January 30, 2010

Year In Review: 2009 Cinema Viewings

The first time I can ever remember going out to the movies was in 1989, to see Batman. I was only eight years old when my mother took me and my friend to see it. I was amped up on fuckin' candy and soda, had a pocket full of Garbage Pail Kids and Batman cards and was screaming Pee-Wee Style like a little idiot! When I think back on that day, I remember knowing that the movie was going to rock even before I saw it... but I was NOT however, expecting to piss my freakin' pants as the Joker joy-buzzered that son of a bitch and left his greasy, smoking skeleton in that suit and tie! That shit scared the crap out of me. No joke. F'n warped my brain, maaannn!

After that and throughout my teen years I would hit the Cineplexes, Drive-In and the Local One-Screen sporadically. It wasn't until around 2000 when I started going more and more, and around 2006 when it started becoming more than a hobby. After last year, I found that I had become addicted... and while I haven't really sat down and figured it all out, I know I'm going to go less this time around. In 2009 (click HERE later for my DVDAF listing), I kind of went off with my trips to the cinemas. By that I mean, I probably made about 69 or 70 showings. My 2008 could be somewhere around 44 showings. Why did I go that much? Aside from the fact that I feel really "at home" and excited in that dark place, there are a couple reasons and they're probably reasonably normal. I either, wanted to see the film, was bored and just went to see one, or was taken to one (which I didn't exactly want to see).

I was more than reluctant to see Hotel For Dogs, not that I have anything against Hotels... well, now that I think of it. Nah, you know what, Hotels and Dogs can both go to hell. But what was I going to do? Then there's The Proposal and The Ugly Truth, way to tarnish a good enough list but I guess sometimes it's ok to shut the old brain down for a while. All that drama aside, I had a lot of fun times, and I got lucky this year in that I got to see some of my absolute favorite films on the big screen (in a room full of weirdos, students, druggies and aging hipsters). Dario Argento's Suspiria, Wes Craven's Nightmare On Elm Street, Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, OMFS... let's check the stats on some of the horror classics:

Alien (1979)
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Friday the 13th (Alternate Version) (1980)
Gremlins (1984)
My Bloody Valentine (Edited) (1981)
Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984)
Repulsion (1965)
Shining, The (1980)
Suspiria (Edited 'X-Rated' UK Version) (1977)

Not too bad. Suspiria was a 'rare British Technicolor print' and looked f'n amazing! The level of detail, clarity and color was spot-on perfect... but when the heart stabbing was skipped over there was a bit of rage that I felt clouding up in my brain. I clenched my jaw in anger, but tried to not let it bother me. And I kept trying as a few shots of the dog chowing down on his master's neck and my favorite straight razor throat slicing were nowhere to be seen as well.

Of all the above movies, My Bloody Valentine faired the worst in terms of the print. The film was CUT to shit, drained of color and scratchier than usual... and I like scratchy. Not that I regret anything about it, seeing this double feature with Friday The 13th, on Friday, February 13th was pretty sweet. But after staying late for this midnight showing, myself and the few that remained seemed fairly disappointed. Especially after the packed house of hollering, screaming and stoned people who made F13 a blast.

Nightmare On Elm Street was nightmare come true to see, as it is one of my few rare Full Stars favorites. It was supposed to play with Ghostbusters, but something happened there and I think when they opened the canisters found Gremlins inside instead. Oh well. Evil Dead 2 on Halloween was rowdy as all hell and just fantastic atmosphere. People were going nuts and some of them had to be restrained, almost... they probably just smoked some more weed and calmed down. Alien is a classic in Space Horror and there's nothing wrong with checking out Ripley's tee shirt at the end.

The Shining, which was the first movie I went to see in 2009, is simply put, meant to be seen on the big screen. Until then, I had only ever seen The Shining on home video, on small televisions. The cinematography inside that hotel and how Kubrik handles it is masterful. It was a whole new experience for me, and now that I've got my Home Cinema set up (minus extravagant sound system - sigh), I'm hoping to check it out again soon… The same as I will when I grab Repulsion on BluRay. Polanski's film is intoxicating and really got inside my head... it's high on my list of best films ever made. Next time you find a few hundred bucks in your wallet, I say go out and pick up the Criterion BD.

Friday the 13th (2009) (x2)
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Let the Right One In (2008)
My Bloody Valentine (3-D Version) (2009)
Orphan (2009)
Trick 'r Treat (2008)
Zombieland (2009) (x2)

Let the new horror classics come to pass! Let me start off by saying that I've seen quite a few 3-D films in the last two years at the Cinema, and NONE OF THEM can match the 3-D that My Bloody Valentine pulled off. I don't mind subtle 3-D, but I am not anti-gimmick shots. MBV was filled with sick ass slick shots that were right in your f'n face... case in point, that shotgun wielding old-dude with the sinister laugh. I could see that shotgun floating over the first fifteen rows, and it was killer! (How anyone could glorify Cameron like he f'n invented 3-D with Avatar need to get their damn heads checked. And anyways, there was hardly any of it going on with his movie... weak, at best). Oh, and not only did MBV wow me on the visuals but the movie was just f'n great, taking a pickaxe to the original with a furious vengeance.

