Dame Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel “Ten Little Indians” (which initial title was quite edgy (and it’s easy to google) and quickly changed to “And Then There Were None” when it was published in the US in 1940) is one of the Queen of Suspense’s most enduring piece of literature. It’s a remarkably grim novel whose basic plot has been imitated countless times and undoubtedly will continue to inspire more works for the unforeseeable future. In the 20th century there were four English speaking film adaptations of the novel produced in 1945, 1965, 1974 and 1989 that greeted audiences but there was one fact that not everyone knows that tied all the films together in a peculiar way that differed from the novel. When the novel was adapted for the stage Dame Agatha herself changed the ending and altered the plot slightly. No doubt a reason for this was partly to let theater patrons depart on a slightly happier note but also some key things would have been very difficult to realize on stage that is much easier to communicate in a novel. The following film versions were all adapted from Christie’s stage version and so they did not faithfully adhere to the nihilistic tone that so distinguishes the novel from the rest of her work.
My favourite director is John Carpenter and I’ve spent an un-Godly amount of time devouring his work for more than 30 years. I’ve been rather hesitant at sharing my thoughts on his films on my blog as so much has been written about them and they’ve been fairly well dissected by many. But what the heck! I recently got into a Carpenter mood and viewed three of his early features and wanted to write a few things down.
My personal favourite of his is “The Fog”. It’s not what I consider his best work as I think “The Thing” is his crowning achievement. The one I’ve viewed most often is “Halloween” and the whole Michael Myers franchise is a big part of why horror/slasher films got a hold of me early on and have kept me interested for all these years.
These three early features by Carpenter are movies I revisit regularly and think very highly of.
Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain invites five of the most renowned and respected detectives in the world to his isolated mansion for a dinner and a murder. Greeting them is blind butler Bensonmum who only receives help from a hired deaf/mute maid who has a long list of things she doesn’t do; among them cooking. Before the night is over Twain promises that a murder will occur and the five best sleuths will be completely stumped.
Less than a year ago (27th June to be exact) I posted a review on “D-Tox” In conclusion of my earlier review I mentioned that the film was in serious need of some loving from niche labels (Arrow Video, Scream Factory etc.) and, in a small way, that has happened with MVD Marquee Collection’s Blu-ray release that came out on April 14th…
I’m not going to suggest that “A Kiss Before Dying” is some forgotten masterpiece but this little studio title has become somewhat of a cult item and it’s a film that I keep revisiting at regular intervals. The end product shows obvious signs of post production tinkering; the engrossing story leaves a number of interesting avenues unexplored and it’s overly rushed.
Back in 1998 (or so) I heard about this upcoming slasher flick, directed by the same man who brought us “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997), and starring none other than big time A-lister Sylvester Stallone alongside such veterans as Kris Kristofferson, Robert Patrick and Tom Berenger. Described as a combination of thrills and slasher elements from the likes of “Friday the 13th” with a setting that reminded you of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” (with a nod to The Overlook Hotel); my interest was piqued and then some.
Mostly a thriller but seriously dabbling in the slasher genre; “10 to Midnight” is a crackerjack flick that’s one of Bronson’s best 80’s efforts. He’s also allowed some room to give a performance and the veteran actor has a commanding presence and makes Leo a compelling character despite some very questionable behaviour.