Halloween Horror Marathon: Bay of Blood (with special guest!)

poster - Twitch of the Death Nerve Today's post features special guest commentary from Cinapse's Liam O'Donnell. He and both do this "watch a shit-ton of horror in October and write about it" thing, and so we've decided to team up on a few films this month. His column his entitled "Journal of Fear," and you should totally read it. He also does a podcast called Cinepunx with Joshua Alvarez, and it’s super-fun. Go listen. On to the film ... bay of blood cleaver Nick Spacek When you watch a movie that has influenced so many other pictures, it's hard to separate what it was from what it now is. A Bay of Blood (aka Blood Bath, aka Twitch of the Death Nerve) was Mario Bava taking the violence of giallo and making it the focus of a film, rather than yet another stylistic element. However, seeing how much of Bava's film would shape the next three decades of slasher pictures, one can't help but see how many tropes were lifted from A Bay of Blood, as if its plot was the Ten Commandments, written in stone for later directors to use: teenagers getting offed in a decrepit location, overly-complicated deaths, a creepy character in the background, and even the one kid who's super-awkward and weird around girls. Divesting one's self of the "oh, well, this has all been done before" attitude is paramount for enjoying A Bay of Blood, because in 1971, it hadn't. This was all new, and watching it through unfiltered eyes makes it pretty astonishing. While gore'd been done before -- Herschell Gordon Lewis' films certainly set the standard a decade before -- it'd never been done so realistically and so up-front. Bava set the stage with Blood and Black Lace, but that film's an emotional step away from A Bay of Blood, and is as prototypical a giallo as this is a slasher. It's a strange and powerful movie that Bava's crafted here, and the cross and double-cross plot keeps things moving along at a brisk clip, leaving you wondering who's going to die next and how. Any character's up for the killing, and the kills still shock. Bobby getting a cleaver to the face had me gasping aloud. A good portion of A Bay of Blood's shock potential has to do with the absolute contrast between the pastoral long shots and sweeping piano pieces which accompany them and the tight, up-close and personal attacks. The atmosphere is absolutely crafted, and while there are a few moments of levity early on with the teenagers and their frolics, it only serves to make the shocks which follow that much more intense. Liam O'Donnell I carry the great and unavoidable shame that I have not seen nearly as many Bava films as I should have. This is only my third, and yet even with that little experience with his work, this felt like an intense shift. The violence in Bay of Blood is quite pronounced. It is in these shocking scenes I guess the film had the most influence on the forthcoming slasher subgenre. Indeed, some films, like Friday the 13th Part II -- which I reviewed for this series -- borrowed quite obviously from these kills. Strange though, because while I noticed the violence as an intense shift, and I could see how the way it was portrayed was such an important part of the future of filmmaking, it was largely insignificant for me. You so astutely point out, Nick, how difficult it is to see a work which has been so influential for what it is rather than for what it would become reflected in other films. That is true of this movie, but for me perhaps it allowed me to see how unique Bava's film is compared to the horror films I am accustomed to. There is something I am having trouble describing about the film, in that I am not sure if it is something anarchic or something nihilistic. That is specifically the way there is no good or bad character in the film, but rather a great net of murder and selfishness which cover the whole. Yes, one could argue the young people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time represent "innocent victims," but do they really? It seems to me that Bava goes out of his way in this film to show something negative or grating or frustrating about most of the characters on the screen. More importantly, though the film plays at first as a giallo style mystery, it very quickly becomes a tale of murder which includes many many people. In spreading out the iconic role of "the killer" across so many, it is true that Bava creates some dynamic tension to a slightly over burdened script. No one could accuse Bay of Blood of being too kinetic, I don't think. However, he also takes apart the structure of these kinds