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Amazing movie posters for films by Hitchcock, Kubrick and Lynch that we’ll never get to see

Salvador Dali’s ‘Giraffes on Horseback Salad’ (1937)
Most film directors have a list of movie projects they never manage to make. Some are started like Orson Welles’ Don Quixote but never finished—though posthumously released in a re-edited form. Others like Hitchcock’s R.R.R.R. never quite make it from idea to script to studio green light.

L.A. based artist and designer Fernando Reza has created a stupendous selection of film posters for movie projects by directors like Hitchcock, Welles, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and even Salvador Dali that were discussed, planned, and even partially filmed but never completed.

Take for example Salvador Dali who planned to make a movie with the Marx Brothers called Giraffes on Horseback Salad in 1937. Dali was friends with Harpo Marx and the pair decided to work together on a film project. Dali had already made two short films with Luis Bunuel (Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’or) and would later go on to collaborate with Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock designing dream sequences for Dumbo and Spellbound.

Dali and Marx concocted a story about an aristocrat played by Harpo falling in love with a woman whose face is never revealed. The great Surrealist intended to use the film to show:

...the continuous struggle between the imaginative life as depicted in the old myths and the practical and rational life of contemporary society.

The film was to include scenes with a “horde of burning giraffes wearing gas masks, and Harpo catching dwarves with a net.” A script was apparently written but the other Marx Brothers nixed the idea thinking the idea a stinker and the script not very funny.
Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ aka ‘Frenzy’ (1964-67).
Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make a prequel to Shadow of Doubt with another “Merry Widow Murderer” luring women to their grisly deaths. As with Psycho, Hitchcock had devised three set pieces to focus on the three gruesome murders carried out by the deviant sex-fiend. The first murder was to take place by a waterfall; the second on board a disused warship; the third in an oil refinery against brightly colored oil drums. 

Unlike Psycho or Shadow of Doubt there was no moral counterpoint to the “relentless sex and violence” shown onscreen. A script was written and test scenes shot. Among the actors considered for the lead role were Michael Caine, Robert Redford and David Hemmings. The film was basically a slasher movie a decade ahead of its time. Universal Studios vetoed the idea—thinking Hitchcock’s movie too amoral and too dark.
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Guillermo del Toro refused to insert a ‘Poochie’ into ‘Wind in the Willows’

The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show!
For my money, “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show,” episode #14 in the 8th season of The Simpsons, ranks as one of the most effortlessly resonant episodes they ever did. If you recall that one, the TV execs, worried about slipping ratings for “The Itchy & Scratchy Show,” decide to insert an “extreme” dog character named “Poochie” into the program. The surfboard-toting Poochie wears sunglasses, a backwards baseball cap, and torn shorts and generally behaves like the parody of edgy youth behavior he was intended to be. Eventually the kids start to hate Poochie because he always drags down the action, and they kill off the character. In a “meta” point to drive the point home, in the episode an additional, sassy Simpsons sibling named “Roy” materializes, whom all the characters acknowledge as always having been there.

The episode is studded with great dialogue, but here’s a bit in which all the relevant nonsense about Poochie is laid out in detail:

Network Executive Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He’s edgy, he’s “in your face.” You’ve heard the expression, “let’s get busy”? Well, this is a dog who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly.

Krusty: So he’s proactive, huh?

Network Executive Lady: Oh, God, yes. We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

Writer: Excuse me, but “proactive” and “paradigm”? Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I’m fired, aren’t I?

Roger Myers Jr.: Oh, yes.

The whole episode is a stone classic, and (in my mind at least, and I know I’m not alone) the word “Poochie” ever since has always been synonymous with gratuitous attempts to pander to audiences.

Everybody gets that Poochie-type behavior is a daily occurrence in Hollywood—but surely the makers of The Simpsons were exaggerating, right? To judge from the experience of Guillermo del Toro, apparently not!

Around 2003 del Toro was attached to a Disney animated adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s 1905 children’s favorite The Wind in the Willows. In an interview from Rotten Tomatoes’ “Dinner and the Movies” series, del Toro revealed that he had to leave the project because of the Disney execs’ request to “Poochie” up the character of Toad:

Wind in the Willows, which I adapted to do animated. ... “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and all that - it was a beautiful little book, and then I went to meet with the executives and they said, “Could you give Toad a skateboard and make him say, ‘Radical, dude!’ things,” and that’s where I said, “It’s been a pleasure!”

The section with the Wind in the Willows stuff is embedded below, but you can watch the entire interview (12 files) if you like.

All in all, del Toro’s decisions to walk away from material—which happened often, apparently—seemed to work out well. He’s one of Hollywood’s most inventive and sought-after directors, and he just published a terrific book called Cabinet of Curiosities which we posted about a month ago.

Thank you Mark Davis!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Watching 100+ episodes of The Simpsons at the same time
The Simpsons laughing it up in Chernobyl
Guillermo del Toro’s incredible ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ sketchbooks to be published

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Guillermo del Toro’s incredible ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ sketchbooks to be published
06:43 pm


Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
You have to see only a single one of Guillermo del Toro’s lush, vivid movies to realize that the Mexican director, most recently of the Godzilla-style throwback Pacific Rim, is some kind of creative Tasmanian devil—another Tim Burton. It’s no surprise to learn that del Toro is a first-rate draftsman and has been obsessively marking up art notebooks for years. Fans have been wanting to a look at those notebooks for years, and finally, the day is nigh: Timed perfectly for Halloween gift season (is that even a thing?), Harper Design on October 29 is releasing a gorgeous edition of Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. It may not be quite as spectacularly weird as Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus, it’s pretty damn weird and spectacular in its own right.
Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
You can pre-order the book from Amazon for $36 (down from $60). If that seems pricy to you, then you probably aren’t super interested in the “Limited Edition,” which comes “encased in a cabinet with partitions and a secret compartment that holds the book”—that baby will run you $633.82. Marc Zicree is credited as a coauthor, and —as befits the A-lister del Toro has become—a foreword by James Cameron and an afterword by Tom Cruise.
Guillermo del Toro
Here’s a charming video trailer for the book, with plenty of mouth-watering closeups of various oddities in what I presume is del Toro’s own home:

In related news, Guillermo del Toro’s reference-tastic opening to the Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror” was released yesterday, and it’s fantastic. It’s meticulously detailed (like the Cabinet of Curiosities) and jammed with classic horror movie references. I spotted The Birds, The Phantom of the Paradise, The Shining, and del Toro’s own Pan’s Labyrinth are gimmes; I leave the rest for you to spot.

via Collider

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Codex Seraphinianus: A new edition of the strangest book in the world

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Nick Cave sings Disney

Hal Willner’s “Forest of No Return: Music from Vintage Disney Films” was performed live at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2007. An impressive line-up of musicians, including Jarvis Cocker (who hosted the event), Shane MacGowan, Grace Jones, David Thomas and Beth Orton, covered tunes from the Disney songbook.

In the clip below, Nick Cave sounds like a drunken sailor on ¨Hi Diddle Dee Dee¨ from Pincocchio . Good fun.

In related news, a new filmed version of Pinocchio is being produced by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) and Nick Cave has been brought on board to compose an original score for the movie. This I gotta see.

Cave meets Disney:

Nick does KC and The Sunshine Band after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment