The always talented Bill Paxton directing anything is in and of itself good news to me, but what makes this great news is that Paxton will be once again calling the shots in the genre we all love so much. His directorial debut Frailty remains to this day one of my all time favorite horror movies. Paxton's handling of a troubled father trying to convince his two children that God has given him a mission to destroy demons trapped in the bodies of regular folk is a near perfect blend of Southern horror that, despite popping up in countdown lists from time to time, the general public seems to have forgotten about. That's the risk all small scale films about small scale stories run, I 'spose.
Making great news even greater, though, is that the new film in question will be an adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's The Bottoms, with the screenplay written by the prolific author himself. Probably best known film wise for his collaboration with Don Coscarelli on the Elvis vs Mummy awesomeness that is Bubba Ho-Tep, Lansdale is better known writing wise for his darker horror short stories and novels. The Bottoms looks to be closer to the latter in tone than the playful nature of Ho-Tep. I haven't read the award winning novel myself, but Gholson sums it up well:
"The book mixes a Depression-era coming-of-age story with nail-biting suspense, as a young East Texas boy comes across the murdered body of a "Negro" prostitute in the woods. As his hometown largely ignores the murder, the boy and his sister become convinced that the murderer is the Goat Man, an urban legend who may prove to be more real than anyone suspects."
Murders in a small Southern town with a questionable reality at the core of things? Sounds right up Frailty's moral alley. I'm sold already. Now if you'll excuse me, all this talk has got me jonesing to watch Paxton do God's work.