of movies, intentionally or no, that does not translate to the slasher films he seems to have inspired. While classic slasher films do like to show us the moral failings of many of the victims of their insane murderers, they still maintain a classic good and bad structure. There is the killer and their are the killers victims. Perhaps we feel a certain sympathy or a certain disdain for the killer's various victims, but of course they are victims. I am being a bit too broad, as there are certainly exceptions to this idea, though those films usually spill over into revenge narratives or wish fulfillment narratives. The point is that not only do so many characters kill in this film, they do it for so little. There is not even the noble wronged person but, rather, awful people killing each other. This seems in one way anarchic. It overthrows, possibly, our assumptions about relationships of power and good. Yet, it is also nihilistic, as it seems to assume that almost every person, given enough reason, could decapitate someone or embed a machette in their skull. Of course, I am getting a bit too heady. At base, it seems that Bava was doing exactly as you suggested, that is highlighting the violence of the Giallo genre above all else. Do you think then there is more to the film then that? Should we thank him for the history of movies he spawned or regret his unintentional creation? poster - Bay of Blood (Gorgon).jpegNick: I think that the innumerable variations on the theme created by Bava demonstrate so very well the flexibility of what he created. Given that the slasher genre has been shown to take place in any locale, with any character, with any victim, and still manage to provide new and interesting twists over forty year on, I'm amazed that it took as long as it did for someone to combine the masked killer story with the Rube Goldberg deaths of b-movies. All the ingredients were there for decades, and yet, it took decades before someone thought to combine them. I think your point of nihilism isn't too heady at all. This film came at the very start of the ‘70s, and that was a decade of movies absolutely loaded with moral ambiguity. Be it Jake in Chinatown, almost any character in The Godfather, Travis Bickell in Taxi Driver, or even Han Solo in Star Wars, the decade became defined by characters who operated in moral gray areas. This was just a bit more black and white -- well, almost purely, darkly evil. Do you think this is due to an Italian way of thing, like Sergio Leone's pictures? Liam: Well, one thing that did not originally occur to me was humor. In other words, is it possible that this stunningly dark turn is not -- in some sense -- comic? Certainly, the film has some comic moments, and I don't think that would be outside of the Bava style. Then again, a darkly comic take on something so morally grey, or rather so intensely evil, would not be too far outside of Leone either. I can't help but wonder if, as an American, I am inclined perhaps to take the film too seriously, which is perhaps to take it not seriously enough. That is, am I not peering below the surface to how utterly comic it is to have a "murder mystery" where many of the supposed red herrings are still actually killers. There is just simply not one main killer, a sort of focus of our intention. Is Bay of Blood some sort of comic farce? Or is the film simply having fun with a genre Bava was, at this point, one of the pioneers of? Is it too simple, when it comes to these Italian films, to look for genre clarity at all? Nick: I'm astonished at how many layers this movie ends up having, when you take a look at it. I didn't even think about the humor. Upon further consideration, it really is almost a parody of giallo, if you really think about it. Rather than one killer, masked or otherwise hidden, you've multiple, all of whom are easily tied to the deaths they cause. The deaths aren't shown in artily-framed shots, lit like a dream (or nightmare, depending), but are instead presented in a stark manner. This is almost the lead-in for the cannibal films which would later follow, as well -- death as shock in and of itself, as opposed to some greater artistic statement. In this case, death is the statement, and it's blunt: "Here, this is what you seem to enjoy the most." And -- going back to the humor -- I don't think it's a coincidence that the future films which took this template and not only succeeded, but are still considered worth seeing, also have that strange sense of humor to them. Given that, is there a film that came later that you think a worthy heir to this progenitor? Liam: