Mark 13 - "no flesh shall be spared"
December 26, 2008 9:52 PM   Subscribe

The Sea of Perdition - Children of the Kingdom - Black Tulips - Three short films by South African-born film director Richard Stanley. Stanley's career took off with Hardware (an unacknowledged adaptation the 2000ad story Shok!) and the apocalyptic African western/Horror movie Dust Devil, then hit the rocks with the doomed 1996 version of the Island of Doctor Moreau, from which he was fired and replaced by John Frankenheimer. Stanley hasn't directed a feature film since... though he now has two films in preproduction, Vacation and Bones of the Earth. The original script for Moreau can be read on his unofficial site, as well as the script for a sequel to Hardware. Richard Stanley's MySpace Blog is also very strange.
posted by Artw (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Hardware is a bitch to get on DVD. Dust Devil was neat, but I think I need to be on some kind of drugs to get it.

Stanley supposedly hid out on location during Island of Doctor Moreau, having made friends with the makeup people, and lurked about disguised as one of Moreau's experiments, one of the dog-like folks.
posted by adipocere at 10:08 PM on December 26, 2008

According to wikipedia Brando may have been so weird on set because of the death of his daughter (fair enough) and "the implications of a French nuclear test near the atoll he owned."
posted by Artw at 10:16 PM on December 26, 2008

(Val Kilmer, on the other hand, was probably just being a shit.)
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on December 26, 2008

Brando also refused to memorize his lines, and instead had them read to him via an earpiece. There was crosstalk from other radio signals, and he would be in the middle of the scene, then deliver, as if it belonged, "There's a robbery at Woolworth's!"

The set sounded like pure chaos.
posted by adipocere at 10:23 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hardware is one of my favourite SF movies, for all its flaws, it's one of the few movies that gets and dedicates itself to that particular postapocalyptic/cyberpunk vibe. When it came out in the nineties, it felt like the written SF from the 80s had finally arrived on screen, but it turned out to be just a blip, for some weird reason.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:29 PM on December 26, 2008

Dust Devil has some pretty awesome stuff in it. SUPER stylized in a very accessible, almost Alex Proyas / Guillermo Del Toro kind of way, but much much more demonic. Terrible narration, though (laughable, in an almost good way).
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:08 PM on December 26, 2008

Longer peice on the Moreau clusterfuck
posted by Artw at 11:24 PM on December 26, 2008

Also, looking forward to watching these films in the morning, when I will be awake enough to give them full attention. Nice post!!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:45 PM on December 26, 2008

There's a good account of the Moreau disaster in David Hughes' The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made (an expansion on the article Artw links to, I imagine).

Brando was at a stage where he would just mess around if he though the director would let him get away with it. Hence doing on scene with a bucket on his head.

"the implications of a French nuclear test near the atoll he owned."

I think buying that had put him on the point of bankrupcy... he was planning, I think, to open a resort so having the place nuked would have been a bit stressful.

Plus Kilmer was an egomaniac and Stanley mad, which didn't help.

Heard a radio interview with David Thewlis and he sounded a bit bemused by the whole thing - 'a lot of "I'm going back to my trailer!"'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM on December 27, 2008

Wow. I knew the Moreau movie was crap, but I never realized the whole production was such a debacle. This explains a lot.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:32 AM on December 27, 2008

I loved Hardware. I wouldn't mind a sequel, though I imagine it wouldn't jibe anymore. The soundtrack still works for me, although I haven't seen the movie/heard the soundtrack for many, many years.

This is what you want/this is what you get
posted by Ghidorah at 7:23 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Artw: You spend tons of energy chewing out Armond White in the other thread and then you post a link to review which is as prosaic and numb as 12-year-old's book report?
posted by dydecker at 7:37 AM on December 27, 2008

Well, TBH, there's not a lot out there on the internets about Dusty Devil. Which is a bit of a shame.
posted by Artw at 9:24 AM on December 27, 2008

Heh. The extra Y is a typo, but I like it because it reminds me of Dusty Bin.
posted by Artw at 9:26 AM on December 27, 2008

Ghidorah - Oh yes: Ministry, Public Image Limited, and Rossini (though for some reason I always thought it was Mozart)
posted by Artw at 9:35 AM on December 27, 2008

Heh. The extra Y is a typo, but I like it because it reminds me of Dusty Bin .

Wouldn't surprise me if Stanley had a hand in 3.2.1. being that it the most unintelligible quiz show ever.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:01 AM on December 27, 2008

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the soundtrack to Hardware, but I don't know how I could, it turned me on to Ministry for the first time, and they turned into one of my all time favourite bands. I must have been 14 or 15 at the time, and I remember listening to Stigmata with a friend, marvelling at how much Al Jourgensen's voice sounded like a power drill. I've loved Ministry ever since.

Oh, and the PIL track is very good too, as is Simon Boswell's original music.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:33 PM on December 27, 2008

Barry Norman Looks At The Making Richard Stanley's Hardware And Revenge of Billy the Kid

Just remembered stumbling over this the other day... (blog post with embedded youtube vid)
... oh and despite the dodgy syntax, Stanley had nothing to do with the truly bonkers Revenge Of Billy The Kid
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:04 PM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

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