“Quit looking At me!”
A number of us here at Row Three caught Álex De La Iglasia’s Grand Guignol of Circus performers and crazy violence (as a quite satirical metaphor for the Franco Years, naturally), Balada Triste, at TIFF. I believe the love was unanimous. Here is a teaser from the film which features three of its signature images: A gorgeous Trapeze Artist, simply put, one of the most beautiful women on the planet; A disfigured clown with two Machine Guns (a selling point to most adventurous folks of good humour) and just for overkill (and there is plenty of that in the film, in a good way) a clown with a Machete.
Or for the those wanting to sink more into the mood and extravagance of the film, and more footage of disfigured clowns, there is the lengthier and more poetic and disturbing Italian Trailer which is in a word: AWESOME.
Seek this one out on the big screen for all the reasons above, and one of the best opening credits sequences of the year!
Sometime in the early part of the 90’s, I stumbled on a miniseries that gave me nightmares for months to come. It was the adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” and the movie that single-handedly fuelled my fear of clowns for the next few years. I only saw it the single time but clearly remember being spooked by the story and some of the images and events that unfolded even if the ending left me wondering what the heck had just happened since the film devolved from good thriller (to a tweenaged me at least) into sci-fi weirdness with a spider-like monster thing that made very little sense.
Over the years, I have occasionally felt the pull to re-visit the story but never bothered and now it looks like I may write it off completely. A few weeks ago it was announced that It would be coming to the big screen care of WB and writer Dave Kajganich (the man behind the recent updating of Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Invasion). I was curious about the new film but with such little information to go on, it was simply a passing amusement rather than any real interest in the project but after reading some recent comments from Kajganich, I’m a little more curious.
In a discussion with Dread Central, Kajganich added a few details to the barebones production information including the fact that the film will be set in the mid 80s and the present, with the same 20 year gap King had in the original story, as well as news that this will definitely be an R rated film. The one thing that really impressed me about Kajganich’s comments was the fact that he seems to understand and care for the story enough to know that some of it will have to be cut out;
“WB wants to do this as a single film, so I will have to kill a few darlings to make that happen. You have my promise, though, that I will do this with the utmost humility and respect for King’s work.”
It’s not exactly a promissory note for a spectacular movie but I’m thrilled to see that Kajganich is comfortable enough with the material to make the difficult decisions and now I’m much more interested to see an updating of a film that traumatized my childhood. Who knows, maybe the updating will be creepy enough to traumatize the adult as well. Sometimes, a little trauma is appreciated.