Got to see two more that people all over the net were raving about, and after viewing them, I know now why. Trick 'R Treat and Let The Right one In... Both of these are instant classics and just so beyond greatness that it's almost scary. While the top grossing movie ever at the moment is giving people post-traumatic depression disorders (bullshit), these two movies which crush it by all means, are making people feel goooooood. Good like they smoked a fatty and drank all their dad's beer.

I dig the new Friday film. The intro was awesomeness, the nudity was total sweetness and I mean, who doesn't dig underground tunnels? Best damn "let's see them titties again" under the dock death ever created, and Jason even checks out his new mask in the mirror. Vanity? You bet your ass! A month after seeing this I snuck in and saw it again after seeing Taken. I just had to do it, it was too crusty and I needed to see it once more.

Zombieland is one that I didn't think would be too good, and while there's something about it that's a bit empty, it surpassed my expectations. That slow motion For Whom The Bell Tolls intro definitely didn't hurt... and neither did the biggest scare moment of my f'n life when they showed that clown creeping under the bathroom's stall door! Shocked the hell out of me, then left me laughing uncontrollably for ten minutes after to the point where I almost had to leave so other's could enjoy the rest.

A lot of people were talking shit about Orphan before they even saw it, but once they did, I guess most of them either changed their opinions or just shut up. I thought it kicked ass, and I didn't think it was going to. But things got Evil, Hot and even more Evil which you know I tend to enjoy.

Jennifer's Body is most definitely the best film of 2009. No doubt about it. Don't doubt me.

Best Worst Movie (2009)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Final Destination, The (3-D Version) (2009)
From Inside (2008)
H2 ( Halloween 2 ) (2009)
Last House on the Left, The (2009)
New Moon, The ( Twilight Saga ) (2009) (x2)
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Unborn, The (2009)
Uninvited, The (2009)

Best Worst Movie is Michael Stephenson's documentary on the film he starred in, Troll 2. It's an honest, intriguing, uplifting, sometimes saddening and fun film. He and star George Hardy were in attendance and talked a bit onstage afterwards. I've loved Troll 2 from the first time I saw it, probably around 1996. I think I may have rented it on VHS along with Bad Taste, hmm... and I'm definitely down with this whole T2 phenomenon that's going on with screenings and green food parties. It's badass.

The Final Destination in 3-D was pretty sweet for a movie featuring very uninteresting main characters. The 3-D was above average and from what I've seen, second best to MBV. That ‘Nascar’ destruction was particularly brutal and I smiled during every blood splattering second! Some of the film is laughable, and the whole pool sucking out the dude's insides scene had my eyes rolling in circles, I still liked it. Drag Me To Hell was also a fun little getaway from the horrors of living life. I don't think it was as good as others have said, but it does get up there on the average of other crap that's shoved down our gullets... not much unlike a fist elbow deep down our throats.

Kristen Stewart and Ashley Green are mad hot. Ashley's that kind of mad hot where you close your eyes in the shower and get soap stinging afterwards. New Moon's dream scene introduction was great, and one of the definite standout scenes. Apart from the hot, overflowing, teen Melodrama and depression there were some pretty funny scenes to balance it all out and make the film enjoyable overall. Overall that is, despite the horrible direction Chris Weitz brought. I don't mind them changing directors each film, but this guy is just bland as shit. Catherine Hardwicke delivered the absolute perfection in the way she framed and shot the first film. Weitz just doesn't make the cut with his simple style that couldn't be saved by his overrated CGI "expertise". Oh, and way too many shirtless dudes.

The Uninvited was a sleek and sexy remake of "A Tale of Two Sisters" which had me drooling over the three beautiful leads, Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel and Liz Banks. That's just damn good casting right there, no doubt about. There were a lot of really nice touches like how nobody ever talks to Alex during the movie, but you won't really notice if you're not thinking about it. The Uninvited played through smoothly and didn't drop out like The Unborn did. Thanks are due, however, to that film's saving grace, Odette Yustman. She basically is the movie. Drop dead gorgeous she is, and I wouldn't have been able to give the film what little praise I do without her looking so f'n good in every shot.

Paranormal Activity was really slow and the two leads were rather annoying, but it was interesting to catch this in the Cinema with a whole load of superstitious people and scared middle aged women out for a thrill. All these comparisons to The Blair Witch Project obviously won't ever end, but while TBWP is perhaps the worst film ever made (!), Paranormal isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. But it's still only "ok" enough to get a passing grade from me.