I am actually not sure. From one perspective there are many, be they the F13 series or The Burning, slasher films that take a lot from this movie. However, to focus on them as directly from Bay of Blood does exactly what seems to have not been the point. It almost seems that Bava made a film similar to Hanneke, in that it pointed a finger at its audience and asked what it was they wanted to see. It then played with the feeling of tension, the fear and drama of the piece, until it becomes farcical. It pushes the boundaries between what is the dramatic real that we can accept, and when the performance goes beyond that. Not that I think Bava is attempting to make so complicated a point, but it is still the direction the film seems to go. Then again, Bava also claimed this was his favorite of his films. Perhaps this tension, between what is plausible and not, and between what the audience wants or does not want to see is the point. In that way, I am reminded of, say, Funny Games or similar films. However, those movies are more literally "meta," in that this commentary on a genre or condition is the entire point and content. Bava has made a suitably horrifying giallo, certainly one that bends and even transcends the genre, but is still what it is. The question is, are there any films that seem to push so far, but are not clearly satirical. I am reminded of another unlikely film, Mothers Day, but this is also more clearly a satire. The question for me, and perhaps you can give your insight on this, is whether Bava is laughing with the audience or at them. If we are supposed to be in on the joke, so to speak, then I think Nightmare on Elm Street might be an interesting comparison. Not a comedy, but with some real humor injected. However, if he is laughing at the audience, something I think the ending suggests a bit, then I am at a loss as to what might be related. Do you think I am being too harsh on Bava? Is Bay of Blood a cynical commentary or simply a good time playing with gore and violence? If anything, does it say negative things about us that we enjoy the movie so much? I found it fun if a little confusing at times, and I am now wondering if I should have! poster - A Bay of BloodNick: I think it's meant to be fun. Given that everything else I've seen of Bava's -- Black Sunday, Blood and Black Lace, Kill Baby Kill, and Black Sabbath -- has some element of humor to it (especially Karloff's parched desert dryness of delivery in Black Sabbath), I can't but imagine that this is supposed to be the film that's an exercise in ridiculousness. Maybe Bava's laughing at you while you laugh at the film, because that ending is just over-the-top in terms of one last absurd plot twist. However, I think he's willing to let the viewer enjoy themselves, showing nudity, showing blood, and just generally amping up the ridiculousness inherent in giallo to an extent that he accidentally created a new genre along the way. Liam: I think you are right and perhaps that is what he also did, as far as innovation: commentary with humor. That is to say, it really feels like Bava is in some way satirizing the audience's desire for this violence, but I don't think he is judging it. The film is having so much fun with it's bevy of ridiculous villains, the various ridiculous character traits and odd ways they interact. In fact, even the kills are amazing, and done in such a way that I cannot believe Bava is not enjoying his art as much as we are in watching it. Yet that ending does seem to suggest to me some silly nod to his audience, he is not just performing at his art, which is creating this intense murder film. No, we are part of it, he acknowledges us, and thus implicates us in his fun I think. He is going over the top, to new heights of blood. Granted, here we are some 44 years later and it may not seem like much. It was a rough year for movies though. Bay of Blood was one of many to face backlash and censors for its extreme content. Bava, I think though, hints not just that he is pushing his art form to new extremes, but that this is where it is going. It is in many ways a watershed moment not only for film and the horror genre we both love, but for the culture as a whole. Bay of Blood is still powerful in it's intensity, and while it may not be as extreme as it seemed then, it is an incredibly well executed bit of brutal fun. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGSJCLWAL3Q[/embed] Christopher Brown's Video Nasties podcast did an excellent episode on the film, and you can listen to that here.

Halloween Horror Marathon: Nightmare City (with special guest!)

