You know you’ve made it as a blogger (and it only took eight years!) when you write a post about a film, and said film’s director comments on your post. But then, if someone was mistaking me for Michael Bay, I’d probably feel the need to comment too.
Atlanta Nights – the film in question – is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, a noted literary hoax played upon a vanity publisher by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Rachael Saltzman – now to be forever immortalised as ‘did I tell you that a film director commented on my blog once?’ – has bought the films rights to the book and is adapting it with the strapline “The worst book ever written, now the worst movie ever made!” which is an interesting statement of intent, though as I pointed out a while ago, it’s very hard to make an intentionally bad movie. Indeed, one of the things that make really bad movies so perversely entertaining is the earnestness with which they’re made – something that aims high and fails spectacularly is much more interesting than something made to a constant soundtrack of “that’ll do”.
But, as one of the named inspirations for the projects is Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and the trailer video for the project presents Travis Tea, the ‘author’ of Atlanta Nights as a real person, there may be some interesting humour to be drawn from the situation, as well as a warning about some of the unscrupulous sharks of the publishing industry.
Atlanta Nights, by Travis Tea, has been optioned for a film. The book was created in 2004 as part of a sting operation by members of SFWA against the publisher PublishAmerica. After the book was accepted the the hoax revealed, PublishAmerica canceled the contract.
Well, you think, maybe they just got a good book and used it as part of the sting. Nothing wrong with that getting optioned. But there’s more…
Each chapter of the work was written by a different author with no regard for plot, continuity, spelling, or grammar.
I’m hearing that Michael Bay is going to direct it.
(OK, the option is actually for a documentary about what happened, but when do I resist the obvious joke?)
Just had an idea for a film that would surely be a massive success, merging two things that are very popular in various media: Gladiators vs Zombies. Tattered corpses lurching through the streets of ancient Rome to confront the serried ranks of gladiators who stand waiting for them as the last line of defence before they break through and swarm over the seven hills. With plenty of opportunities for gratuitous violence and entirely artistically necessary scenes set at orgies, how could it possibly fail to be a success?
I’m not sure something like this even needs a script, but Hollywood? Feel free to call me and offer large sums of money for the rights. After all, if this is a success, you’ll need an idea for a sequel.
Veteran writer Troy Kennedy Martin has died. I’m sure the media reports of his death will centre on the fact he wrote The Italian Job, and they’re not to be blamed for that as it is iconic within British film, but for me his most important work will always be Edge Of Darkness.
A few years ago I started making notes for a long blog post about it, but then never got round to writing the post itself, so maybe it’s time to get the DVD from the shelf and watch it again to do just that, especially before the Mel Gibson film version comes out and spoils the memory of it.
Or, would anyone be interested in re-watching it as a blog-facilitated group exercise? It looks like the DVD’s available for about a fiver, and it might be an interesting experiment to watch an episode a week at about the same time and then discuss it afterwards, just like they did in the 80s.
(Original news via Frank on Twitter, who’ll probably have a post up about him later, I’m sure)
It perhaps indicates the sort of film fans that I talk to that this was one of the most anticipated film events of the year:
Sadly, as with real Hollywood films, anticipation from the trailer didn’t live up to expectation and MS vs GO is just a bad film, not a ‘so bad it’s good’ film. If you feel that your life isn’t complete without watching a bad film featuring a giant prehistoric shark, then I’d recommend the much better (for values of ‘better’ that include forms of ‘worse’) Shark Attack 3.
But I think Shark Attack 3, for all its many and myriad faults, shows what the problem is with MS vs GO. Both of them are bad films, but MS vs GO is cynically bad. The creators have come up with a title, realised that it will make them a profit with a minimum of effort, then gone out and put in that minimum of effort and no more. That’s the entire business model of The Asylum, of course – cashing in on titles – and good luck to them with it, but for true bad movie genius there needs to be something more.
The key thing about Ed Wood is that he never thought he was making bad movies. Sure, he saw himself as a maverick film-maker, working outside of the system, but he and the rest of his crew were always doing the best they could to produce what they thought would turn out to be the blockbuster that would get the world thinking they were right. Whether it be Plan 9 From Outer Space, Shark Attack 3, Manos: The Hands of Fate or Space Mutiny, the makers of truly bad movies didn’t set out to make an intentionally bad film. All the bizarre things that make us laugh now from the chiropractor impersonating Bela Lugosi through Big McLargeHuge to John Barrowman delivering the most bizarre line in film history were put in by people who thought they were good ideas at the time, and something that would make their movie great.
By contrast, everything about MS vs GO has an unmistakeable air of ‘that’ll do’ and ‘it’s not that important’ about it, be it sets that look like corridors when they’re meant to be the bridge of US Navy destroyers, a half-hearted battle between the titular monsters or Lorenzo Lamas just nibbling the scenery occasionally when his role demands crazed chewing of it for it to make any sense. They’ve set out to make a mediocre movie and succeeded, but you can only plumb the true depths of failure if you’re aiming for the stars. And with bizarre metaphors like that, I should be writing film scripts…
Why not create official downloads with advertisements? It’d be something like a distributed Hulu, without the expense of having to pay for the streaming bandwidth yourself. I would expect that people would be more likely to choose an official download rather than a pirated one, and wouldn’t object to sitting through some adverts to watch them – indeed, there’s probably even a way to ‘lock’ the ads, so that they have to be watched, which could also generate viewing figures for the advertisers.
OK, it’s a new field and advertisers probably wouldn’t be paying loads for it, but it’d be an interesting new revenue stream to exploit and getting into it first might be a big financial advantage in itself.
* Most of these figures are usually generated by adding up the total number of viewers who could watch the channels it’s being broadcast on, rather than the number who might actually watch it.
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