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Sid Haig & the evolution of cinema

Posted on 26 September 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Before there was “Spooky Empire” in Orlando, there was Petey Mongelli’s inaugural monster conventions in Broward County until Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005. With roadshow buzz about Rob Zombie’s directorial debut House of 1000 Corpses and buzz about the sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, Sid Haig was one of his featured guests. When I met him at his booth back then, we talked about Spider Baby and his film debut with Lon Chaney Jr.

Haig talked about Chaney’s professionalism and generosity on the set of this low budget, but happy production.  Haig seemed pleased when I mentioned he was carrying the torch from Lon Chaney Jr.’s generation for today’s filmmakers.

Since Sid passed away last Saturday morning, the outpouring of grief from fans and the motion picture industry has become overwhelming on social media. He was not a regular on Entertainment Tonight type news programs, but Sid Haig’s legacy is secure to anyone who ever met him or enjoys a master thespian performing his craft.

Last week, this columnist wrote about the marketing strategy for 3 from Hell, which involved limited time on the big screen — three nighttime weekday screenings. On the fourth day, the home viewing release date – Oct. 14 – was launched. 

Without the marketing might (and theme parks) of  Disney and Universal Studios, independent filmmakers are getting creative in seeking distribution and widening the profit margin. Case in Point — El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie — This film was secretly produced in New Mexico, while the fifth season of the television show Better Call Saul was being produced in the same territory. Utilizing much of the cast and crew of the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul universe, it was a surprise to learn that El Camino will be available on Netflix on Oct. 11.  However, there will be limited screening in major cities like Miami. (I am hoping for something more local).    

Speaking of local, The Deerfield Beach Percy White Library will be hosting “Local Creative Talent Film Producers” on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.  The producers and creative force behind Dead Ant will be in attendance and will host a panel. Starring Sean Astin, Jake Busey and Tom Arnold, Dead Ant is a monster movie/ musical comedy about a one hit wonder heavy metal band that gets stranded in the Joshua Tree Desert. Think This is Spinal Tap meets Tremors.

For almost two years, this columnist has written about the “evolution” of the motion picture industry. With the recent releases of 3 from Hell and El Camino, we are witnessing the business paradigm shift in the motion picture world. With local festivals like the upcoming Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, cinema consumers have the opportunity of better choices.

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