poster - Nightmare City Today's post features special guest commentary from Cinapse’s Liam O’Donnell. He and both do this "watch a shit-ton of horror in October and write about it" thing, and so we've decided to team up on a few films this month. His column his entitled "Journal of Fear," and you should totally read it. He also does a podcast called Cinepunx with Joshua Alvarez, and it’s super-fun. Go listen. On to the film ... Nick Spacek It takes a few moments for Nightmare City to get going. Ironically enough, the first five minutes or so are spent setting up the plot of a nuclear exposure, and a introducing the reporter covering the the story. Considering that the remainder of Nightmare City's running time gets spent making not one lick of sense at all, it seems like director Umberto Lenzi's looking to justify everything that will follow. There's been a bit of discussion regarding whether or not Lenzi meant this to be a commentary on the dangers of nuclear power and war. Given that the creatures are irradiated, I can somewhat see that point, but the war metaphor stands up far better to scrutiny: mindless creatures, killing effectively, and to really stop them, you have to destroy their brain. Something's definitely being said about the illogical nature of war. It's a point muddled by a disjointed film, but it's certainly there, if you're willing to look. Regarding the disjointed film: you're never quite certain as to what exactly these creatures are. Traditionally, zombies are either supernatural creatures or the result of some science gone sideways -- reanimated corpses or plague victims maddened by sickness, and rarely do the twain meet. In this case, Lenzi's given us radioactive victims who are out for blood, but also creatures who can spread their infection. It's like they're nuclear zombie vampires, and even more confusingly, while zombies are usually mindless, these creatures use guns, knives, chains, axes, spearguns, and all manner of weaponry with great skill, while also shambling silently. Again: no real logic. The plot's a mess, the makeup's pretty rough, the special effects are banal, and the dubbing's emotionally flat: these are all things I knew, having seen the film before. Then why the hell did I buy it? There's a strange sort of charm to Nightmare City. It throws all manner of apocalyptic tropes into a blender and flings them onto the screen with wild abandon, and that's really the appeal. Having no idea what to expect keeps you watching, and the complete lack of coherent narrative allows for all manner of interpretation with each successive viewing. Liam O'Donnell I can see what you mean as to the "mess" of Nightmare City. Sure, at the very least the internal logic of irradiated people who thus become bloodthirsty murderers is an odd set up to say the least. I loved this movie though. This was actually a first time watch for me, and once I accepted that there was no back story and just constant violence, I was sold on the film. Constant attacks, constant action, and a complete lack of sentimentality. I mean let me start at the beginning: I am possibly in love with Hugo Stiglitz. I fell in love thanks to Exhumed Films and their showing of the amazing Night of a Thousand Cats. Stiglitz is his usual amazing self in this, and by amazing I mean the embodiment of 70s manhood. Stiglitz is perhaps a little stiff in Nightmare City. His character is a little more respectable here and less over the top. No matter: he is exactly who I would want shepherding me through this irradiated wasteland of gooey faced murderers. Ok, now that I think about it, the things in this movie make no sense: they can fight like rational, decision-making creatures. They drive cars, use guns, but then at key moments, they act exactly like mindless zombies. If I were concerned with some sort of world building or mythology, this film would bum me out. Why do I love it so much? My assumption is simply how ridiculously over the top it is. Every character can bite it at any time, and the story is really just a series of violent attacks. If I were to think about it too deeply, I could hate this movie. There is no reason to connect with or care about any of these characters. There is no sex appeal, lots of nudity post-murder, and no one is interesting at all. I didn't find myself bothered by any of that. I just went along for the ride, and all I could think was how much I would like to see this exact film but with better special effects and a slightly more kinetic director. nightmare city dancers Nick Strange question, but is there some sort of European rule that says there has to be some sort of dance sequence? It seems like Bava, Lenzi, and Argento all have to work in something involving dance. Maybe it's just an effective bit of shorthand for "beauty destroyed by ugliness." Either that, or spandex just makes a more effective reason for showing T&A. That said, there's something vaguely creepy about how many women get killed, then have their shirts torn open. Liam Yeah, I mean I get it. The plot moves at a pace that doesn't really allow room for things like sex scenes, or even a shower. This being a Euro horror flick, there needs to be nudity of some kind. So, murder nudity. Ok. Whatever. It freaked me out as well. At this point, watching Italian horror and worrying about gender issues is not something I can even imagine. Stiglitz has spent many of his films smacking various hysterical women, and that is something I have come to terms with. Nightmare City is no different. I agree about the dancing, but I wonder if this is a time and place thing. The 70's -- what is this, '79? The '70s in Europe were certainly well within the thrall of disco and all that entails. I am sure these dance sequences are entirely necessary