The acclaimed 2013 documentary by Frank Pavich traces the history of director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt in the 1970s to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel. Starring Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Gloria Swanson, Salvador Dali and his own 12-year-old son Brontis, and featuring music by Pink Floyd and the incredible art by HR Giger and Jean ‘Mœbius’ Giraud, Jodorowsky’s 14-hr take on Herbert’s saga was set to change cinema forever.
Over two years, the Chilean film-maker – best known for his surreal western El Topo and his mystical epic The Holy Mountain – and his team of ‘spiritual warriors’ worked furiously on the massive task of imagining Herbert’s universe: making storyboards, paintings, and even costumes. So what happened?
In creating what must be the best not-making-of documentaries ever made, Pavich hunts down the cast and crew of the aborted project from all corners of the globe to tell his tale, but the film’s real magic lies with the incredibly detailed book that Jodorowsky and his team assembled to woo the studios, and it’s the use of these pictures and storyboards that makes this the closest we’ll ever come to seeing Dune as the director intended.
Jodorowsky’s Dune, which premiered at the 2013 London Film Festival and was screened last year at the British Library as part of a special exhibition, with the director in attendance, has now gone straight to digital on pay-per-view VOD platforms, including. iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Wuaki.tv and Google Play.
There’s no news of a UK DVD release as yet.
From The Cat Creature to Killdozer and Trilogy of Terror, the ABC Movie of the Week was pure TV gold
For anyone growing up in the early-1970s, the ABC Movie of the Week (which originally aired in the US from 1969-1976) was their earliest exposure to a world of weird, for it was these ‘big movies made for the small screen’ that both veteran film-makers and young guns got the chance to create crazy, offbeat projects, the most memorable being the ones that delved into horror, the supernatural, sci-fi and psychological terror.
It was here that Steven Spielberg launched his career with Duel (which ended up getting a cinema release on the back of its success on TV in the US), while the late great Curtis Harrington got to make camptastic fare like How Awful About Alan; and Dan Curtis (he of TV’s Dark Shadows fame) scared the pants off impressionable kids – like myself – with Karen Black’s massive eyebrows and a murderous Zuni doll in Trilogy of Terror (without doubt my all-time favourite).
The TV strand gave veteran Hollywood stars like Bing Crosby, John Carradine, Gloria Swanson, Gale Sondergaard, Olivia De Havilland and many more the chance to show off their starry talents (although some not so gracefully – like Swanson in Killer Bees: truly dreadful), while household names like Bewitched‘s Elizabeth Montgomery showed they could do more than twitch their nose (who can forget her chilling turn as Lizzie Borden?). Roddy McDowall, meanwhile, seemed be in every one of them. The ABC Movie of the Week was also the launching pad for some of TV most memorable genre-busting shows like The Immortal, The Night Stalker, The Six Million Dollar Man and Starsky and Hutch. Truly, this was the golden age for telly movie making.
Are you a fan of the ABC Movie of the Week, then why not check out the Facebook fan group (click here) or check out Michael Karol’s book The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series (available from Amazon)[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM-Vkd7On2Q%5D