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Mark G sends in his take on 1st 10minutes of VAN HELSING + WIMBLEDON, THUNDERBIRDS and CREEP with Franka Potente!

Hey folks, Harry here with a report from Munich Film Week, where the studios show off their wares for foreign distributors and some press. Sounds like the first 10 minutes of VAN HELSING are exactly as written in the script I've read. Fun stuff, but I'm still concerned about how the tone of that film develops with the introduction of the Kevin J O'Connor's character, which as written was a complete annoyance. Really looking forward to the British horror film, CREEP. That sounds aces!

Hi there Harry & company,

last year I sent in a report about Showest 2003 in Las Vegas, which you posted to my surprise. This year, I can tell you a little bit about the Muenchner Filmwoche (Munich Film Week) which takes place every January, where almost all of the German distributors show their product reels to the exhibitors who are in attendance from all over Germany and Austria.

As usual, never mind my English. 95 % of the stuff we saw, was not new, so I just want to tell you about the stuff, which is probably news to you.  

First of all, at the UIP event, we were watching the first ten minutes of Van Helsing, which, according to the UIP chief Paul Steinschulte, was a world premiere. Stephen Sommers did some introductory remarks on tape.

SPOILER

The movie starts with the famous Universal logo, which, while turning black and white, turns into a fireball of a torch, which belongs to the mob outside a castle. Inside, Dr. Frankenstein awakens the monster while the mob tries to break in to kill it. After the successful awakening we can see Count Dracula who - as we find out - financed the whole endeavour, apparently because his three brides wanted him to (?!?). Since he doesn't need the Doctor anymore, he kills him (his jaws/teeth reminded me a bit of Fright Night). In the meantime the monster gets rid of the straps on the table and flees with the body of his "father" to the nearby windmill. The mob follows him and puts the windmill on fire. The mob panics as the count and his three brides fly towards the windmill. Apparently they arrive too late, as the windmill collapses.

Cut to Paris at night (now in color), where Van Helsing removes a Wanted Poster (I think it was him on it) and walks into Notre Dame where a very tall (think Hulk) Mr. Hyde is expecting him. After a long fight, including a huge church bell and the loss of one of Mr. Hydes arms (as soon as it is cut off, it turns into the arm of Dr. Jekyll), Hyde falls to his death from the top of one of the towers of Notre Dame. The people in front of the church scream murderer to Van Helsing as the body lying on the floor now belongs to a mere mortal (Dr. Jekyll, of course).

END OF SPOILER

That's what we saw. Not all of the fx were finished, especially the church bell. Even though Summers tries very hard to get the look of the old Universal Horror movies right, I just wish he would have gone all the way and filmed the opening scene in b/w instead of just showing it in b/w (parts of the opening scenes can be seen in color in the trailer). Unfortunately, after the opening ten minutes I was not hungry for more. Of course, I will watch the movie in May when it comes out, but I'm not dying to see it.  

At the same trade show, Jonathan Frakes was in attendance and introduced us to about ten minutes of Thunderbirds. There's not much to tell you about it, since it was more like a 10 minute trailer with no full scene. But it looks like Kids Fun á la Spy Kids. I'm old enough to remember repeats of the puppet series during the seventies, but also probably too old to go see this movie today.  

Also at the UIP event we were treated to a couple of minutes of Wimbledon, Richard Loncraines Rocky on a tennis court meets Let's fall in love with Kirsten Dunst (always a good idea). Since I am a sucker for romantic movies, I am going to see this one, especially because of the quality Working Title pictures usually guarantee.  

At the X-Film trade show (the company responsible for some fine movies like Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) and Good Bye Lenin!) we saw two minutes of Franka's (Potente) new (British) movie Creep, which will be released around Halloween. Franka falls asleep in a subway station. When she wakes up, everything is closed. Basically, from now on we just see her running around, screaming and hiding in no particular order. Too early to tell how this one is going. It looks a bit like a mixture of 28 Days Later underground and Mute Witness (two movies I liked).  

The last time you called my report excruiciatingly brief, I hope this time it's not. For all your German readers, here's the LINK to my German language report.

Bye, Mark G.

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