CineSavant Column

Saturday March 16, 2024

 

Hello!

We’re always looking for items regarding John Wyndham’s great book The Day of the Triffids, and so jumped when correspondent Andy Melomet forwarded this Darkworlds Quarterly web feature, a concise overview of the Triffid phenomenon’s path from book to radio to various film and TV efforts.

Written by G.W. Thomas, the page is Darkworlds: The Day of the Triffids.

We like the introduction, aligning John Wyndham with other British Sci-fi authors in a clique of colleagues: Arthur C. Clarke, John Christopher, J. G. Ballard, Brian W. Aldiss and Bob Shaw.

 


 

The all-seeing, all-knowing advisor Gary Teetzel sent this along. It’s a plug for a magazine, but the subject matter always interests us:

Never Coming To a Theater Near You.
A24’s Issue 21 digs into movies announced and promoted, that never came to be. Many publications announced ‘upcoming movies’ in editorial columns. ’50s kids that read Famous Monsters were regularly treated to lists of exciting-sounding announcements for exciting pictures that never materialized. Studios small and big needed to generate buzz about their product, and it was traditional for illustrated announcement to hawk ‘planned’ features for which no contracts had been signed.

We covered some of these odd announcements through the archives of Bill Shaffer, in a CineSavant article called Where Were You in ’62, A.I.P.?

We note that guest editor Jon Dierlinger’s choices include some Cannon Films. That rings true for us, as beteen 1987 and 1989 this writer was neck deep in editing sales propaganda videos for Cannon. When the big project ‘Spiderman’ kept being delayed, every new announcement heralded a less-prestigious actor to play Peter Parker.

The sampled list has a few interesting titles. We thought ‘gee, what would a David Cronenberg screenplay for Frankenstein be like?’ ┬áBut a full-page graphic didn’t mean that anything yet existed, or would ever exist, beyond a title. With Cronenberg’s producers the project was probably a serious idea … but the Cannon sales people used flashy ads and videos as bait to collect distributors’ pre-order funds, sometimes for movies that were just a few ideas on paper.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson