Before we get into what happened after Dino DeLaurentiis took over film production for what was left of Embassy, let's do a brief (by my standards) primer on the man. This was initially going to be a series based solely on the man's work but as noted in the first part of the series, Embassy and Dino sort of flow into each other nicely. I also love the irony of writing a lavish (yet cheesy in a way) epic about a producer known for epic, yet cheesy cinematic extravagance.
Dino was, for whatever his faults in the realms of taste were, a man who loved making movies... and money... which he loved to spend on more movies.
Starting off in Italy, he first gained fame by producing several of Federico Fellini's films before moving onto more epic fare. Literally.
Dino parlayed the success of King Kong '76 (financial, though some critics liked it) into more movies for Paramount which had handled American distribution for a lot of his international output as well as his early American efforts.
on the site or the one Liz did over at And You Call Yourself a Scientist?
The Dead Zone). A disaster film in more ways than one, this is an overblown love story mixed with tropical storms, sordid plot twists and bad acting. For all the grisly details, I'll direct you once more to And You Call Yourself a Scientist?.
Dino spent the majority of the first half of the 80's churning out entertaining genre films that sometimes ended up cheesy classics like Flash Gordon...
And sometimes, unbridled WTF cinema.
Dune is exactly what most of its detractors call it. Overblown, confusing and repulsive in parts. It is also visually fascinating, wonderfully cast (I even like Sting, bad acting and all) and directed rather nicely by David Lynch who struggled manfully to make something coherent out of the mess that is the script. It's not really a great movie, or even an especially good one but like Zardoz (one of my other favorite wacko sci-fi flicks), I find it a fascinating viewing experience. In fact, I sort of love the damn thing.
this adequate anthology but there's so much more to see...
Okay, there's what I'm about to talk about, another film for the next segment and Firestarter which I already covered. But still!
Sadly, the film finds it necessary to burden everyone including the viewers with some odious comic relief in the form of a child prince played by Ernie Reyes Jr. and his bodyguard, played by Paul Smith. Smith is fine on his own (the man can do intimidating and comic stuff with equal skill) but the annoying kid sidekick angle just grates on the nerves. There are some cool elements here and there (some nice production design in the form of some cool matte paintings and the action is decent enough) but the acting and story are terrible and the film just flat out doesn't work. It kind of makes one appreciate Conan the Destroyer just a little more.
While all this was going on, Dino was making some deals and acquiring the film production division of Embassy Pictures. The end result would be a short lived but halfway decent (as in two of the four years DEG existed were good) run of films that will end this series. But that is a tale for another day.