This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Oh, I got heathens aplenty right here."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 20 December 2014




Tweet







November 14 2005

(SPOILER) James Marsters' new film - Shadow Puppets. New info about the movie.

Looks like an art house/film festival kind of company although their credits include The Man From Elysian Fields featuring Andy Garcia and Mick Jagger, and this Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School starring Danny Devito, John Goodman and Marisa Tomei, recently picked up by Samuel Goldwyn. Oh, they also have a Martin Scorsese film called Brooklyn Lobsters to their credit and Glengarry Glen Ross.

James will always be MY Harry
http://tinyurl.com/amso5

JM may have called this a thriller, but it sure sounds like a horror movie. (wimper) Blast, this is going to be tough. I do hate horror movies.
It sounds good. I like horror-movies :)
Ditto, newcj. This dampens my interest in the project.
There is sometimes a very fine line between horror and thriller. To me, those are the best of either. It does sound like a horror movie with what it mentioned, but you never know, it could be a figment of one or all of the characters imaginations...sounds very interesting as long as it isn't just a "how high can we make the body count" type, though I've love cheesy horror movies as well. I just pictured zietgeist popping in here to enquire about just what kind of cheese do I consider scary...:) that would be all the stinky varieties!

Just because it may be horror, doesn't mean it can't be good. Nightmare on Elmstreet springs to mind. The concept of something coming out of your own nightmares scared the hell out of me when that first came out. Will be neat to see how they handle the memories or lack of. I think that part of it could get very psychological, mental asylum nowithstanding. I think it could make for a very interesting story. Looking forward to seeing James character (as well as the others), basically flying blind. I think that could make for some very interesting viewing. I mean, the whole, "is it real or not" should be scary.

It definitely sounds like a different character for him to play, without even knowing anything about the character or than it's someone helpless in an unknown, but scary situation.

I have to say I disagree about it sounding bad, (in reference to a post below). I'm very intrigued. That small blurb isn't much to go by, and i'm sure it's just a simplified plot synopsis, so we all know it could be handled in so many different ways. I'm looking forward to it.

[ edited by Grace on 2005-11-14 17:44 ]
Eh, it sounds like crap, but I watched The Mountain and Smallville for James. Granted, I didn't have to pay anything for them...hmmm...this may take some thought...

As they piece together their memories, a vicious Shadow Creature stalks them, threatening their lives from the darkness.



If you replace 'Shadow Creature' with 'vampires', you got Tabula Rasa right there!
There are a lot of sub-catagories in the genre: personally I would call 'Nightmare on Elmstreet' more a slasher film than a thriller, and 'The Village' is more the suspense/thriller catagory (although it wasn't particularly suspenseful or thrilling, or in any way horrible...). So if 'Shadow Puppets' is more like 'The Village' then I won't hesitate to go, but I would never go to sit through anything like 'Nightmare on Elmstreet'.
However do we even know if it going to get wide release? Because if not I might not have a chance to see it at all (Iowa rarely gets the independent films).
It has the air of a direct to DVD movie about it.
"There are a lot of sub-catagories in the genre: personally I would call 'Nightmare on Elmstreet' more a slasher film than a thriller, and 'The Village' is more the suspense/thriller catagory..."

I totally agree about categories. I sort of have a scale in my head where at one end you have a place where the likes of Jason and Freddie live and the other you have movies like The Crying Game, or The Sixth Sense, etc. I personally have movies throughout that entire spectrum I like, but I am a self proclaimed lover of B-Movies! Also, I do like to see the psychological in even the some of the most slasher of slasher flicks.
Does the poster on the site make the shadow kinda look like a vampire?
A bit more info on the film from James's costar. Found on the JMF {James Marsters Forum} from a fan who attended the Orlando Vulkon convention.

"Jolene Blalock said that this is a movie in the tradition of Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. You won't see the gory aspects,that will be suggested by music and camera shots."

Not being a fan of slash or gore this sounds much more to my liking.
It sounds just up my street to be perfectly honest. I don't like gorefest horror movies, but this so doesn't sound like one of those.

The image it gives me is when you wake up but can't move yet and you see something out of the corner of your eye. You think it's moving towards you and you freak out because you can't move. But then you can move and you realise it was nothing. Just your imagination.

