Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!
I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Monologuing” with a minor in “Comic Rays”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
From August of 2013 it’s the long lost speech for The Fantastic Four!
In this unreleased low-budget superhero film completed in 1994, Reed Richards, his girlfriend Susan Storm, her younger brother Johnny Storm, and the pilot Ben Grimm are exposed to cosmic rays when an experimental space voyage goes awry. The accident imbues the astronauts with superhuman abilities and the group decides to form a super hero team called the Fantastic Four! Can the team come together to defeat Reed’s old rival Dr. Victor Von Doom? You know what time it is? That’s right…It’s CLOBBERIN’ TIME!
Let me spin you a tale my fellow Supercultists…
In 1983, German film producer Bernd Eichinger met with Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee at Lee’s Los Angeles home to explore obtaining an option for a movie based on the Fantastic Four and three years later he obtained it for a price the producer called “not enormous” and which has been estimated to be $250,000. Despite some interest from Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures, budget concerns precluded any production, and with the option scheduled to expire on December 31, 1992, Eichinger asked Marvel for an extension. With none forthcoming, Eichinger planned to retain his option by producing a low-budget Fantastic Four film, reasoning, he said in 2005, “They didn’t say I had to make a big movie.” In September 1992, he teamed with B-movie specialist Roger Corman, who agreed to produce the film on a scant $1 million budget. Production began that December 28 under music-video director Oley Sassone.
Production lasted for roughly 25 days. The actor who played the human Ben Grimm and the stunt man who wore the Thing costume for the majority of the film had to collaborate in order to match mannerisms and performance. Costume designer Réve Richards recalled in 1993 going to Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles to buy Fantastic Four comic books for research, and, upon explaining his task, “[T]hese people in the store just swarmed me and said, ‘You are going to be faithful to it?’ And I told them, ‘This is why I am buying these books.’”
All of this, for a movie that was never intended to be released, that’s only purpose was to help Bernd Eichinger retain the rights to a possible Fantastic Four movie…which he did. In 2005 Eichinger helped produce the first theatrical Fantastic Four movie starring Chris Evans and Jessica Alba as well as the sequel “Rise of the Silver Surfer” in 2007, the former having an even lower Rotten Tomatoes score than this unreleased low-budget version!
For those of you who remember names, the B-Movie specialist that Eichinger hired for the film, Roger Corman, may sound familiar. You may recognize him from his minor acting roles in Silence of the Lambs, Apollo 13, or The Manchurian Candidate. Maybe you know him as a mentor to dozens of famous directors early in their careers such as James Cameron, Marin Scorsese, or Francis Ford Coppola to name a few. Or perhaps you know him by his honorary Oscar in 2009 “for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers”
But most likely you know him as the producer of previous Supercult feature, STAR CRASH: The Adventures of Stella Star! He is so known for his B-Movie track record, that there exists a DVD collection of Roger Corman’s Cult Classics on Amazon, 62 of his best in collections of 2-4 with names like “The Lethal Ladies Collection” (containing Firecracker, TNT Jackson, and Too Hot To Handle), or “Sci-Fi Classics Triple Feature (containing Not of this Earth, War of the Satellites, and Attack of the Crab Monsters). Roger Corman is basically my nominee for Supercult Saint-hood alongside Nicholas Cage.
With a 33% on rotten tomatoes and a 3.9 on IMDB, Fantastic Four has just enough cheese and B-Movie charm to be called a lost classic by some, but to us seasoned fans at Supercult, it’s just another Friday Night!
Stretch your arms into the kitchen and grab me some popcorn, would ya?
The Supercult Show proudly presents, the Fantastic Four!