Rob Zombie's H2 gave me a powerful migraine headache, and from a guy who never gets headaches, I knew it had to be something awful. The loud annoying beats, pounding drums, flickering lights and dark baron fields which Mikey slowly makes his way across left my brain in pain.

John Bergin's slow still-picture animated film From Inside nearly put me to death. Sorry dude. It was a great effort on his part, doing it all himself like that, but damn, man... it should have been a 30 minute short.

I can't remember the Last House remake, as I was OBLITERATED at time of viewing.

Bugs! A Rainforest Experience (3-D Version) (2003)
District 9 (2009)
Gamer (2009)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Moon (2009)
NeverEnding Story, The (1984)
Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (IMAX) (2009)
Watchmen (IMAX) (2009) (x2,one Regular Cinema)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Starting to get further away from Horror, there's still some level of disturbing imagary to be had. I first saw Watchmen at the IMAX, and was blown away. It's visually stunning, sometimes overwhelming (in a good way), the music was dead correct (some may say controversial, I don't think so), the material was class, the direction was splendid, and the violence... sigh... half the general public, hell maybe even more, were not expecting Watchmen to be what it is. Those are the facts as I say them. People were Aghast at the meat cleaver to the skull. The silence during the near rape sequence was so quiet that you could start to hear the ‘uncomfortableness.’ I counted quite a few kids there, ages six up, heh. One woman brought her twelve year old daughter to see the movie. I watched them as they walked up the isle, before they sat somewhere behind me. When that rape scene hit, then the blue tube sock, and then the steamy hot Sex on the Blimp... I just couldn't help but try to picture the look on that woman's face.

The Rise of Cobra was non-stop turn your brain off pretty action and just proceded to kick major ass! While all the characters were pretty much ruined from their cartoon counterparts in some way or another, it really didn't stop this one from ruling teh schools. Baroness and Storm Shadow have always been my favorite two characters and they're in nearly every scene. I'm cool with that. The ending leaves open what could potentially fix a lot of the film's flaws (which there were quite a few character-wise) and be an even superior sequel. I hope it all goes down that way. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a mishmash of me wanting to rip MY OWN face off, and me somewhat enjoying a bit of what I was seeing. The Decepticons get a lot more talking time, which isn't much and they're "fleshed out" a bit more... but I'm not a fan of The Fallen himself, nor am I of Megatron calling him "master". What the fuck is that? The IMAX scenes were awesome looking and the fight in the forest where SPOILERS Optimus Prime is brutally murdered by Megatron BOOYAH! was rather enjoyable. Soundwave with his tentacle rapishness on that satellite was hot too. But it could have been so much better! Michael Bay, I hope your films become stepping stones for much better and less ‘humany’ sequels, preferably made by someone else with a lot of money. Not James Cameron.

District 9 and Moon are both cool new worthy submissions to the Sci-Fi genre. They've both got some really creepy elements of terror, and are well made in design and graphics. Plus, Sam Rockwell is the man. Gamer is a decent Cyberpunk addition that is a lot more fun than it looks at first. Definitely check it out if you haven't yet, because there is some whacky-ass shit goin' on! Wolverine was cool for what it was, despite screwing around certain characters, but that's expected in any X-Men film, obviously. Hugh and Liev did bang-up jobs, and the rest of the cast was ok, but any of the film's wrongdoing can't be blamed on the supporting cast for after all it's the scriptwriter (and the people who gave his documents the OK) that's to blame. If Race to Witch Mountain was Rated R it would have been a hell of a lot better. The cast was good enough (love AnnaSophia Robb and Carla Gudino) and this may just be your last chance to see The Rock sporting testicles on film.

Did I mention that I got to see one of my very favorite films from my childhood years in a one day only showing? The NeverEnding Story! It's bloody brilliant. Some of the elements, mainly which this is a scary movie for kids, are now funnier than ever since we've grown older. For instance how Bastian talks to himself like a complete dork, or how all the characters seem a little bit gay. Especially that Luck Dragon, what the hell was up with that guy? Always grabbing Atreyu's butt cheeks and winking. Anyways, seeing this at the theatre marked a great f'n day in the year that was my 2009. And there weren't many, trust me.

9 (2009)
Avatar (3-D Version) (2009)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3-D Version) (2009)
Coraline (3-D Version) (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
G-Force (2-D Version) (2009)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (3-D Version) (2009)
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Looney Tunes: Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
Looney Tunes: Claws for Alarm (1954)
Looney Tunes: Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (x2)
Monsters vs. Aliens (IMAX) (2009)

Monsters Vs Aliens was bland, but looked pretty and Ginormica is cute for a Toon. But it was too kiddy for me, whereas Cloudy With A Chance was just so randomly funny, nerdish and weird that I couldn't help but feel good after seeing it. Coraline had a way darker tone and is a pretty f'n sweet stop motion animated film, despite the 3-D being for the most part subtle. 9 was dark as all hell, which is great, but could have used a little something to spice things up. Something seemed off, or uh, unfinished about it.

