Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Release the Craven Cut: A History of Wes Craven’s ‘Cursed’ Werewolf Film

With all the talk of Justice League and the notorious “Snyder Cut” finally being released next year, I decided it was time to really take a deep dive into one of horror’s greatest unseens: the elusive Wes Craven Cut of werewolf movie Cursed. More importantly though, I wanted to dive into the biggest question of all: does it even really exist?

We all know the stories surrounding Wes Craven’s re-teaming with Kevin Williamson for their werewolf picture. Trapped in an incredulous ‘production hell,’ Cursed ended up likening its namesake more than anyone ever would have guessed. Originally written in 2000, execs at Dimension claimed that it was going to reinvent the werewolf genre. It would be half a decade and four reshoots later before Cursed finally made its way to screens in the spring of 2005.

Williamson’s script was bought in 2000, sure, but it would be another two years before Craven was tapped and another half a year before shooting would start. Now, what was written, what was shot, and what we’ve seen are all three very different things. While lots of these elements were thought for a long time to be lost to the sands of time, as we march on, little bits and pieces continue to find the light of day. 

Williamson’s original script, which is vastly different from the final cut, can be found online here, among other places. Even this screenplay may have some discrepancies from the original, noted as the 2nd revision and updated in 2003, but the bulk of this movie shares very few similarities with the Cursed that would hit theaters two years later. I would highly encourage anyone interested to give it a read, as this feels much more like Williamson while also offering a much gorier and less goofy film. Some of the big scenes stay mostly similar; the initial car crash, Ellie and Jimmy realizing that something has changed about themselves, and even some of the climax don’t stray too far. Yet, it’s easy to approximate about eighty percent of the script does not line up. Ellie and Jimmy are not brother and sister in this version and the character of Jake doesn’t even exist, instead replaced by the burnout son of a millionaire, Vince. Many ancillary characters have larger roles, such as Scott Baio and Jenny (our girl from the beginning of the film version), and other characters are introduced that never found an on-screen counterpart, such as the butler Toby, the self titled “star f*cker” Becky and Vince’s deadbeat dad. 

The entire existence of the character Vince leads the movie in a completely different direction than the Cursed we know. It creates a dynamic between our three leads that isn’t seen on screen; Vince and Ellie become an item but he ultimately isn’t our big bad, and it allows Jimmy to have some separation and character growth outside of Ellie that feels right inside of Williamson’s wheelhouse. Now this isn’t the only drastic disparity. Yes, Joanie remains as the alpha werewolf, but now instead of Jake running around as a cub in the pack, Scott Baio is the subordinate wolf. Our entire climax is much more focused and less cluttered, still taking place in a wax museum but instead one that’s open already and merely closed at the time. Again, Williamson keeps a much tighter rein on the ending by reeling things in; less flash, more focus.

And that’s just the script! 

Cursed Jesse Eisenberg

Once actual production started, based on this original treatment from Williamson, Skeet Ulrich was tapped as the Vince character with Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg still slotted as the roles that would come to life. A number of other actors were announced for the project and even filmed scenes but in what capacity and what role, still remains a mystery. While we have seen actual stills of Skeet Ulrich getting bitten by spectacular Rick Baker werewolves (we’ll get there), many of the other actors listed were either cut from the movie by Weinstein or Craven. While it’s easy to go back and see a who’s who of famous actors now, the original line-up is incredibly stacked. On top of Ulrich, we also had Omar Epps, Mandy Moore, Robert Forster, Illeana Douglas, Scott Foley, and horror vets Heather Langenkamp and Corey Feldman. According to an interview with Marc Shapiro in 2005, Craven mentions Freddie Prinze Jr. had been attached too – but that seems to be the only real mention of his involvement.

Dimension was notorious for jumping into filming before scripts were done, something that Craven and Williamson had experience with as they had done the same turnaround with Scream 2, and again this became a problem with Cursed. Execs decided the third act was too weak and asked Williamson to rewrite it, which is ironic because it’s one of the only portions from the original script that at least has the same general framework; this put the production into a four week halt. Dimension started interjecting and it led to Williamson essentially rewriting the entire script but again, this resulted in more delays as he was also finishing up the series finale of “Dawson’s Creek.” Four weeks turned into three months. 

To add more headaches to the mix, Rick Baker was let go (although some reports say he walked away from the project) and KNB was brought on to now replace all the practical werewolf effects with CG. It’s another unfortunate side effect of the production hell, as the CG werewolves were expensive and it cut much of their on-screen time down; and what remains didn’t exactly age well. By the end of the film, so many cuts and edits were made that it was trimmed down from a gory R to a more accessible PG-13.

Rick Baker’s design for the Judy Greer Werewolf

The constant stops and starts of the filming process had an exhaustive toll on Craven as well, who had already started the process in a bit of a funk. He was due to remake Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Pulse but that had been pulled from him as well, eventually getting a writer credit on the film when it came out from director Jim Sonzero in 2006. In an interview with Eisenberg from Bloody Disgusting’s own Trace Thurman, it’s noted that they had four different reshoots, even making shirts for the fourth return that said “Cursed 4: Back For More.” The entire read is fascinating, and you can find it here. Eisenberg confirms what Craven had stated as well, that about ninety percent of what was filmed was canned before reshoots that lasted the length of most independent movies. The movie is still listed at $38 million for a budget but many suspect the number ballooned up much higher due to the continued reshoots.

Now we’re in the present. Cursed came out to mediocre fare, although this critic stands by his unabashed love for the finished project; but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t absolutely love to see the mythic “Craven Cut.” Does anything like it actually exist? We know the footage is still out there. It’s been confirmed by numerous sources, mostly editor Patrick Lussier, who is now a big time horror director in his own right. After the horrendous acts of its owner, The Weinstein Company was forced to sell off its properties and Lantern Entertainment ended up with a large chunk of them, a reported 200+ films, so it stands to reason that Cursed is most likely somewhere with Lantern. When Meagan Navarro wrote her piece about director’s cuts that we deserve, it led to a number of us Craven fans once again touting the infamous cut of the film. Friend of mine Joshua Tonks posted a mock-up graphic for the film and Patrick Lussier popped in to let us know that “Sadly, this doesn’t exist the way you’d like it to.” Interpret that as you will. To me, it seems the footage may still technically exist but not in the complete vision that Craven would have wanted. 

Maybe we’ll never know. The further we get away from Cursed, the more we find out that certain things will be lost to the annals of time, especially with the tragic loss of Wes Craven in 2015. But I still remain optimistic that we’ll find a cure for this particular curse.

If it exists, it’s time to #ReleasetheCravenCut.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3623003/release-craven-cut-history-wes-cravens-troubled-werewolf-film-cursed/

No comments:

Post a Comment


Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



The Top 10 Streaming Scary Movies of Today (According to Netflix)

Given that Netflix really is the master of their own data, how many times a viewer streams The Ridiculous 6, or what films don't get watched all the way straight through, or how many times someone watches an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World, it was easy for them to come up with the list based on just one percentage: 70 percent.

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!


3 Frightening Clowns Not from the Underworld or Magical Hell


3 Viral Videos Proving Spiders Are Still Scary as Hell


Stephen King Adores These 22 Horror Films


3 Super Stories on 'Halloween' and Horror That'll Make You Want to Wear the Mask

xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'