for these directors to feel like they are making hip, relevant films. What I am utterly confused by is the following: is this in some sense a zombie film? You started off that way and I just accepted that as a marker by which to understand this movie. I think many would, including this movie within the realm of films like Zombi, and I mean, why is that? These things are certainly NOT zombies, right? It never claims they are. However, I have always thought of Nightmare City as a kind of zombie movie, and many have discussed it as such. Why do you think that is? I also think this movie in many ways is the movie World War Z wants to be, is that fair? Nick I think it's considered a zombie film, for lack of any other sort of descriptor. When you have mindless hordes in some form of decomposition, it's an easy term onto which you can latch. They're described by the military during that wonderfully expository sequence as radiation victims, so that's essentially what they are, but given that they display so many signs of autonomy and intelligence, one should probably call them something like mutants. Honestly, the next nearest analogue, when you really think about it, would be something like a C.H.U.D. What I'm seeing here is that both you and I agree that the movie's appealing because of its lack of explanation or exposition, and I'm curious as to whether you think that's part of the appeal of European horror movies of this era: is the emphasis on look, mood, and universally-understandable things like sex and violence what make them so appealing, even after so many years? Liam I mean look, sometimes a lack of exposition is an artistic decision to ignore things that would simply hold back an engaging atmospheric film. I recently made the claim that the most appealing part of It Follows was the refusal of the info dump, that is you know what is happening but the why, in the sense of back story, is considered superfluous. That is not what we mean here though, is it? Some of these European films have no back story and I think it is because they just didn't write one. Nightmare City has all the exposition it feels it needs: these are radiation victims who, for some insane reason, need blood. Now, what is crazy about this set up is that it is certainly enough info to decide the movie is dumb, but not enough to feel like you understand why anything is happening. You are right, this sort of film from this era has this happen often. Characters? Lets just settle for caricatures or stock folks. Plot? Look, there is danger, and now people are dying. I do think that is part of the appeal now, though. While we could attack these films for their lack of depth, they still are often made with more visual flare and directing talent than even some of the biggest films from the US. Do you think it is the artistic flare, the sort of visual intelligence of these films, that makes their fans so close to artistic film fans? I mean think about folks who love obscure art films and people who love obscure Euro horror films. They are not often the same exact fans, but there is often some cross over. Even when these movies are totally ridiculous, I don't often find myself laughing at them cause they still effect me. Is the visual strength of these movies why they sit with us and appeal to so many different people? Nick I think the visual intelligence of European horror films is what makes them so appealing to fans who don't even like horror. Actually, I've found that people who are super-into American horror really despise Italian horror films, simply because they can't get a handle on what's going on. Personally, I've grown to love weird Slovenian art film, simply because you just watch and enjoy. You lose yourself in the visuals presented, and let them take you where they go, without worrying what it's all about. Given that the visuals of the film are so strong, you don't need a plot. Who cares why, when there's so much to look at? Honestly, what's absolutely great about these is the fact that you could turn off the sound, watch them almost silently, and still find something about which to enthuse. Liam I don't want to overstate my case here, these directors are not Felini or whatever. By the same token, Nightmare City is not The Beyond. Fulci had his own visual genius, and I think you can defend some of his most insane films regardless of how the plots may not always seem coherent. I will say though that American films do too often rely solely on story and dialogue in a medium that is very much a visual one. How many sick American films, horror or not, still look shoddy? How few capitalize not only on the strength of their story telling but also captivate their audience with gorgeous visuals? Like any art, Film has a visual vocabulary, and film makers should have a way to communicate with use beyond the words their characters say or the events they participate in. This is, of course, arguing way too much for a film like Nightmare City, which is in mnay ways a surprisingly compelling cash grab. Clearly, this movie exists because of the popularity of horror films LIKE this, and whatever it has to show us is simply that self serving capitalism and effective film making can coexist. However, it is still very Italian, and for me the Italians are more commonly visual directors, who realize that images can be as moving as ideas or story. Nightmare City is the least obvious example of this sort of film making, as I suspect it was an attempt at a more visceral action film, but even in its shallow depths manages some far more powerful images than comparable American films. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_oy0mhWFBQ[/embed]

Halloween Horror Marathon: The Fall of the House of Usher (with special guest commentary!)

