) and but boo, dude, for even quicker with a reflexive slam on Anderson’s “entire career” (Douse the lighter, Butane and put away your little internet-sized pitchfork. Who died and made you the arbiter of “potentially cool movies”?
I’ve never quite understood why the fanboys recoil from Anderson — when pressed, they’ll acknowledge that EVENT HORIZON did scare the hell out of them, RESIDENT EVIL — while it did not follow the strictures

of the games — was an unusually stylish action movie, and MORTAL KOMBAT, Anderson’s first (indeed, one of the first) successful video game to film adaptations, thoroughly entertained them. One common thread I found: male fans were unsettled Anderson’s focus on female heroes (“his obsession with Final Girls”) in ALIEN VS. PREDATOR and RESIDENT EVIL) one youngish man wrote on a long discussion of IMDB. (The Final Girls being the pursued but not at all helpless female character in horror and sci movies — the chick who may at first seem unimportant/unpretty/unsexy — but who turns out, in the end, to be triumphantly Ripleyesque, taking a Final Stand against the serial killer, monster, creature, or whatever It is that’s been messing with her world.
Final Girls and final girliness and the feminine have been the essence to the horror/sci fi/videogame genre, so protesting their presence suggests to me that some guys out there have issues that go beyond Anderson: they are not comfortable identifying with female heroes. Or aren’t comfortable saying so. Yet.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon