Wednesday, 22 July 2015

What Happened To The Splat Pack?

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Do you remember "The Splat Pack"?

They where a collection of film-makers - Alexandre Aja, Darren Lynn Bousman, Neil Marshall, Greg McLean, Adam Green, Eli Roth, Robert Rodriguez, James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Rob Zombie - who were supposed to bring back Horrors glory days.

Low budgets, high amounts of gore, it was supposed to be a time where Horror grew some balls again and stop with the PG-13 stuff... But what happened to them all?


Rob Zombie

Zombie already had a huge following due to his music career and fans were excited when he announced his foray into filmmaking, he started off with writing and directing "House Of 1000 Corpses". There's no denying it was heavily influenced by Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and it received a-lot of negative reviews but it definitely had a following, he followed that up with a sequel titled "The Devil’s Rejects" which was better received.

Then came the "Halloween" remake with "Halloween II", you can make of them what you will. He then delved into the world of animation with "The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto", a movie based on his comic of the same name. Most recently he released "The Lords Of Salem" which was considered a bomb although I give him credit for trying something different, He's currently making his recent film "31" which was crowdfunded. 


As much as I enjoyed his first two releases I feel Zombie never truly got to where fans wanted him to be, it helped his movie career that he was already famous before he started.

Darren Lynn Bousman
Darren got a good start in his directorial career by taking over the "SAW" series for "SAW II, III & IV" and I think he did a great job and immediately made a name for himself with Horror fans worldwide. He then moved into the world of musicals with "Repo! The Genetic Opera", which gathered a cult following but never matched his past success. 

Then, like Zombie, he ventured into the world of remakes with "Mother's Day", a successful remake that was highly favoured and well received. Then came "11-11-11" which flopped and was mauled by critics, a return to the world of musicals with "The Devil's Carnival" which again gathered a cult following. He followed that up with "The Barrens" but never got his momentum back.

He's got a few projects lined up but has certainly slipped down the ladder.

Greg Mclean
Mclean burst onto the scene with "Wolf Creek" and reminded the world of the Australian Horror scene, It was hyped and hyped and got people back into the theatres to watch Horror. He came back a couple of years later with the croc-horror flick "Rogue" which unfortunately never got the recognition it deserved, getting limited theatrical release in the US and straight to DVD in the UK.

He served as a Producer on a couple of projects - "Red Hill" and "Crawlspace" - It would be six years before he got back into the directors chair for the highly anticipated sequel "Wolf Creek 2". It brought back memories of the first feature and what would've been if it hadn't taken eight years to release it.

He's now at work on "Wolf Creek 3" and also a "Wolf Creek" TV mini-series. His work may have been sporadic but it's been effective, I just hope he doesn't just carry on making "Wolf Creek" films and gives us something fresh.



Neil Marshall
The Brit of the pack made his mark with "Dog Soldiers", a film that is loved by many Horror fans worldwide and helped bring back Werewolves into popularity. He followed that up with another hit with "The Descent" which helped put Horror back into the mainstream, garnering rave reviews.

Then came "Doomsday" whilst not a Horror flick it garnered great reviews but never got the promotion it deserved. Then strangely he only served as an Executive Producer on the sequel "The Descent: Part 2" and then came another non-Horror film "Centurion" which although it was well received it didn't seem to help his career as it would be his last film to date.

Strangely Marshall has only been directing episodes of TV shows such as "Black Sails", "Game Of Thrones" "Hannibal" and "Constantine". I hope to see him return to Horror films as I feel we haven't seen the best of him yet.


Alexandre Aja
Aja made a huge impression on the Horror genre with the release of "High Tension", making fans look outside of their own language barrier. It's a film that's still talked about today. Like other "Splat Pack" members he stepped into the world of remakes with "The Hills Have Eyes" and shocked a-lot of fans by doing a great job of it by sticking closely to the original.

He then served as a Producer on the film "P2" as he also wrote the script as-well. After that was another remake with "Mirrors", a US remake of a Japanese Horror of a similar name. Then came along "Piranha 3D", I was actually quite shocked that he Directed this flick but he did.

Most recently is "Horns", a film which divided fans but was praised by critics. It's going o be interesting to see what he does in the future.


James Wan
Wan made a HUGE impression when "SAW" was released, it was a worldwide phenomenon that transformed the Horror genre overnight. It certainly made him a household name within weeks of it's release and had fans wondering what he'd do next.

It would be three years before he would sit back in the Directors chair for "Dead Silence" and "Death Sentence" both highly under-rated films in my opinion. It would be another longer wait before "Insidious" came along and then "The Conjuring" both bringing huge attention to the Supernatural genre. Then we got the sequel "Insidious: Chapter 2", the last Horror film he's directed to date.

Wan is now involved with the "Furious" franchise and rumour has it has been tapped up by Marvel. He and Leigh Whannell stayed involved with the "SAW" franchise as Producers and I hope he returns to the Horror genre soon, he always seems to be one step ahead of the curve.



Eli Roth
Roth became the poster boy of "The Splat Pack" with the release of "Cabin Fever", a film that gave fans hope for the future of the genre. It was a flick that harked back to the golden age of the 80's, not bad for a debut.

Then came along "Hostel", a film which helped spawn the tag 'torture-porn' and also the sequel "Hostel: Part II" neither of which I was a fan of but it certainly gathered a fanbase. He then Directed a segment of the film "Inglourious Basterds" and has two Horror films coming out soon with huge hype - "Knock Knock" and the highly anticipated "The Green Inferno".

Roth served as a producer and actor on many features such as "The Last Exorcism", "The Sacrament", "Clown" and many, many more but in my opinion Roth never lived upto his true potential but his newest releases could change that around, hopefully.


Adam Green
Green was another one who burst onto the scene with a throwback Horror film with "Hatchet", giving us a future Horror icon with the monster 'Victor Crowley'. A film that's still one of my favourites. He followed that up with something completely different with "Spiral", a highly under-rated feature.

His next feature was "Frozen" (NOT the Disney film), another film that seems to be under appreciated. He followed that up with a sequel "Hatchet II" continuing the bloodshed we'd expected from it. He then Directed a segment for the anthology film "Chillerama", Produced "Hatchet III" finishing his trilogy and recently released "Digging Up The Marrows".

We can't forget his Horror-comedy show "Holliston", a must watch for Horror fans. I still feel Green has a-lot to offer the genre.

Robert Rodriguez
Rodriguez had already made a name for himself with the first two releases of his "Mariachi Trilogy" before "From Dusk Till Dawn" was released and made his name known worldwide, then came "The Faculty", a sci-fi Horror throwback that pushed his name even further up the popularity ladder. 

Strangely enough he then went onto direct the "Spy Kids" films before returning to his Mexican roots with "Once Upon A Time In Mexico", he then made a move into comic films with "Sin City" showing his true talent spreads many genres. He then finally returned to the Horror genre with 
"Planet Terror" before moving onto the "Machete" series which became huge.

He returned for the sequel "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" which unfortunately bombed at the box office and he now directs the "From Dusk Till Dawn" TV series, hopefully he's got something up his sleeve for the future and fingers crossed it's to do with Horror.


There's no denying the amount of talent on show here and unfortunately some have fallen by the wayside a little but there's always hope of a comeback so to speak.

Who's your favourite member of "The Splat Pack" and what's your favourite release?

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