poster - House of Usher Today's post features special guest commentary from Cinapse's Liam O'Donnell. He and both do this "watch a shit-ton of horror in October and write about it" thing, and so we've decided to team up on a few films this month. His column his entitled "Journal of Fear," and you should totally read it. He also does a podcast called Cinepunx with Joshua Alvarez, and it's super-fun. Go listen. On to the film ... Liam O'Donnell The Fall of the House of Usher is exactly the kind of gothic melodrama I usually attempt to avoid in my horror film watching, and yet it somehow manages to engage effectively in the third act of the film. In a rather ill advised attempt to add some emotional pathos to what is a rather detached tail. the film version of TFOHOU adds a love angle into the classic Poe tale, though otherwise it follows rather closely. The garish “period” dress and ridiculous score do nothing recreate the moody gothic anxiety that Poe's tale of morose fascination and mental illness calls up. The only thing that carries the film through its first few acts is the brilliant and always interesting Vincent Price. That is not to claim the Vincent Price guarantees quality, far from it. However, in many roles which fall far beyond his abilities, Price manages to bring a certain creepy engaged manner that interests me despite myself. Price here is playing his more affected, dandy persona, but he is playing it well and it fits the Usher character perfectly. The film ends up on a seriously creepy note, but this is not due to any innovation of the film makers. It is more that the idea of a woman, buried alive, hands destroyed from digging herself out of her own coffin, rampaging in madness is just inherently disturbing. Even when played with such theatrical abandon as to bridge upon farce, the idea unsettles me. The bloodied coffin top alone gives me pause. Yet, despite the strength of this third act, this film is yet another reminder as to why I do not get modern/classic horror, especially film representations of gothic pieces. This is a bit broad of a statement with some obvious exceptions, however post-modern horror (after Night of the Living Dead generally) just gets under my skin so much more. It is partly the artistry of it, which is lacking. There is inevitably a schlock, as if yelling or dramatic music will move the audience more, this fails with me. Yet it may also be what we are afraid of. TFOTHOU is a film that seems to play, to a large extent, off of a fear of fate. Usher is moved by a terrible destiny, one that he cannot help but literally make real himself. I have no fear of this, so that even if this film were done well by today's standards, could I even care? Nick Spacek Vincent Price's first Poe collaboration with director Roger Corman, House of Usher, is the most said -- and thus, the least interesting. For those such as myself who've watched them out of any sort of chronological order, it's kind of a shock to come from something like Tales of Terror or The Pit and the Pendulum to discover that, initially, Price and Corman were producing something more akin to Hammer horror than the usual AIP shockers to which we're accustomed. Granted, the third act is absolutely bananas -- Madeline returning from the grave, the house burning and then sinking into the swamp -- but the prior hour is stiflingly dull. It's like watching a Merchant and Ivory costume drama: everything's expository dialogue spoken by people in high collars. The sad part is that, for as little as you want to watch it, House of Usher looks amazing. The thing about all of Roger Corman's AIP pictures, and particularly his Poe pictures with Price, is that they're all a joy to simply look at. The Blu-ray of House of Usher absolutely pops visually, and while you might be otherwise be disinterested, be it due to plodding pace, poor plot, or hammy acting, you do get vibrant scenery with which to bathe your eyes. If you're familiar with Poe's story, then I heartily suggest you skip straight to the last thirty minutes or so, wherein Usher and Winthrop put Madeline in the crypt, then Winthrop goes mad trying to save her once he realizes she's been entombed alive. It's worth seeing, because it does a wonderful job of whetting one's appetite for what will come next -- namely, far-better combinations of Corman, Price, and Poe. Liam: Ok Nick, let me confess, this is the ONLY of these VP and Corman team-ups I have