Ice Age: Dawn had only about two good characters, but wasn't a full on waste of time as there were some good parts here and there. Still, I'm no fan of those films. G-Force sucked major arse. Please, no more... and Avatar: Pocahontas meets Dances with Wolves on a Blue alien planet. I don't mind both of those films, and I even think Wolves is downright beautiful. But this guy in Avatar is no Kevin Costner, baby, let me tell you. And despite the money this movie raked in, I'm really not seeing what's so "revolutionary" about it. The 3-D, quite frankly, fuckin' stunk. And there were a lot of cliché type things going on story wise, total recycled business. The hair tip feeler / organic bonding mechanisms were just plain gross. I however did like the graphics, and the way spots of the trees would light up as they were walked upon. Nice touch. I don't want to start hating this film because of the press its getting, but it's all affecting me in a negative way to the point where it just may do so. Because I don't really dislike the film as it is now, but it's not at all powerful as people are trying to make it.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is pure visual brilliance on the other hand. It's a definite must own ones it comes out in the high def format. I always love it when stop motion animation hits the screen or gets public attention, as it's one of my favorite types of film to watch. While I'm only moderately into Wes Anderson, this was great no matter what. On Halloween, apart from seeing Trick 'R Treat and Evil Dead 2, I got a free showing of Charlie Brown's It's the Great Pumpkin and some Looney Tunes Halloween shorts. The Great Pumpkin is kind of boring, but clever as Peanuts always is, and Bugs Bunny is definitely fruity.

(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Adventureland (2009)
Brothers (2009)
Brüno (2009)
Gran Torino (2008)
Greatest Places, The (IMAX 180° OMNIDOME Version) (1998)
Hangover, The (2009)
Hotel for Dogs (2009)
JCVD (2008)
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Ninja Assassin (2009)
Observe and Report (2009)
Proposal, The (2009)
Soloist, The (2009)
State of Play (2009)
Taken - Extended Cut (2008)
Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The (2009)
Ugly Truth, The (2009)
Wrestler, The (2008)

JCVD is a brave step for Van Damme, but who knows what's going to happen with him these days. Ninja Assassin is incredibly violent, shocking and gross (with mucho CG) but pretty much brainless. Taken was better than expected, and Maggie Grace as the most lust-inducing movie daughter of all time was quite a treat. The Wrestler was a powerful film which I wish Aronofsky could have used a lot less tracking from behind on. There were standout performances from Mickey and Marissa (who spends nearly every single one of her scenes naked), nice, and another good showing from my main stalkee Evan Rachael Wood. Oh, and Todd Barry caught masturbating, PRICELESS!

The Ugly Truth and The Proposal each had about two or three good and/or funny scenes, and aren't as horrible as most every other film of that type. There's at least something for the guys in both of these, so it's not a total waste. Gran Torino and The Soloist both probably should have gotten more recognition than they did, as they're both well done dramas that creep up and get'cha. Brothers is a slow to boil pot burster, that is pretty much "a long version of the trailer." You've seen the trailer, that's the film, only drawn out to get deeper into emotional realms before shit goes boom! I'm not saying don't see the film and instead watch the trailer, but whoever wrote that was right about the movie. Taking of Pelham remake was ok at best, and Law Abiding Citizen was stunningly outlandish.

Observe and Report, and Brüno... hmm...

(500) Days of Summer and Adventureland were both pretty good non-comedy romantic comedies. I'd say give both of them a view, though, (500) is more quirkish and depending on your views on these kinds of people (I'm not going to use any annoying terms), might bug you. However, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has got to be one of the best actors around, so you can't go wrong there. The whole Reality vs. Expectations split screen was great, and how the film jumped around kept things more interesting than usual. Adventureland is somewhat dry, but it still feels good to the senses… even if Jesse Eisenberg is there. The Hangover was decent. I don't really see how it got as huge as it did, but I'm not really complaining. Personally I thought Pineapple Express the year before is far, far superior... but what do I know about comedies meant for seventeen year old drinkers and occasional weed users anyways?

So I guess that was my 2009 in the big dark, sticky floored, squeaky seat filled room. I'm not proud of all of it, but there’s nothing I can do about it either. And I don’t regret watching films either, for the most part. I think it was a Girl who once said, “If you don’t watch everything, then how do you know what’s bad?” Or something like that… My question usually isn’t if it’s going to be bad, but rather, how bad?

January 26, 2010

Soundtrack!: Henry... Portrait.

