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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Steve's Week Of Free Movies: Part 7 ...

Wow. The seventh free movie we've had here. A whole week of free awesomeness. How cool is this hookup, huh?

This one is an epic, a legend of sheer cinematic awfulness, and one with a very interesting backstory.

Enjoy ...

Yoinked fro wiki and mated with ...

"The Fantastic Four is an unreleased low-budget feature film completed in 1994. Created to secure copyright to the property, the producers never intended it for release although the director, actors, and other participants were not informed of this fact. It was produced by low-budget specialist Roger Corman and Bernd Eichinger (who also produced another Fantastic Four movie in 2005). The film was based on the long-running comic book by Marvel Comics and featured the origin of the Fantastic Four and their first battle with the evil Doctor Doom and a mysterious Mole Man-like creature.

In 1992, Constantin Film was about to lose its option on the film rights for Fantastic Four, unless production began by December. Without the $40 million in necessary funding for a full-budget film, producer Bernd Eichinger turned to Roger Corman for help. Corman spent $1.98 million to shoot the movie. Constantin Film permitted the director, actors and others involved in the film to believe that the studio intended to release it in theaters, rather than the film being a cinematic equivalent of an ashcan copy. The cast and crew did the film for low salaries after being told that if it did not get released to theaters, it would be used as the pilot for a potential television series.

Filming lasted a month and finished in January 1993, after which post-production began. A 1993 magazine article gave a tentative release date of Labor Day weekend 1993. During that summer, trailers ran in movie theaters and on the video release of Corman's Carnosaur. The cast gave press interviews and attended comic book conventions in good faith. The studio then announced a premiere date of 1994, at the Mall of America in Minnesota. Then, in late 1993, the studio announced that the film would not be released.

Speculation quickly arose that the film had never been intended for release, but had gone into production solely as a way for Eichinger to retain rights to the characters; Marvel Comics' Stan Lee in 2005 said this was the case, insisting, 'The movie was never supposed to be shown to anybody,' and adding that the cast and crew had been left unaware. Over a decade later, Constantin Film made a $100 million Fantastic Four film and its sequel, the $130 million Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. A reboot for the film series is currently in the works for 2015.

Future Marvel movie impresario Avi Arad, back in 1993 a Marvel executive, was concerned about how the low-budget film might cheapen the Marvel brand, so he purchased the film 'for a couple of million dollars in cash' and, having not seen it, ordered all prints destroyed. Thanks to the resourcefulness of some die-hard fans, however, copies of the FF's first film have made the rounds of comic book conventions and on-line sites, like eBay, over the past decade but it has been far from a glorious existence. The movie is a videotape trapped in a netherworld of agonizing N-th generation bootlegs, a world so mortifying that not even Stan or Jack could have fabricated.

Jay Underwood, the actor who played Johnny Storm, is best known for his role as the autistic Eric Gibb in The Boy Who Could Fly. He also starred with Alan Thicke in a trilogy of films, Not Quite Human, as the teen-android Chip Carson and appeared in the 1989 comedy Uncle Buck. Michael Bailey Smith, who portrayed the rock-skinned Thing, was best noted for his role as the demon Belthazor on the series Charmed.

In a list of the '50 Top Comic Movies of All Time (...and Some So Bad You've Just Got to See Them),' Wizard Magazine ranked this film higher than Batman & Robin, Steel, Virus and Red Sonja, all of which were actually released in theaters. In 2014, a trailer for the documentary 'Doomed! The Untold Story Of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four' was released with Roger Corman, and the rest of the cast explaining what transpired with the film and its production"

I showcased this film on this blog waaaay back in 2009. But today we have an ENHANCED version, a youtube playlist (I RULE at making those) with a number of special features:

1) Classic drive in and vintage movie ads
2) A history of Marvel comics on tv and movies from 1968 to 1998 - man, they did some craaaaazy stuff... Japanese Spider-Man, Herbie the Robot, Spider-Man's "Amazing" friends. Good stuff
3) Part one of the long forgotten 1940s Captain America serial
4) A preview for the upcoming documentary 'Doomed! The Untold Story Of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four' as well as a full copy of Roger Corman's long lost Fantastic Four movie

Plus a bunch of extras. It's two and a half hours of pure retro fun for the true Marvel comics fan and it's coming at you for free becaudse, as I like reminding everybody, I am freaking awesome as hell!!!

Have fun ...

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