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Celluloid Revenants

No, that isn’t the name for an Alternative band. But it easily could be.

The title of this article is in reference to the practice of putting deceased movie stars into modern films via CGI. Or, as is the case with DEATH KISS (which is either a loving homage to, or a blatant rip-off of, the DEATH WISH movies), by casting a lookalike in the lead role. Hey, they did that after Bruce Lee died. How many Bruce impersonators were there? The most famous of them was the cleverly-named “Bruce Li,” but there were several others. (The most recent actor to embody Lee, Philip Wan-Lung Ng, isn’t a Bruce Lee impersonator, but he does a fantastic job of portraying the legend in the just-released and seriously underrated film BIRTH OF THE DRAGON. I recommend it to all Bruce Lee and Kung-Fu movie marks.) And we got to see Peter Cushing again in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, which was–c’mon, admit it–magical.

Is it wrong, somehow, disrespectful, to put deceased stars in movies, either by using CGI or by hiring doppelgangers? Personally, I have no problem with it, as long as it’s done respectfully. What if we had the chance to see Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee onscreen again as Dracula, if only in a cameo? Tell me that wouldn’t be a great thing. (Again, as long as it is done with respect, and the living relatives of the stars are fairly paid.) It’s not something that should be overused, but a sprinkle of the old hocus-pocus here and there, yeah. I’m down with that.

TheCheezman • March 16, 2018

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