If Fabio Frizzi’s soundtrack to Fulci’s Gates of Hell is the score of nightmares, then this is the score to the nightmares that fuckin’ nightmares have! And you better believe that shit, too. You want to feel something crawling under your skin, creeping up your back and giving you that “I need a shower” sensation? Hell, that sounds dirty as shit! Uh. Listening to this could quite possibly have you rocking back and forth in the corner of a dark room, not blinking…

…then again, it could have you dancing with your best friend’s sister in the kitchen while pounding down teh brews. Because not only is this CD filled with some of the grimmest, most frightening, low-droning sounds set to women being violently slaughtered and slashed... it’s also got some pretty neat, upbeat jazzy tunes. Alright, baby! And I’m not talking about the joyful little track that is “Adios, Motherfucker” either.

I’m sure the first track anyone would fondly recall is Enuff Z Nuff’s “Fingers On It”… now, the tunes on this CD aren’t really my thing, but this one is definitely the best of them all. It’s pretty solid and enjoyable all over, plus, kinda kickass. Kid Tater & The Cheaters come with four tracks, “Too Young For These Blues”, “La Lania”, “Callin’ Colleen” and “Jukin’”. They’re all old fashioned bluesy-rock tracks that are easy goin’ and honestly aren’t that bad, with the exception of “Jukin”, because really, that annoying terminology alone makes the Docs want to mash Grill. Plus the song sounds different than their others, and sucks way harder. I did a search online for these dudes and all I came up with is a picture from a 45, and that’s it. Anyone know the year they recorded? 1862? No matter. The last song on the album is “My Mistake” from Lynne and the Lizards. It’s a song about a girl whose mistake was loving a guy, and loving that guy was her mistake. Yeah, but it fits at least, for the first part anyways.

Rob McNaughton (Director, Synth, Piano), Ken Hale (Synth, Piano), Steven A. Jones (Synth, Drums) and Paul Petraitis (Guitar) really came up with some sickening stuff here. Incorporating the random screams, gunshots, and array of strange sounds into collages throughout the score  takes an already unnerving feeling to otherworldly dimensions of terror. When you think of films where the soundtrack becomes the aura, it’s in cases like these ones. When listening to this, first of all, you can’t ever forget the film or try to not think of it… and secondly, they don’t let you since they incorporate a lot of the dialogue onto the track introductions. The main theme itself, “Henry’s Theme”, is damn near indescribable in how awesome it is at getting you that out of body and mind experience. The other score tracks are follow-ups in this style that all get you going down that crazy ass road. “Kill Hookers”, “The Stalk”, “Dead Body Drones”, “Home Invasion”, ect… no matter which dark and dank corner you go down, it’s all red sauce.

Well, except for the track, “Becky Downtown”. This light and fluffy 80’s stroll muzak is perhaps the most generic on the record, sounding like something ripped out of Mannequin or some shit. WTF, guys?

For the dialogue only(for the most part) tracks, there’s the “Yeah, I killed my momma” speech, Henry arguing to Otis not to do that because “She’s your sister!”, the late night “Let’s go shopping” for TVs scene, and of course, “It’s always the same… and it’s always different.” All certified classics! “Adios Mother****er” is pretty much all score, unless you count the following horrified screams and squishy stabbing sounds as “dialogue”. Heh.

I liken this Soundtrack to both from The Gates of Hell and Last House on the Left. On one hand, it’s Gates of Hellish in its score, in which you can picture horrifying deadness, decay and agony. Like the Last House soundtrack (with pure sweeeeetness from David Hess) it’s something you wouldn’t expect (in that case Folk-ish, this one Blues-ish) and there’s a track in there that has you shaking your head, but you’ll probably still listen to it for the suck. They do make a great Trio though, and I guess that means I’m going to have to do Last House’s disc next. The booklet for HENRY is filled with 40(!) small but detailed and not to mention cool photos from the set and behind the scenes. Make no mistake, I love this movie – Gave it Full Rank! – and this soundtrack is bomb, but a couple tracks blow like the coke in my nose. That’s 9/10 for the CD (docking points minorly), and Highly Recommended.

January 24, 2010

Soon: Drunken Robot Sex, Massive Toads Redux

Taking a quick look at what Sundance 2010 has to offer, which is not always an easy thing to do based on how they've got their website set up, I came across two new films that definitely got my brains tingling. Now, when you're a horror fiend like I, you over time sometimes get introduced and subsequently interested in other kinds of films... mysterious, and strange films. There's something beautiful about "horror" in the way it transcends labeling or genre. Say for instance, Experimental stop-motion animation films from around the world... while not all necessarily "horror", they can be downright frightening, exhilarating and quite simply, gross. Or as another example of horror: clowns.