seen, and if you had asked where I thought this film came from, I would have pointed straight at Hammer. This has Hammer horror written all over it, from the ridiculous music cues to the over the top outfits. Not that I hate Hammer films, a few are very effective and even some of the least scary are still charming. There is also the idea of a Poe film itself, a kind of gothic, atmospheric horror that seems very suited to the Hammer aesthetic. Yet I am curious about a few things: how does this stack up to the other three? Do they feel more like Roger Corman joints? Do you think they needed sometime to get into their groove with these Poe films? Finally, why is the third act so interesting compared to the rest of the movie? I am not sure if it is a strength of the Poe story itself, or something Corman was able to pull of finally. Nick: Insofar as the rest of the Corman / Price team-ups, I think this is my least favorite. I'd actually not seen this one before, leaping into the Pit and the Pendulum, Masque of the Red Death, and others first. It's probably telling that, while this is included in the first Vincent Price collection that Shout Factory put out, I've never seen it in the Walmart five-dollar DVD bin at Halloween like I have with the others. Those other films are far more Corman films -- more blood, more ridiculousness, and Price getting to do far more of that emoting he does near the end. That's why I think the end is so effective -- it's the part of the film that takes the Poe story and exaggerates it to slightly over-the-top proportions. Seeing how much that stands out in regards to the rest of the film, I can't help but picture Corman seeing a screening of it somewhere and nodding his head, saying, “That's where we go next.” Knowing that, does it make you want to seek out the possible more Corman-flavored pictures that would come later? poster - Pit and the Pendulum Liam: Yes, it certainly does. I am still amazed that Corman could turn out a picture that feels so, honestly, subdued compared to much of his other work. I do not wish to speak ill of the master, just surprised that so little of this film feels like him. Corman doing Poe is perhaps the sort of match up that just might work, even if this film felt a bit restrained. I had assumed prior to you filling me in on the other films that I might find a similar kind of movie with those others. Poe does not write the kind of story that leads to the sort of deep terror that I want from horror often. Yet, with the right kind of over the top, Poe inspired, exaggeration I could see those stories becoming interesting fare. The stories lend themselves to adding a bit of exploitation like spice. Corman is, if anything, a filmmaker of big expression. He makes movies that may not always work, but are always huge and ambitious. It is one of the things I admire about him. Does he lend that same expansive, intense quality to those stories? I am familiar with The Pit and The Pendulum but I have never read the Masque of the Red Death. How does his influence move those stories forward or expand them out? Am I being unfair to Poe when a film like The Fall of the House of Usher doesn't surprise me? I expect Poes work to be, stuffy maybe? Certainly lacking in tension. I often find myself simply not caring about the internal worlds and deep anxieties of his characters. Should I be giving Poe-inspired horror films another shot? Nick: Well, your points are absolutely spot-on. This film in particular is almost too reverent in terms of its adherence to Poe's original work. The true problem is that Poe didn't write novels: he wrote short stories, and when you take a 5-10 page story and stretch it into an hour and a half long film, it's going to need some padding and rejiggering. In the case of House of Usher, Corman stuck pretty much to the original plot, which means an awful lot of sitting around and talking. When he gets to the later films, he takes the root concept and expands upon it, such as the Pit and the Pendulum, which has the actual plot of the story confined to a few moments, and augmented with an awful lot more in terms of torture devices. However, he also takes three stories and presents them almost verbatim, in the instance of Tales of Terror, and they work out almost perfectly as short-form pieces. Poe is rather stuffy, and the problem with the gothic in its purest form is that you're already essentially working with something that is a