Source: Entertainment Weekly
Y’know what’s great about reporting on Robert Rodriguez movies? If you’re seeing SOMETHING visual from it, you know that about 70% of the movie is already done, locked-in and ready-to-go on a thumb-drive in Rodriguez green-screen-studio/garage. ALSO: That when he calls stuff like the image above “concept art,” he means “this is ACTUALLY what it will look like.”
In any case, one of RR’s 5 to 10 currently in-production projects is a live-action remake of “Fire & Ice;” a swords n’ sorcery animated feature from the 80s. It’s LEGENDARY among the relatively small number of young kids who rented it expecting something on the lines of He-Man and instead got 90 minutes of lovingly-rendered brutality, beheadings and barely-contained cartoon-cleavage (anime hadn’t really “happened” in the U.S. yet) but today mostly remembered for being a collaboration between cartoon-renegade Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, the guy who pretty-much invented modern fantasy-art…
Yes, young animation-students in the audience: Those are hand-painted cels rotoscoped frame-by-frame off of live-action actors – keep that in mind the next time Flash makes your wrist hurt a little bit. And as a cel-animation-era attempts at making Frazetta’s signature style “move” go it’s pretty damn gorgeous; but as a narrative it’s largely reflective of the kind of stock high-fantasy schlock his work tended to appear on the cover of – arch, overwrought and sort of forgettable, though the astonishingly politically-incorrect mincing/woman-hating/momma’s-boy gay villain is good for a laugh.
I’m pretty psyched for this. Rodriguez is a Frazetta fanatic, and he’s been trying to make a movie in that style for a long time (he almost made the new “Red Sonja.”) He has his flaws as a filmmaker; but no one in the business is better at turning “unworkable” visual styles into moving images and, as a bonus, his knowingly-juvenile blood-n-boobs-by-the-bucket sensibilities is a perfect fit for the material. Much as I love the more “subtle” fantasy aesthetic of the LOTR films and their descedants… yeah, I’m soooo ready for the return of gore-slathered broadswords and amazons in bronze lingerie. And given how inhumanly shitty the new “Conan” continues to look, I welcome this sucker openly.
The original, incidentally, was put out on a REALLY good DVD set from Blue Underground awhile back that also included the excellent Frazetta biopic “Painting With Fire” (a must-see for aspiring artists) as a bonus feature. Worth picking up if you can find it around.