A clown sat next to me on the bus about fourteen years ago. I don't know why. He got on the bus, and in my mind I'm thinking "Shit! This muthafucka's gonna come sit right next to me." Maybe because I'm casual gothic or something, but he walked on then looked down each isle, and when he spotted me he got that look on his face. You know, the kind where they're like "Oh hey, I should go start up a chat with this fellow." Pretty much making me now the second weirdest dude on this bus, he strolls on over and sits down. I've got my eyes straight forward, practicing avoidance, unblinking, watching the last bit of hope that this dude won't bother me wave goodbye as the bus closes its doors. Out of the corner of my eye, he turns to me and begins to open his mouth. Before he could even utter a single sound, I looked his way and delivered a T-1000esqe "Don't!" He turned back, and the next stop, I quickly exited. Now, I know that isn't exactly a horror story, but when I look back on it, it's more depressing than anything. Because this poor bastard not only had to work as a clown (at least I hope he didn't choose the profession - shudder at the thought!), but he also had to take the bus to and from his gigs. Oh well, he probably lost his license drinking and driving...

Which brings me to: ABSOLUT Vodka and Spike Jonze (Where The Wild Things Are, Various Music Videos) have teamed up (they've given him major artistic freedom and money, and probably Vodka) to make a short film that he wanted to... and the result is I'M HERE (Official Site). A love story about two Robots, who not only get f'n Thrashed mann... but also, have steamy lovemaking (tab A, slot B). Watch the trailer for this on the official website, and make sure you click Fullscreen. It's looks pretty damn cool, and I'm really looking forward to seeing this since I really 1) Love Vodka. 2) Think Robots kick major ass, and 3) Am a sucker for luv stories... and besides, what's scarier than a love story huh? Plus I mean, the guy does good work. Here's the Sundance Page with Showtimes.

Looking up info on this film, something else caught me completely by surprise. Mark Lewis, creator of the sweet-ass 1988 documentary film Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, has made a F'n Sequel! I know... even I was dumbfounded and shocked! Not to mention, horny as a... and this new film, Cane Toads: The Conquest, is apparently going to be in glorious 3-D!!1 After the first film, where these toads would eat living mice, get their toady necrophilia on and were giving people the slimy LSD-effect trips of their lives, I can't wait to see what'll be "jumping out" at me this time around. This film is apparently "the first Australian digital 3D feature film" that'll let us get up close with these f'n gnarly monsters, from wherever in the world we are. Badass.

January 22, 2010

TF's: 1/22/10

Say hello to my six new friends. First up, the Japanese Encore #19 Cassette "Big Mission (3) Set"... Rumble, Frenzy, Laserbeak & Overkill. F'n Kick Ass! I really would have liked Ratbat to be included in this set instead of Overkill, as 'Kill fits it much better with the #17 Set with his counterpart. It seems out of place here. "Sadly," I also already own another Laserbeak from my Commemorative Edition Soundwave (also w/ Battle Ravage). But I mean, I'm hoping to get all the sets anyways (if I can) so I'm not exactly stressed. And just look at those Jets! That's the Japanese Encore #11 Skywarp and Thundercracker set. The drunken' bastards those two...
These sets are beautiful beyond fuckin' imaginable! It's almost a damn shame to even open them up and apply the stickers(for the jets). Looking upon a pure untouched Transformers sticker sheet is just a sploogeworthy occasion. But nah, fuck that, I’m gonna sticker em up. And it’s gonna be sweeeeeeeet. I got these from Big Bad Toy Store, a place that's been around for years and years before I got a little serious into collecting. Their shipping costs are pretty good compared to the other places too. I found both of these sets for lower prices at another online shop, and when I got the checkout, the price was actually about twelve dollars more than what I payed at BBTS w/ shipping, and they tried to charge me state tax. WTF? Yeah, this place doesn't pull that bullshit.

Looking at those pictures above, I'm live serious when I say they do no justice at all to the beauty of holding these in your hands. The jeans have been creamed... not that the stickers weren't sticky enough. Buy hey, whatareyagonnado? Once I get a good setting, more pictures will follow.

January 20, 2010

Soundtrack!: For Lucio Fulci

After two false starts (one an interview with Lucio’s daughter Antonella on regards to the CD and rokOPERA’s compilation of film quotes laid over the music), GWAR’s version of the Zombi2 lead track kicks in… and boy let me tell you, it’s got one sinister robotic vibe to it, which may sound strange since it was so tribal and un-electronic upon creation. It’s as if the theme had been shot out into deep space, hitting Decepticon radar and Soundwave is recreating what he deciphered to his master, The Almighty Megatron. It’s cold, grim and nearly tentacle rapish.

