Fearless Undead Backbrain correspondent Avery Guerra reports that he has been hearing the opinion expressed that Jim Wynorski has “really outdone himself” with his latest monster flick. This may be his best film yet, they say — or at least his best for some time.
It is, of course, the much anticipated remake of the dodgy 1950s classic B-monster flick The Giant Gila Monster (US-1959; dir. Ray Kellogg). It’s called simply Gila! (US-2012; dir. Jim Wynorski) and the poster above is the first official teaser poster, created by Jeremy Mincer of Silver Ferox Key Art. Read more about the production on Undead Backbrain as well as checking out a Brainspasm article on the involvement of Don Sullivan, then teenaged star of the original film.
Below is another new poster concept:
If new images from the production are indicative of the visual potential the crew have been creating, this may be an exception B-monster flick and one of Sy-Fy’s more successful acquisitions in the genre. A lot will depend on the quality of the work that goes into the visualisation of the titular monster, of course, but a good cast and script can do much to overcome the negatives of even less-than-perfect FX. The filming has wrapped now, and the gallery below gives a colourful indication of cast, sets and cars used — and suggests that retaining the 1950s setting definitely has legs!
The Backbrain is quietly hopeful!
For more, check out the film’s Facebook page.
Source: Producer Bill Dever via Avery Guerra. Written by Robert Hood.
Addendum: An Interview with Gila by Robert Hood
With Gila! going into post-production (which obviously includes the insertion of the title character into the film), we decided to get the low-down from the real star of the picture: Gila! himself.
I tracked him down to a huge and particularly grotty trailer half-buried in the sand and covered in scrub somewhere in the Indiana backwoods.
Gila: Hey! Whatta ya mean “grotty”? This is a luxury mobile suite and it’s in a prime location.
Undead Backbrain: It’s in a hole in the ground.
Gila: Yeah. What’s ya point? They dug it specially for me. I’m a star, ya know. A BIG star. That’s why they named the film after me.
UB: But you’ve never been in a movie before, have you?
Gila: Maybe not, but it’s in the blood. My papi was in the 1959 film. I’ve modeled meself on ‘im.
UB: Really? I thought they used a small lizard –
Gila: Gila Monster! None of this lizard business. Calling us lizards is demeaning. How would you like to be described as a monkey?
UB: Okay, okay. Don’t get excited! You’ll sink the caravan further into this hole it’s stuck in. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I thought they used a small… um, normal-sized gila monster in the first picture, filmed on miniature sets and superimposed –
Gila: Na! That’s a myth, spread by our enemies.
Gila: You know, Godzilla, Gorgo, the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. All those foreign interlopers.
UB: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was an American picture.
Gila: Yeah, but they dug up the actor from the Arctic circle somewhere. Finland, I reckon. Did you catch his accent? Ha! Laughable! He could hardly speak English at all.
UB: Can’t say I noticed.
Gila: You should check out the Director’s Cut.
UB: Sure. Right. So acting runs in the family. You’ve all been big?
Gila: Except for my brother Eric.
Gila: We don’t talk about him much. Great disappointment. Lives somewhere in the middle of the Mojave. In a tiny hole. He’s a real hermit. Just drags himself outa his hole every few months to scrounge up an old bird’s egg or eat a relative or two…
UB: Got his address? I’d like to talk to him. You know, get some insight into your past.
Gila: Forget it. He’s got a poisonous temperament. Wouldn’t talk to you, even for money. He hates the film industry. Hates our family. Says papi’s fame ruined his life. You know, he couldn’t live up to it and fell into depression, the pointlessness of life etc. etc. blah blah… bleeding heart stuff. Pathetic. I tried to get him to go on a bit of a rampage once, but after his tail got squashed when it was run-over by a tourist bus while he was crossing the highway, he withdrew inta hisself and gave up on everything. Not that he doesn’t have any talent, you know, for small stuff. They asked him to be in that Rango film but when he told ‘em to f**k off, they changed the character to a chameleon and hired Johnny Depp instead. Bad move, in my opinion. Lacks authenticity. You see the prob though.
UB: Let’s get back to your involvement in this film by Jim Wynorski. How did you get involved?
Gila: Met Bill Dever in a bar. Everyone else had cleared out — it was only a small place and I’d already demolished the pool room when I tried to sink all the balls in one shot — but he stayed and started going on about how great the film was. Reckoned the title character was a problem though. He was a bit… you know… plastered. Anyhow, I told him who I was and that I was lookin’ fa work and he jumped at the opportunity.
UB: Are you looking forward to working with Jim Wynorski?
Gila: Sure. Some of his other monster pics had some crap monster actors — didn’t look like they were actually there, you know. But I reckon he’s got it right this time. I don’t need no enhancement!
UB: Do you have an idea yet about how you’ll play the character?
Gila: I’m a bit like Depp, you know. He played Captain Jack Sparrow by basing the performance on Keith Richards. I plan to play the character like Lawrence Olivier. Bring a bit of class to the genre. Monsters have been short-changed for long enough, I reckon. I’m gonna insist on at least one monologue! I’ve memorised Macbeth’s Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow speech. Maybe the screenwriter can fit it in somewhere.
UB: Do you really think it’d be appropriate?
Gila: It’ll hafta be changed it a bit. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on its hangin’ belly from day to day, to the last drop of rodent blood. And all our holes in the ground have led the way to trashed towns and derailed trains. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a crawlin’ shadow, a gargantuan avenger that eats its way through towns and cities and then goes to DVD. It’s a tale told by a director and his crew, full of sound and fury — and huge at the box-office!” See works fine!
UB: Well, that’s rather… unique, I must say. Interesting to see what Jim Wynorski thinks.
Gila: He’ll come ’round.
UB: I think it’s true to say my readers are very keen to see what comes of this movie. So thanks for talking to us, Gila. It’s been… educational.
Gila: No sweat! And I mean that. Gila monsters never sweat.
UB: Sure, reptiles are all pretty cool, they say.
Gila: We sure are, baby. We’ve got class. Hey, on your way out can you chuck down a sack of roaches and assorted bugs? All this blabbin’ has made me hungry.
Gila: Good monkey!