Rest in peace New Line Cinema — My most favorite movie distribution and production company of all time. If you’re like me, seeing that beautiful logo before a great movie is simply nostalgic.
I say rest in peace, not because the company is actually gone (because it isn’t), but because it has been fully absorbed by Warner Brothers (it was under WB’s wing for many years, but still allowed to operate independently) and Bob Shaye (the founder and life-blood of the company) left in 2008. I consider the company that we’ve known over the years to be dead. The company that brought us the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy, the Critters franchise, the Blade trilogy, the Final Destination films (though I stopped watching after the first sequel, enjoyed the first two a lot), Mortal Kombat, Se7en, Spawn, Dark City, Willard and ended up with the distribution rights to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th.
That’s right, one company (and lovingly so) had the rights to Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface all at the same time! How New Line Cinema could not be any self-respecting hardcore horror fan’s favorite movie company, I just don’t know.
Side Note — They also did the TV show Freddy’s Nightmares, which I’m sure many of you have heard of (and hopefully seen), but does anyone remember the much hyped, but never aired A Nightmare on Elm Street: Real Nightmares?
Bob Shaye actually made appearances in several of the Nightmare films over the years. He was clearly a proud and passionate man of the films his company helped make happen. Where he truly embraces the Nightmare series (New Line Cinema is respectively nicknamed “The House that Freddy Built” and he pays many thanks to it and often [see him talk about it in countless interviews]), Paramount was polar opposite with its obvious embarrassment of the Friday the 13th series though they milked it for all it was worth and then sold off the distribution and home video rights to New Line/WB.
If you weren’t aware, Bob Shaye isn’t done yet. Him and partner Michael Lynne have started a new production company, Unique Features, which is currently producing its first picture The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
New Line, you will be missed. I look forward to seeing what gems Unique Features brings us.
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