Carfax then hits you with an absolutely insane mix of severe gothic tones of metal, jazz, classical and just plain electronic strangeness in their Beyond suite. Afterwards, Alucarda steps in with a softer bit from the film. Five tracks to Fulci’s House by the Cemetery are next on the list, one of them by none other than Nile! Hell, who would have thought… I’m just surprised they chose a track from this film and not Manhattan Baby. You know, with all the fuckin’ pyramids and all! But let’s not dwell on the strange shit, shall we not? Al Festa, naturally, chooses and composes the gheyest sounding track on the disc… not that it’s much of a surprise if you’ve seen Fatal Frames(!). The other House tracks are good instrumentals, ON/OFF’s being the best out of the three.
Then things start to get weird. Darkest of the Hillside Thickets busts out with a light, fluffy tune about Fulci’s House of Clocks… they sound like a happy-go-lucky Misfits(I use that as a generic term), and they apparently normally sing about H.P. Lovecraft. Either way, I wasn’t really diggin’ it, but that’s just me. Next up, Still Sad gives a very short but beautifully rendered suite from the film. WARNING! Now is the time to freak out!!1 Four tracks derived from. . . . . The GATES . . . OF . . . HELL! First up is Penis Flytrap with "Crryyyy Tears of Bloooooood!" Be forewarned, and not sober, when you listen to this track. You may just start to bash your own head in listening to this, but no doubt, this woman’s as beautiful as her voice. Doomstone comes next with song Twisted Priest, and its supposedly “black metal-ish”. Seeing as I’m not up to date on Doomstone and this may not represent one of their original songs, I’ll not comment on how I didn’t dig that it wasn’t as much black metal, but more of a Morbid Angel meets Phil Collins type sound. Somebody needs to let me know. James Murphy and Deep Red do a listenable but overly synth sounding track next, and then, well, maybe I shouldn’t even comment on the last one for Gates, entitled “Head Over Heels” by Glen ‘Diablo’ McNeil, because fuckin’ hell, it makes me want to stab myself in the f’n eardrums with a thousand Snarf dicks. Why? Because that would be more pleasurable of a sensation. Hmm. Perhaps it’s a joke track or something. There’s no other way…

Rounding it off on Disc 1 is a complete non-stoppin’, butt-rockin’, drunken-hazen’, fall-asleep-inatin’ tune by rokOPERA to the tune of Conquest. It’s about eight minutes… Eight long ass mufuckin’ minutes, but maybe you’re into that sort of thing. I usually am, if the song kicks ass n’ shit, but yeah. The Black Cat gets its due next with an old school tribute from Marco Werba. It’s a nice Synth job, and it’s probably been a while since we all had one of those. And right before the cherry on the top too, which just happens to be a 1:24 minute portion of select audience reaction to a showing of The Beyond. It could have been better of an ending, but alas, it’s not an ending at all… that was just disc 1. So, let’s see how the other one fairs in comparison.

With disc 2, Alucarda bust in with their second suite to The Beyond... and it’s a lot better than their first offering since this is the main theme and it goes on for just over eight minutes. Only slight problem is that they don’t really do anything special with it other than just give it their signature sound. And while that’s usually ok for this sort of thing, their signature sound is too similar to the original source material in this case. That's not to say that it isn't completely beautiful. ON/OFF does their thing next with The Beyond and its damn near traumatic, quite frightening and reminiscent of the HENRY soundtrack which just rocks the f’n socks off the other two Beyond tracks on this disc. The last is from Necrophagia, and we’ve all heard enough of that one, so really there’s no bother mentioning.

Sorry!, then pulls off a Manhattan Baby tribute that may just leave your brain in stitches, as it is Insane. Afterwards a New York Ripper track from Another Dead Junkie which is Mega-Man like and quite enjoyable. This Secret Garden does a Bela Lugosi's Dead type track for Voices From Beyond… it just makes me want to shoot some smack and hit the dance floor, goth style. You know, where you just kinda stand there and slowly rock back and forth? Then we hit another 3-Block of lust for the film that is THE GATES OF HELL! We’ve got three very unique and different takes on the film…. The first a goth-metal song from Skitzo, the second being some loops and electronic strangeness(which really kicks ass) from Body Hammer, and the third, a straight score job. The rest of the score jobs are for the films: New Gladiators, Door into Silence, Seven Black Notes and Contraband.

This Double-Disc set is sort of a “mixed bag”, but don’t get me wrong though as it is a definite Must Buy! A couple songs seem like inside jokes, most of the heavier punk stuff is just blatantly in-your-face shitty, and the people who did straight score replication in their own styles could have been a little more interesting… but then there are the gems! When it's good it's f'n tremendous, when it's ok it's still enjoyable and when it sucks, you'll be bound to go on a demented rampage, demanding to know what the meaning of this is!

