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Cinematic Terrors Rise From The Deep – Mermaids, Giant Crabs, Giant Squid And The Lake Van Monster

Posted by: Monster Island News on May 10th, 2010

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Robert Hood / Avery Guerra

A Look Behind The Scenes Of Empires of the Deep

Finally, filming has begun on what is easily the most ambitious, and turbulent, fantasy film in the history of Chinese cinema, “Empires of the Deep.”

The film, which centers around an undersea kingdom ruled by mermaids, took about a year-and-a-half to get out of the development stages, due to rotating directors, leading ladies, and financial issues, began shooting, in earnest, April 22nd, under the direction of Michael French, who just recently stepped in to replace film maker Jonathan Lawrence, who in turn, replaced the French director Pitof.

Interestingly, the first scenes to be shot involved the Mermaid Queen, who initially was to be played by Sharon Stone, then Monica Bellucci, and is now being played by Olga Kurylenko, who was lead Bond-girl for Daniel Craig’s 007 in “Quantum of Solace.”

To say that “Empires of the Deep” has had it’s share of problems, is an understatement to say the least, Sharon Stone left the production early on due to public statements she made against the Chinese government, then, the cast and crew turned on Jonathan Lawrence and producer Jiang Hongyu, voicing their ill feelings towards them publicly.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

Despite all this pre-filming turmoil, reports indicate that, so far, everything on the set is moving along smoothly.

Recently the production acquired several 3D cameras from the set of Avatar, which has added onto the film’s already inflated $130 million budget, making it the most expensive film ever produced in China.

Here is the film’s synopsis:

For thousands of years, legends of beautiful mermaids have enchanted people from all over the globe. Their fascinating and mysterious world has always captured the imagination of humans. In film history, there hasn’t been a single movie that has uncovered and explored this mystical world. What secrets lurk beneath the depths? And why do beautiful mermaids seduce human men? “Empires of the Deep” is the first underwater fantasy film to unveil and answer these questions.

Behind-the-scenes photos from “Empires of the Deep” at the bottom of this article!

Giant Squids Attack In Giacomo Cimini’s “Bleak Sea.”

Presently Italian film maker Giacomo Cimini has just shot a trailer for his upcoming monster movie, “Bleak Sea”, which centers around the crew of a British submarine that are menaced by a giant squid while searching for a Soviet secret weapon during the Cold War.

Cimini shot the trailer this last March so that it would be ready for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, where, hopefully, the project will catch the eye of potential investors.

“Bleak Sea” boasts a rather impressive script, penned by Stavros Pamballis, and a an equally impressive cast lead by Vincent Regan (300, Troy, Clash of the Titans), Samuel Roukin (Happy Go Lucky, Bright Star, Solomon Kane) and Robert Sheehan (Red Riding, The Misfits, The Season of the Witch).

Cimini appears to be taking a page out of J.J. Abrams book by keeping most of the elements of “Bleak Sea” a secret. According to the film maker, there is more here than meets the eye.

Here is the trailer:

Look for more info on this one in the near future!

“King Crabs Attack!” Now A Short Film!

Originally “King Crabs Attack!” started off as a college assignment produced by Grégoire Sivan at La Fémis in Paris in 2009. Sivan’s little fake movie trailer was so good, that the film maker decided to expand it into a seven minute short film, which is now scheduled to appear at several movie festivals around Europe.

Sivan seems to have drawn inspiration from Roger Corman’s 1957 film, “Attack of the Crab Monsters”, Nathan Juran’s 1957 film, “Attack of the 50 ft Woman”, and just about every Godzilla, and Godzilla-like, monster movie ever produced.

Here is the plot:

Trouville-sur-Mer, a Lower Normandy resort, is an uneventful place. However, Basile, of the Coast Guard, has witnessed many strange events. Are they simple coincidence? Not for Basile. King Crab Attack!

Though the film, and just about everything written about it, is in French, I was able to put together that the film is about a bunch of giant king crabs that invade a coastal town and are thwarted by a scientist who grows to giant size to combat them, and impress his blond girl-friend.

Now “King Crabs Attack!” has made its debut on Youtube:

Van Gölü Canavarı (aka Lake Van Monster) – Production Footage

If you a fan of the television series “Destination Truth” then you probably already know the story behind the Turkish version of the Loch Ness Monster, known as monster of Lake Van.

Well, the now legendary creature is about to star in its own movie, thanks to film maker Bünyamin Yaşar, called “Van Gölü Canavarı” (Lake Van Monster).

This is how Yaşar describes the plot to his film:

“Three shepherds, who were dismissed from their town, come up with an idea while swimming in the lake that will fool the people of the town: They make a mock-up of a monster and film it,” he said. “Then they make the people watch it in return for money and make very good money. But, at the end of the film, the shepherds see the real monster in the lake.”

“The film will leave a question mark in people’s minds,” added Yaşar, who said there would be elements of comedy and romance, as well as action scenes, in the film, which stars Levent Aras, Nazif Çetin and Didem Ellialtı. Nazif Çetin and Didem Ellialtı.”

Here is some production footage from “Van Gölü Canavarı”:

Here are those behind-the-scenes photos from “Empires of the Deep”:

Monster Island News – has written 78 posts on this site.
Founder of the popular monster and sci-fi blogs Monster Island News and Godzilla 3D News and Information. Ken Hulsey began his writing career in 2000 when he founded kensforce.com a popular site with fans of Japanese sci fi/monster movies (Godzilla, Gamera and the like) and other B movies. In 2008, he closed down his original site and created the blog "Monster Island News" a showcase for classic horror/monster films and independent/alternative cinema.


2 Responses to “Cinematic Terrors Rise From The Deep – Mermaids, Giant Crabs, Giant Squid And The Lake Van Monster”

  1. David-Australia responds:

    Empires of the Deep: Looks pretty dumb – hard to see where all the money is going (CGI?).
    Bleak Sea: Shades of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea?

  2. MrInspector responds:

    Giant crabs and giant squid! Quickly, I know just what to do!
    I’ll need a hundred pounds of butter, 30 pounds of lemons, 55 pounds of Tony Chachere’s, a 15,000 gallon cauldron, and the biggest frying pan the world has ever seen!
    Giant King Crabs and giant calamari, are these flick supposed to scare me, make laugh or my mouth water. Throw in a couple of those giant cray-fish from Japan and we got a party going on! The mermaids are definitely invited!

    Oh by the way, their mermaids are a lot prettier than the one in the glass box.



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