More "in your head terror" than the regular horror thing. Nothing is scarier that what you can imagine yourself.

Seriously looking forward to this.

I can see this going on the big screen too. Don't quite get why people think it's only a DVD release type of film. Just because it doesn't suit everyone doesn't mean it wont be released at the movies.

I mean, look at Serenity.
"Does the poster on the site make the shadow kinda look like a vampire?"

Not to me, I see more of a Devil type figure (think Exorcist - I think there was a statue or shadow shown in a couple of scenes that had that look, winged gargoyle type). Also, I'm sure this is just a preliminary image, just to have SOMETHING to show.

"Jolene Blalock said that this is a movie in the tradition of Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. You won't see the gory aspects,that will be suggested by music and camera shots."
You're definitely talking about my kind of flick then. I love both of those styles. Funny they're both mentioned as they seem so different to me from each other. As I always think of Hitchcock as the kind of scare that's totally in your imagination (like someone else said, we scare ourselves best) and Kubrick's work as being more stylized and having alot to say about societal norms (of course Clockwork Orange IS Kubrick, in my mind. Hard to think of anything else).

[ edited by Grace on 2005-11-14 18:43 ]
You know what....I could care less what type of flick it is. It's JAMES....sorry if I sound shallow, but I will watch. We all know Marsters can take the ordinary and turn it into the exraordinary...so I'm not worried. If nothing else I add it to my DVD collection.

If it is in the fashion of Hitchcock type thrillers...all the more reason for me to enjoy it. Some of those movies scared the bejeebies out of me....

Looks like a lot of Buffy and Angel alumni are in films of this type...DB did Valentine and the Crow flick...SMG has the Grudge... I think NB is doing a horror flick...and then we have NF ( ok...from Serenity)...doing 'Slither'...that sounds pretty horror flick to me, so I see nothing wrong with this.

It could be great...give it a chance....Hell my hubby is drooling over that Blalock girl already... so I don't feel so guilty obsessing over James.......
Thinks its the descriptive text and the art which make it seem direct to disc. It doesn't exactly scream 'we spent a lot of money on this and it will be in every theatre'. :) Which isn't to say it might not be a fun/interesting/scary flick.

kathylovesspike - Best hope its NOT like the fourth Crow flick :) ETA - some of those ellipses could be commas or periods; they change the flow of the post in ways you may not have intended.

Grace - ha! Saved me the trouble ;)
Jolene Blalock compares it to Hitchcock, and not gorey, so that's good. Tony Todd is in it, too.
Sorry zeitgeist...I get carried away with the elipses...my bad. What I was trying to show was that other Buffy Verse alumni have all done horror flicks, so it was no big deal for James to follow suit. I did not mean to imply that The Crow was even a good flick....far from it, I just wanted to point out that James is apparently in good company with this type of film.
Again, I will wait and see how the movie is. Maybe it will be realeased, maybe not, but even if it goes right to DVD I will buy it.
No biggie :) Looking forward to seeing some reviews as I dig good suspense/horror, I even love bad horror (the fourth Crow was horror, just not in the way it intended to be).
Thinks its the descriptive text and the art which make it seem direct to disc. It doesn't exactly scream 'we spent a lot of money on this and it will be in every theatre'. :)

Added to that it's taking just over a month to film. Or at least that's how long James will be working on it. And obviously that doesn't mean it will be bad, but I agree it probably won't be headed to the big screen. Would be nice to see him up there again, but I'll wait for something better to hang my 'big screen, starring James' hopes on.
I thought it looked like a bat too. The poster makes it look cheesey but Tony Todd, JM, and Jolene mean I have to watch it at least once.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-11-14 20:22 ]
"Added to that it's taking just over a month to film. Or at least that's how long James will be working on it. And obviously that doesn't mean it will be bad, but I agree it probably won't be headed to the big screen. "

No offense to anyone intended and I ask this in all honesty, but does the length of shooting determine if something is for the big screen or not? Not really sure I see a correlation there. I always associated shooting schedules with things like the weather, whether you had to setup for computer graphics to be added later, availability of locations and personnel, as well as the obvious budget/money issue and countless other things.