"For Lucio Fulci: A Symphony of Fear" comes with a 16 page booklet that lets you know about the bands, and how much a certain someone loves ol’ Lucio… Now, Graveside Entertainment was most directly responsible for this sweet genre release, and they teamed with Blackest Heart Media. Both of them used to sell UNCUT VHS dupes of all your favorite films, before the VHS biz went down the drain (apparently!?) and people over here got the rights to sell shitty movies. The people who started Graveside were, I do believe, members of the band Alucarda themselves. I remember back in the day on their page the band was mad pimped out. I actually ordered my first two tapes from Graveside back in "96, Argento's Tenebrae and Deep Red. Not exactly sure what happened with them after their collaborations with BHM, but as you should know, Blackest rolled out and transformed into Rotten Cotton Graphics. This time around selling T-Shirts, the remaining bit of their Merch, and making their Black Devil Doll film.

Even though some of the songs here may not be "good" or fit your tastes, you can really feel that a lot of love went into this release. And I guess that counts for something... right? Almost forgot, this 2Disc set was originally going to either be 3Discer or for those who pre-ordered it, you would later get a third. I'm pretty sure nothing came of this and the third disc was never made. Sad as that is, there's still nothing sadder than not owning this release at all. And that my fiends, is me rubbing it in. 7/10 Rating.

January 19, 2010

Well well well...

Praise the dark lord and pass the lubrication!

...a few months ago after ordering two cheap arse DVDs I said what the hell to a survey and got three year-long magazine subscriptions for $2 each. Much to my sigh filled apathy, two of those were Rolling Stone and Maxim. The other, Entertainment Weekly, while being pretty much half a trash mag, I can't help but take it on my trips to lab. Rolling Stone and Maxim are not what they used to be, man I'm tellin' ya. (The last two good RS mags were the tribute to Hunter S and the Asia Argento cover.) Not that Maxim was really ever a "good" magazine, but the first five issues I got were bland as shit! And not only is that annoying, but the pictorials of the cover girls are like two pages long... I mean, what the hell is that!? Give me ten pages at least, and a foldout while you're at it. There's no incentive to even buy the mag either, since all the shots are posted online. What I'm saying is basically Maxim is worthless on paper. Fuck it, I'll just come out and say it... the only worth that paper Maxim has got, is that it's built up a rep and can lure in chicks that may not otherwise, strip down to tha bra and panties.

Chicks like Amanda Bynes, for instance. Take a look at that cover. No, really... look at it. Yeah. Alriiiiggghhhtt... that's what I'm stalkin' about. Though I'm sure she's been wanting to do something like this (hasn't she already?) for a while. And look at that, 25 best new beers too. Hey Maxim, keep this shit up and I may actually open your magazines more than twice from now on.

January 18, 2010

Soundtrack!: Gates Of Hell!

What is it you think of when you remember Lucio Fulci's 1980 grimy-ass psychedelic (grimedelic, if you will) film, The GATES OF HELL! ...? Do you recollect some inexplicable Nightmare of spiraling madness and utter decay? Do you fondly think back upon your walking, moaning, groaning blow up mistress Betty CumWetty? Do you think of... the Funk? No, not Betty's funk after a nightly pop, but rather the pulsating beats, tolling bells, paranoia inducing whistles and triumphant brain-eating zombified marching tunes of one Fabio Frizzi! Damn fuckin' straight.

Aside from the completely irrational (some may say) and satisfying (some may argue) storyline... and aside from some visuals that will melt the outer coating of your brain only to leave that shit draining out from your nostrils... and aside from beautiful film grain... there's one thing that takes Fulci's film to the ultimate next level of will-crushing anxiety and night terrors: The Score, baby. Let me tell you something kids, if you're looking for the ultimate in bad acid trips I suggest tongue kissing about six or seven tabs with a nice gothic girl and putting this CD on repeat for the night's session. Just being sober and listening to this in a dim room itself will have you tripping balls! Yes, it's that powerful. And man, did the Fulci / Frizzi collaboration really f'n strike teh proverbial gold this time around. Not to knock The Beyond or Zombie2 down to silver and bronze, but this 28 Minute score paired with the film itself is, for lack of a better word, just fuckin' magical. Whimsical, even.

CMV Laservision released this CD Limitierte Sondeauflage Von 500 Exemplaren!, which means that there's somewhere around 500 of them floating around there in space (Mine is numero 080). I bought it in 2003 when I believe it first came out, and though CMV doesn't have any true "cover art", nor is any of the text in english, the art on this picture disc is f'n Amazing looking! Behind the disc is a picture of poor Catriona about to get a pickaxe through the face, a nice touch to say the least. The back has two nice stills, one of little Billy desperately trying to escape the grasp of the preacher and another of our hero sportin' mad wood. Plus, who doesn't dig that German title font they've got goin' on there? And in glorious yellow, too. When I close my eyes I can see this thing wiggling around like a horde of maggots.

Soundtrack & Release: 10/10 For absolute sweeetness. Find it, if you can.
My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.