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Underworld - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Director, writers and technical audio commentaries.
Disc Two: The Making of Underworld; Creature effects; Stunts. Sights and sounds; Storyboard comparison; Music video - Finch's 'Worms of the Earth'; TV spot.

HOW'S this for high concept? A modern spin on the Romeo & Juliet story, told within the confines of the horror genre, which promises Matrix-style action, and bucket-loads of gore to boot.

The film? Underworld. The star-crossed lovers? Kate Beckinsale and Scott (Dark Blue) Speedman.

The pitch? Beckinsale plays a vampire vixen, named Selene, who exists solely to slaughter a band of werewolf creatures, the Lychans. But things become complicated when she falls in love with one of them (Speedman).

Throw in the odd visual reference to Blade, as well as The Crow, and it may seem like you have a complete mess of a concept that couldn't possibly work.

Yet advance word suggests that director, Len Wiseman, may have got the mix right; while the trailer suggests that the special effects are suitably impressive.

Beckinsale, too, should prove a big draw, given the stills showing her in suitably tight black attire, carrying guns galore, and looking more sulky and sultry than ever before.

 

The talent behind the production is also quite impressive, with Wiseman a veteran of Independence Day and Stargate (he did props on both), and creature designer, Patrick Tatopoulos, also responsible for the nasties in Independence Day, Pitch Black and Godzilla.

Special effects supervisor, Nick Allder, has also worked on Alien and Blade 2, while cinematographer, Tony Pierce-Roberts shot The Dark Half for horror supremo, George Romero.

But enough about the technical stuff; what can we expect from the spectacle?

Well, according to insiders, the werewolves will be more advanced than the traditional horror movie types, which means a single silver bullet will not suffice - prompting the vampires to use liquid silver.

Speedman also promises that the film contains 'a lot of big action', adding, in an interview with Sci-Fi Wire, that: "We had a lot of the stunt guys from the Matrix movies and got to do a lot of the wire training. I had a lot of fighting."

The film itself has also earned a great deal of publicity thanks to the on-set romance which developed between Beckinsale and the director, Wiseman, during filming.

Apparently, the two are to get married and Beckinsale is to move to America to be near him.

Underworld is due for a US release in September and we will deliver a round-up of the US reaction towards it then...

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