Thursday at Comic-Con Lionsgate presented a trio of high-octane, blood-soaked titles, including the first-ever showing of a "Skinwalkers" clip, a fun backalley fistfight from "Crank," and a not-for-the-queasy scene from "Saw III."
The panel was packed with hungry gore-hounds, all salivating for a peek at the upcoming third installment to the "Saw" franchise. But first, the directors and stars of "Crank" sat down to share a clip of their film, which follows 24 hours in the life of a poisoned hitman (Jason Statham) who has to keep his adrenaline up in order to stay alive.
Statham himself appeared on the panel, to the crowd’s delight, as well as writer-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. They were joined by “Napoleon Dynamite’s” Efren Ramirez, who plays Statham’s sidekick of sorts, and a fight scene was played for the audience.
In the scene, Statham’s Chev Chelios finds himself in an alley fighting at least two guys. He jumps into the scene by chopping off the gun-wielding hand of one assailant, and takes on the second guy while the camera wheels frenetically around the action. Meanwhile, a rollicking score rolls in the background (reminiscent of those great, cheesy action flicks from the 70s). As the goon gets the upper hand on Statham, out of nowhere a spindly figure lands a blow to the guy’s head with a baking pin and he turns his attention to the diminutive Ramirez. Just when it looks like Pedro is going to die a painful death, Statham picks up the first guy’s gun – severed hand still attached – and puts a bullet in the second guy’s head, painting a nice blood spray on the walls.
The crowd seemed to like the clip, which showcased Statham’s hard-boiled, deadpan acting (and action) style. Directors Neveldine and Taylor, who also shared camera duties, said they captured much of the action in scenes like car chases while riding skateboards; that sort of physical, cavalier attitude comes right through in the “Crank” clip, and gives good reason to look forward to their flick, out September 1st.
The clip, shown for the first time ever, takes place in the basement of a house where one of the werewolf factions are preparing for their full-moon transformation by securing themselves in leather-and-chain restraints. One man has secured a woman and two men when he hears a sound upstairs and goes to check it out. When he says, “I’ll be back,” we all know what’s gonna happen according to scary movie rules.
He gets killed quickly. Meanwhile, his companions are chained up downstairs, wondering frantically what’s going on. The dude’s dead body lands before them, and the rival group of were-people enter, demanding the whereabouts of the half-blood kid and his mom, who are the key to the future of their race. When the chained chick reveals that they don’t even know, she’s forced to watch as her buddies are knifed before her eyes. Ick.
Alas, the clip did not show any of the special effects that Stan Winston came in to promote, although Winston does promise fantastic-looking digital creatures. He also said he’s loved the “Skinwalkers” script for years, and that he hasn’t seen a good werewolf movie since “An American Werewolf in London.”
“This is not “Underworld,” Winston added, if that gives you any more idea of how “Skinwalkers” will turn out.
Lionsgate also screened a scene from “The Descent,” which opens August 4, and will feature the trailer for “Saw III” – the incredibly tense, bloody trailer that they showed next, which they hope the MPAA will approve (for the sake of young children and terribly squeamish people like me, I hope this trailer doesn’t make it to television. Ever.).
The “Saw III” trailer: A man named Troy wakes up in a small room, sitting in a chair with chains running from him to various points in the room. CHAINS ATTACHED TO HIS BODY. Seriously, they run through his hands, his shoulders, his tongue (and you know it’s only going to get sicker).
A television turns on remotely and tells Troy (essentially) that he (an ex-convict) has enjoyed getting in trouble so much, and has devoted himself to a life of crime and prison – and that a bomb will detonate in one minute. Is he willing to break his chains now, in order to live?
The answer is yes. Troy doesn’t want to die, but not dying requires him to RIP OUT every chain attached through his body parts, which he proceeds to attempt as the clock ticks down. He groans, we groan, it’s sick. One by one, the chains are torn out, but Troy runs out of time, and the room explodes into a title screen.
Oh yes, there will be vomit.