Friday, February 11, 2011

The "Never Got Made" Files #48 - #52: Charles Band Unmade Empire Madness

B-movie producer Charles Band is a favorite around these parts.  Well, his early stuff from the 80s (PARASITE; METALSTORM) to his Empire years to the early Full Moon stuff.  Once he started going cheap on us and his productions, things fell apart quickly for both him and audiences.  Regardless, Band was a producer who knew his exploitation and target audience well.  Like his predecessor Roger Corman, Band would often get backing for a film based on nothing more than a catchy title with some equally eye-catching artwork.  Here are just a few of a plethora of titles Band had in the planning stages through his 80s company Empire Pictures.

#48 - CASSEX

One can only imagine what this might have been about!  Note that the credited writer is one Gregory Widen, who would hit it big a few years later with something called HIGHLANDER (1986).


This project started at Empire but never got made before they went bankrupt.  Band brought the concept over to Full Moon and promised a feature about the head-switching hero there.  Eventually facets of this concept entered into PUPPET MASTER IV & V.


Producer Irwin Yablans re-established himself as a genre force after HALLOWEEN (1978) with the Renny Harlin helmed PRISON (1988), which Band executive produced.  Apparently the duo planned on working on this feature and a two-page ad with a detailed plot synopsis hit Variety in the late 80s.  Fans of brownstone horror were no doubt disappointed.


This is an interesting project coming from Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo.  This writing duo had already supplied Band with TRANCERS (1985) and ZONE TROOPERS (1985), two of the more creative sci-fi efforts from Empire. JOURNEYS was also billed as Bilson's directorial feature after ZONE TROOPERS.  Unfortunately, the movie never got off the ground.


If you hadn't already noticed (how could you not?), Charles Band has some sort of weird obsession with little monsters.  I guess it started when GHOULIES (1985) brought him some big cash.  After that he went large on small horror.  Oddly enough, the lay out of this poster mirrors the first SUBSPECIES design from his Full Moon company a few years later (see below).

1 Reactions:

  1. Thanks for your nice blog full of infos and scans.
    I made apost about Empire pictures with some other scans that you may like. ;) Cheers!


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