Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sleestaks still freak me out
By Anthony Breznican, USA TODAY
Get back! It's a Sleestak attack!
Fans of the kitschy adventure series Land of the Lost will remember these villainous lizard creatures with the single horn and giant eyes. The latest evolution of the species is preparing to menace Will Ferrell in a big-screen remake.
The Land of the Lost film is now shooting on multiple sound stages at Universal Studios, and the Sleestak surface in a temple where Ferrell's character and his two companions (comedian Danny McBride, Pushing Daisies' Anna Friel) are hoping a giant crystal will return them to their own dimension.
The plot involves three adults (not a dad and two kids as on TV) accidentally thrust into a realm ruled by dinosaurs, monkey-men called Pakuni and the murderous Sleestak.
Director Brad Silberling (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) says he fought to keep the human shape of the Sleestak from Sid & Marty Krofft's original production, and not give into the urge to render them as spindly computerized beings.
In the '70s TV show, they were guys in lime-green pajamas — and looked it. The Sleestak are much sleeker now, but the film is largely a comedy, so the guy-in-a-suit look has its charms, Silberling says. "There is a sense of humor that I loved from the original show that can only come from an actor trying to negotiate the suit. If it became CG, they'd be too perfect. For the Sleestak to remain in people's memories, it tells you that it was about who was in the suit."
One difference: Instead of toting crossbows, the Sleestak draw quills from their spines and fire them like arrows.
Marty Krofft says nostalgia is a major part of the movie's appeal: "I think they'll cheer when they see the Sleestaks."