(This article was written by Screen Rant guest contributor Ryan Connors).
In Saturday’s lineup of major Hall H events, Quint from Ain’t It Cool News moderated a surprisingly entertaining panel on Michael J. Bassett’s upcoming film, Solomon Kane.
The panel consisted of Producer Samuel Hadida, director Michael Bassett and lead actor James Purefoy (Rome, The Philanthropist).
Solomon Kane is a fictional puritan adventurer created by Robert E. Howard (think Conan the Barbarian). In this film, we see Kane (played by James Purefoy) as a ruthless man who would do anything to achieve his goals, set out on the path of redemption. He eventually finds himself part of a family, and sets out on a rescue quest when one of his loved ones is kidnapped.
The panel started off with a trailer for the film, and then proceeded to show several clips, revealing both the action and character building aspects of the film. Despite the low budget, the visuals and special effects were impressive, and the short clips really pulled me in.
The first clip was pure action and showed Kane and a band of his warriors storming some sort of keep. It included heavy sword battles that were well choreographed and seemed very real and harsh. Purefoy explained that they actually dressed up a pig carcass in leather and hacked away at it to see how real flesh reacts to different sword attacks.
Subsequent clips showed Kane’s more human side as he travels alongside his new family. In one scene the group stumbles upon a witch-burning-gone-wrong and ends in suspense as one of the characters discovers the sole survivor.
The clips then shift gears again back to action, as Kane is thrown into a pit of scary-ass freaky-looking zombies. Then Kane is shown in a “helm’s deep” type battle at the end of the film. The fighting is extremely gritty and real, with gore effects reminiscent of 300. In one scene, it takes Kane three heavy swings with his sword to fully decapitate his foe (awesome!). He later threw the head to the ground as the next combatant approached.
Bassett talked lot about Kane describing him as “cool despite himself” and that he had a “Batman vibe about him.” I did see a lot of Batman in Kane as the self-sacrificing hero. In one scene, Kane is wearing a black cape and a shot from behind is eerily similar to Batman as well – I’m not sure if that was intentional, but it’s obvious if you think Batman while watching it.
Bassett also said that since Lord of the Rings worked, it gave him the courage to deliver a real, intelligent fantasy picture, knowing that it can be done. This movie does seem a step down from Lord of the Rings, however. The budget is much smaller, the director and cast are much less known, and the amount of footage that was shown seemed as though it was a little desperate for attention.
This makes sense as Solomon Kane does not currently have an American distributor.