I guess we're all just trying to figure it all out because really all we have at this stage are a blurb, a few paragraphs from James, and a few comments from Blalock and Todd. Not really much to go on and certainly not enough to make too many assumptions. I'm gonna wait and see what we get.

[ edited by Grace on 2005-11-14 21:01 ]
I love horror movies of all types. Can't wait to see this.

[ edited by supersymetry on 2005-11-14 21:22 ]
but does the length of shooting determine if something is for the big screen or not?

No, not directly, but to steal from zeitgeist --It doesn't exactly scream 'we spent a lot of money on this and it will be in every theatre'. Most big screen films take several months to film, and while there are some small indy ones that probably take 2 weeks and a shoestring budget that make it to the big screen, they're usually not horror type stuff.

I'm just going off of experience, waiting excitedly for all the Dean Cain movies that I heard were in production to hit the big screen, and they ended up on tv or straight to dvd. And this seems the same ilk, really.(No, in no way does Dean compare to James in acting, to be clear) I'll see it eventually, because James will be great, and if it hits the big screen, I'll be very happy for him. It just doesn't seem like it will. But then again, it *is* just speculation based on very little info. And I always have fun speculatin'. :~P
The opening sounds intriguing, and indeed Hitchcockian, but then with the words 'shadow creature' it kind of sounds more like a Sci-Fi flic of the week.

No offense to anyone intended and I ask this in all honesty, but does the length of shooting determine if something is for the big screen or not?

Well most movies intended for the big screen generally don't take only a month plus of shooting, but it's not an iron-clad law. Given all the other info I'd definitely still put this in the 'TV/straight to DVD' camp though.
Just to clarify: I don't hate horror movies because they can't be well written and produced. I hate horror movies because I don't like to be scared and don't like to be grossed out. It is a source of frustration to me that really good writers, directors and actors make horror movies. I want to see their work, I just don't want to have the residual yucky feelings I have after horror movies.

So here I am again with one of my favorite actors and one of my favorite writers each making what seems to be a horror film. Oh joy. I will almost certainly see them both.

And as far as the short shooting schedule indicating that it is probably straight to DVD, the simplistic version is that it is an indication of either the budget or the size of the role. Since it was indicated that JM had a lead role, one would assume it is pretty low budget. The lower the budget the less likely it is planned for full theatrical release. Course every now and then something with a really low budget comes out of no where, gets a theatrical release, and surprises everybody.

As far as the plot description sounding good or bad, I can never tell. The lamest sounding plot descriptions have made wonderful movies/shows and the most interesting sounding have made the terrible movies/shows. Sooooo much depends on the execution.

Oh, and the shadow looks like a bat or gargoyle to me too.

[ edited by newcj on 2005-11-14 22:02 ]
Athough personally I didn't find it scary and thought it rather boring, The Blair Witch was filmed on a shoestring and looked cheap because, well, it was. Still got to cinemas and made a whole heap of money.

Like I said earlier, a movie made following a failed tv show managed to make it to the big screen, why not this.

I didn't realise there was so many industry types here. Cool.
Asylum? Check.
Lost memories? Check.
Questionable experiments? Check.
An actor I dig? Check.

Where do I sign up?
I didn't realise there was so many industry types here. Cool.


I'll assume that's sarcasm (shock!) :) There are a lot of folks here who are deeply interested in the industry and thus follow it closely enough to have read production notes, scanned shooting schedules, watched dailies, and could probably tell you a thing or two about lighting, framing, and setups. A shooting schedule of less than a month while assuming standard running times tells you that the set ups for lighting/blocking/etc will not be exactly super complicated.
I resolve not to point and mock until I've seen it. (See how I'm growing?)
Good Bad Kitty. Good Bad Kitty.

Somehow, that doesn't come out right. ;-)
Actually, this looks to me like a more or less typical indie -- more than you think have genre elements. Whether or not it gets a theatrical release (usually limited) or not will depend, I'm guessing, on the festival circuit.
Actually, according to the person who asked Jolene Blalock the question (hello Berry) she was going 20 days, and James said five weeks.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2005-11-15 02:01 ]
It's James , therefore I'll find a way to see it . And I'm certainly not prejudging the film based on a few lines of plot summary.

