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Return of the Franchise Boogeymen! Part 1

Franchise Boogeymen Banner

My last post was all about some of the exciting genre films coming down the pipeline in 2017. Today, we’re digging a bit deeper into what is possibly a renaissance of the franchise boogeyman. That’s right, all your favorite psycho-killers are readying their big returns to the big screen (and for some, the small screen).

In “Part 1” we’re going to look at the films that have already finished production. These are 100% on their way. In Part 2 (yes, there’s actually enough to warrant a second article!) we’ll dive into the films that are merely “in development”. Which as we know, the development stage can go on and on and on…

Cult of Chucky

Alex and Fiona - Cult of Chucky

Fiona Dourif and Alex Vincent on the set of “Curse of Chucky”

Possibly my second most anticipated film of 2017 (behind Alien: Covenant) is the return of my favorite killer doll in Cult of Chucky! The 7th film in the Child’s Play series started production just last week in Canada with franchise creator, Don Mancini, at the helm once again.

I’m extremely excited for this entry due to it’s ultimate mashup of a plot that promises to tie all the various films together. We’ve got the OG Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) returning to star alongside Tiffany herself (Jennifer Tilly) and returning heroine, Nica (Fiona Dourif) from Curse of Chucky. Naturally, Brad Dourif will be back to voice our friend til’ the end. Here’s hoping there’s at least a little bit of acknowledgment for our favorite twins, Glen and Glenda.

Right now the film has a tentative release date of “in time for Halloween” on VOD and Blu-ray.

Rings

Rings Quad

It was 17 years ago that Samara crawled up out of that well and reached through our television screens to scare the pants off of American audiences. As we know, Sadako had already beat her to the punch. Now Paramount is hoping to revive the franchise with a sequel that naturally takes the haunted video tape viral.

This rebootquel has been lingering on the shelf for some time now with several previous release dates until finally being postponed to this year, Feb 3rd. I’ll be honest, the trailer doesn’t really elicit much in the way of excitement for me, but I am trying to keep an open mind. I think a modern telling of The Ring centered around the viral fixation of our social media culture is ripe for a whole new set of nightmares. Will Rings deliver? Thankfully, we don’t to wait too long to find out.

Hellraiser: Judgment

Hellraiser: Judgment - New Pinhead

Test shot of the “new” Pinhead and a character known as The Auditor

The cards are really stacked against this one, huh? While the first two (arguably three…or four if you’re pushing it) films in the Hellraiser franchise are considered classics, there aren’t many fans who would disagree: they have gotten progressively worse in the direct-to-video graveyard that the Weinsteins have relegated them to. The last film and the first to not feature the iconic Doug Bradley in the role of Pinhead, Hellraiser: Revelations was easily the worst in the series.

Revelations was severely rushed into production in order to retain the franchise’s rights. After all, the Weinsteins are still holding out for that big budget remake. Considering they recently lost the control of Halloween, they’d be damned if they lost Pinhead too. So…enter Judgment.

On the bright side, the film is directed by Gary Tunnicliffe who has handled the effects work on the numerous sequels as well as some awesome films like Feast and Scream. If anyone can make this low budget, cash grab into something worth watching – I have faith that it’s him. I know this is something he’s passionate about. He even directed a Hellraiser fan film, No More Souls, that’s not half bad. On the not so bright side…Tunnicliffe also wrote the script for Revelations.

We still have no release date or trailer, but the film is expected to hit video sometime this year. Below is the aforementioned short directed by Tunnicliffe.

Leatherface

Leatherface 2017 Poster

Here we find ourselves with another good news/bad news situation. The good news: After the terribly dumb but sort of fun, if I’m being honest, Texas Chainsaw 3D, the producers seem to be taking the property a bit more serious. Leatherface was actually a Black List script (which means it must’ve been pretty tight), and the amazing duo of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside, Livide) are pulling directing duties. The cast also includes some great names like Stephen Dorff and Lili Taylor. The IMDB even hints we may see the return of NUBBINS!

Now it’s time for the bad news: The film has been completed for almost a year. There were murmurs of test screenings that didn’t go too well which led to major re-shoots and recutting of the film. Granted, that last bit of info hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s easy to believe considering how quiet things have been since production started. The biggest blow to any excitement I had for this film is that it’s ANOTHER origin story/prequel. Rarely does this sort of thing pan out well when applied to major franchise boogeyman. The less we know, the scarier they tend to be.

I’m still curious to see the film, or at least a trailer, based solely off the directing duo. As of now there is no set release date, but fingers are crossed we’ll see it this year.

Saw: Legacy

Saw Puppet

This is one entry on the list shrouded in the most secrecy. We know absolutely zilch about the upcoming eighth film to detail the exploits of Jigsaw and his various minions. What I can say is that Lionsgate tapped a pair of directors, the Spierig Brothers, who have been behind some top notch genre fare in the past (Undead, Daybreakers). Personally, they seem like an odd fit for a Saw film. That could be great and lead to the type of sequel that truly surprises fans by delivering something completely unexpected. It could also be a total dud.

As of this writing, the film is scheduled for release on October 27th. Could Saw be reclaiming the Halloween thrown after all these years?

There you have it, fiends. It’s amazing to think we could be getting all of these films in the same year! It’s almost like the 80’s all over again. You couldn’t take a leak without pissing on at least one major horror sequel…at least that’s how I imagine it. I was only five by the end of the decade, but whatever. On top of all that, this is only the tip of the blood glacier, people. Stay tuned later this week for “Part 2”!

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Zachary Paul

I'm a long time horror nerd and wannabe director. My inspirations are varied from Wes Craven, Dario Argento, George Romero, Lucio Fulci, John Carpenter, and even some John Waters and Joss Whedon. My tastes are all over the place within the genre. Give me highbrow, gross out, slow burn, rubber suit wearing, action/horror hybrid...I love it all. I enjoy writing and talking about all aspects of horror. BONUS FACT: I love cooking and eating anything with pumpkin in it. Find me on Twitter @BringBackMM or contact me directly at zachp@halloweenlove.com.