Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rethinking, recasting ‘Eclipse,’ a saga unto itself

By Steve Crum

Amazing what a screening of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and eating linguini after 10 p.m. can conjure. That night was filled with a monaural, full blown Hollywood horror-romance story in vivid Black and White analog. Being a child during the 1950’s, I flashed back to simpler, Legion of Decency-driven days when rock and roll was just beginning to shake, and relatively bloodless monster movies ruled.

The inspired casting:

ELVIS PRESLEY......Edward Cullen (replacing Robert Pattinson)

NATALIE WOOD......Bella Swan (replacing Kristen Stewart)

STEVE “Hercules” REEVES......Jacob Black (replacing Taylor Lautner & pecs)

Between tossing and turning in my non-sleep-adjustable bed, the nightmarish scenario developed...

Bella (Natalie Wood, in her Splendor in the Grass period) once again finds herself surrounded by danger as the San Fernando Valley is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings as Tuesday Weld’s malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, Bella is forced to choose between her love for the loose hipped, guitar strumming blood sucker Edward Cullen (Elvis Presley, in his Jailhouse Rock days) and her friendship with an older, black bearded, and sublimely muscled older man, a werewolf in so many ways, Jacob Black (Steve Reeves), whose English is dubbed on the soundtrack. Bella must decide to either be with her avowed love Edward, and thus be transformed into a teenage vampire, or run with Jacob’s hairy pack of full moon rising werewolves. Either choice is a pain in the neck.

Meanwhile, a war is coming. It will be the vampirish Cullens teamed in an unholy alliance with Jacob’s band of wolf men versus a bunch of hungry, homeless, newborn vampires en route from Oakland. The newborns (Sal Mineo, Tab Hunter, Jamie Farr, Dennis Hopper, and Mercedes McCambridge among them) track the scent of Bella blood, while the Edward-Jacob alliance vows to protect their fair, air-headed, typically adolescent, and hormone inducing heroine.

The relationship between Bella and her two predatory boyfriends, Edward and Jacob, is more than a match. It is a cigarette lighter.

At this juncture, I woke up in heavy sweat, took a Tums, and turned on TV for return to normalcy. There was Taylor Lautner in a remake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was Buffy, and topless! I turned off the set, and popped two more Tums.


The blood-sucking, fang-tearing trailer to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CScK6D3KROM

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