James mentioned that he really liked the script so I'm trusting his judgement on this one. After all there were howls of outrage when he signed up for Smallville and that's turned out to be both a good career move for him and a hell of a lot of fun for me as a viewer .

By the way I'd like to pause for a moment in appreciation of the fifth anniversary of the first airing of Fool For Love

Say what you like the man can act! And anything he's in is well worth a watch.

So, roll on March. I can't wait!
Deb, you are right about that. Many of his fans were yelling about SMALLVILLE only to find later that the critical acclaim for him in tremendous. It's really been a GREAT career move for him.

YAY for FOOL FOR LOVE! I remember when I watched it, I didn't recognize William as Spike. (of course, I'd never seen James play anything but Spike, and it took me a few minutes for it all to sink in)
Sarcasm? You might say that, I couldn't possibly comment.

"A shooting schedule of less than a month while assuming standard running times tells you that the set ups for lighting/blocking/etc will not be exactly super complicated.
zeitgeist | November 14, 22:49 CET"

Do they have to be? Is good acting not enough?

Also, what about tv shows who get awards for that sort of stuff. They manage it in what? seven to ten days.

JM said that he was filming for five weeks. I think that was longer than a month last time I checked my Spike and Angel calendars.

That was sarcasm by the way. I love Anya. 8-)
lynnie - I was responding to earlier mentions in this thread of shooting for around a month. As for the 'Do they have to be? Is good acting not enough?' -- I'd prefer that the camera work and lighting not suck so badly so as to ruin a great performance by a great actor. I'm quite frankly surprised that your Spike and Angel calendars were able to agree ;)
They always agree after a nice long s.....nuggle. ;0)
Given all the other info I'd definitely still put this in the 'TV/straight to DVD' camp though.


What is all the other information that you are talking about ? Or can you not tell us because you are bound by a secrecy clause?

I see only two possible definite facts about this movie that we know without being movie insiders , it's shooting schedule and it's genre.All the rest about lightning setups,blocking etc is , possibly informed , speculation
Thanks to all for their thoughts on shooting schedules, etc.

"I see only two possible definite facts about this movie that we know without being movie insiders, it's shooting schedule and it's genre. All the rest about lightning setups,blocking etc is, possibly informed, speculation"

I guess that's where I was headed by asking that question. Seems we're ALL just guessing here because we really only have a few tidbits to go by. It's fun to guess, but I'm looking forward to some more concrete info. I'm sure James or Steve Himber will let everyone know when they know more as well.

"Deb, you are right about that. Many of his fans were yelling about SMALLVILLE only to find later that the critical acclaim for him in tremendous. It's really been a GREAT career move for him."

This is true, I'm glad he's gotten more than an episode or two. This way he's able to add yet another meaty character to his resume.

[ edited by Grace on 2005-11-15 02:15 ]
Why are so many assuming that it'll be direct to DVD? It's only filming for five weeks, and it stars James Marsters, a television actor (gasp!), therefore it's a cheapie DVD film. Well, Serenity only filmed for seven weeks (starring Nathan Fillion, not exactly previously known as a movie star), and included lots of exterior location filming, so five weeks for a movie set in an enclosed area, so probably filmed on a single set, sounds about right, and is probably about the same length as theatrical thriller/horror films like "Cube" and "Saw."

Did Serenity spend more than five weeks inside Universal Studios' Set 12? That sounds about right. And I've never heard anyone complain about their lighting. And in many countries Serenity's a straight-to-DVD movie, unfortunately, but it's a great film that's gotten great reviews. DVD does not always mean "it stinks," especially nowadays. The Stewie Griffin (Family Guy) DVD is doing great. It's a whole new medium.

Why don't we wait until they at least finish FILMING the movie before declaring that it's good or bad? Or does that make too much sense? Most professional reviewers actually watch a movie before giving it a thumbs-down. Can't we do the same?
Why don't we wait until they at least finish FILMING the movie before declaring that it's good or bad? Or does that make too much sense? Most professional reviewers actually watch a movie before giving it a thumbs-down. Can't we do the same?

Well, what we're responding to on this thread is the few bits of information that we have. And no one is saying that the movie will be bad as a statement of fact. What we're saying is that to some of us the *premise* doesn't sound all that promising. I don't need to see the movie to judge its premise. Which is all I'm doing. I could be pleasantly surprised but I'd need new info to determine that.

And also based on that information given to us, it sounds like it *could* be a straight to dvd film. Which doesn't have to mean it's bad, just that it's not expensive which *could* mean bad in the sense of low production values, as many others have already pointed out. Several times. So this is the *idea* that some of us are getting from the info. And this is the thread to discuss that info and I don't really see why some people are getting so upset at the notion that this movie might (*gasp*) go straight to DVD.

And since some of you point out that straight to DVD doesn't have to mean it's bad, (and that's true) why are you mad when we say that it might be one of those films? There are plenty of movies that go straight to DVD and they're intended to. This could be one of those movies. Maybe not. What's the big deal?

Comparing it to Blair Witch or Serenity doesn't really hold a lot of water since both those movies were extremely rare projects on many levels. Dozens of articles have been linked on this site about how rare a thing Serenity was, how rare that this happened: failed TV show, unknown actors, no high concept, etc. How good it looked despite the budget being fairly low (thanks among other things to Jack Green being a frikkin' lighting genius) I see nothing in the info on this movie that makes me think it's a similar project on those levels.

Blair Witch was also an extremely rare exception and not even a normal 'movie' in the general sense of the word. (many people thought it was real at first, which gave it a huge marketing push and it was very gimmick heavy) It's not really something to compare other movies to in terms of what's standard for production values compared to success rate. It was one of those 'lightning strikes' things that happen every 20 years or so. (The first 'Evil Dead' was kind of similar. As was the original 'Ju On' in Japan, though even those didn't come near Blair Witch results) It's always possible, but the odds are probably along the lines of winning the lotto. If I were to compare every movie made to those, I would get some really weird results.

I hope this movie will be good. I think it sounds on the cheap side and there's a chance of cornball. It sounds like a tv film and from what I know I wouldn't be enticed to watch it if it wasn't for the fact that James is in it. I think he's a fine actor so I will give it a chance, but I learned from Cool Money that with all his talent and effort in the world, he still can't make a crap movie better.
Actually I really rather enjoyed Cool Money and thought that James made it infinitely better. In fact I just ordered it on DVD. But each to their own.

I'm looking forward to hearing more news on Shadow Puppets and to talking about it properly when we've actually seen it.
"Comparing it to Blair Witch or Serenity doesn't really hold a lot of water since both those movies were extremely rare projects on many levels. Dozens of articles have been linked on this site about how rare a thing Serenity was, how rare that this happened: failed TV show, unknown actors, no high concept, etc. How good it looked despite the budget being fairly low (thanks among other things to Jack Green being a frikkin' lighting genius) I see nothing in the info on this movie that makes me think it's a similar project on those levels."

So you admit that despite a low budget a movie can still kick major butt. Good. Progress. 8-)

Plus JM, JB and TT are hardly unknowns. Hey things are really looking up.
So you admit that despite a low budget a movie can still kick major butt. Good. Progress. 8-)

I must have missed where Ed said that a low budget movie couldn't kick butt. I think most people would agree that on average, low budget movies tend to suck, with a very few notable exceptions.

And I guess for a sci-fi movie, Serenity *was* low budget. But I'd assume its budget is higher than Shadow Puppets, so it's all relative to genre. Not sure I'd ever really say a movie like Serenity was 'low budget', because yeah, that implies less quality. But again, miracles have been known to happen with low budget, indy type stuff. I hope SP is one of those miracles. I don't personally see that happening, based on what little I've heard of the premise, but again, that's my own speculating. Which I enjoy doing.

As far as JM, JB and TT...well, I'm not sure how 'known' they are in the mainstream. I'd never heard of TT or JB myself before this project, but that's not really saying much. I could be wrong, maybe they're household names.
Well JM and TT most certainly are in this house. lol. Also, neither I nor Ed said anything about "mainstream."

"What we're saying is that to some of us the *premise* doesn't sound all that promising. I don't need to see the movie to judge its premise. Which is all I'm doing. I could be pleasantly surprised but I'd need new info to determine that."

Therefore the inference is that it will not kick butt. Not that tricky to figure out really. :-)

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home