formulaic parody of genre conventions in and of itself, so to play it straight -- well, that way lies madness. Liam: Well, despite some of the difficulty of this film, I am glad I caught it for two reasons. One is simply to find out from you that Corman Poe films are actually something worth watching. Corman and Price should likely have formed a convincing enough duo that I was on board, but alas I fear Poe set to the big screen and have stayed clear. The second reason is simply to catch another Vincent Price film. I love Price, but oddly I love this emotional dandy character of his even more than his more popular menacing creep. The menacing creep is often more dignified and perhaps lies closer to what I suspect Price might actually have been like, but this simply over wrought pathetic creature just always gets me, and I am glad to have caught it. In the end though, while I am stoked to see Corman take on more Poe material, will I ever truly love Gothic horror? I feel like this particular genre misses me, not simply because I am not as familiar with the conventions of which it parodies, though I am sure that is part of it. I simply know modern horror far more than I do classic stuff, sure. I just also worry when I read Poe though that he is bringing alive a real anxiety for people, something internal and unsettled. Poe seems afraid of interiors in a way that can only for me exist before we understood mental illness. Now, I fear a thing I DO have a name for, and perhaps I fear the cure that much more. What say you, was this worth your time? Should other take a chance on this particular Poe adventure? Nick: I'm glad I finally saw this, if for no other reason to see the well from which so much excellent material sprung. Will I watch it again? Likely not, and I'd really suggest that folks see this just to get an idea of what didn't work, as well as what would eventually become the hallmarks of the Corman / Price / Poe triumvirate. It's always worth knowing what came before, if for no other reason than to have some sense of perspective. That said, it's not one worth owning, and I'd much rather see something outside the whole Poe series such as Dr. Phibes or House of Wax than ever tackle the snoozefest that is the first hour of this picture. It's a very good example of how hard it is to effectively translate gothic literature to the screen, but I suppose that “how not to do something” isn't really an effective marketing device. For quality gothic on-screen fun, there's little to really recommend -- The Others did it so well, it's hard to think of anything else, really. I'm glad I watched it, and would recommend others do the same, but if you're not a fan of Turn of the Screw, you're probably not going to get much out of it. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QslKMIOeME8[/embed]

Podcast #114, “Back From Holiday”

worst holiday And we're back. Not only has it been a hot minute since the last podcast (May?! Really?), the site's been kind of dormant. I mean, it's 100% my doing -- we've had some scheduling switches at work, the wife and I've been doing a bit of traveling, and I've been knocking out a lot of writing for other places. I'm going to consider myself a vaguely-successful writer, being as how I'm too busy writing for other people to have anything left for this little corner of the internet. Check out reviews and interviews at The Fast Pitch, The Runout, and Starburst Magazine -- there's everything from pop-punk to local television to film scores. It's a blast, but I'll try and get some more book stuff and vinyl coverage here as I can. Podcast #114, "Back From Holiday" Death, "North Street" ("North Street" single) Radkey, "Digging the Grave" ("Feed My Brain" single) The Bad Ideas, "Apocalypse Detroit" (split with Red Kate) Night Birds, "Agent Zero" (Monster Surf) --- Tweens, "Be Mean" (Tweens) Bikini Kill, "Rebel Girl" ("New Radio" single) Marmozets, "Move Shake Hide" ("Move Shake Hide" single) Greys, "Chick Singer" (If Anything) --- Josh Berwanger Band, "Oh Bis" (Too Much Rock Single Series #3) Mrs. Magician, "Friday Night" (Windian Single Series) The New Pornographers, "Brill Bruisers" (Brill Bruisers) Holler Boys, "The Nah Nah Song" (Holler Boys) --- Penetrators, "Shopping Bag" ("Shopping Bag" single) All Blood, "Now I Am the Devil" (The Kids Have No Taste) The Mr. T Experience, "The Last Time I Listened to You" ("Sex Offender" single) Possum Dixon, "Who You Are" ("Nerves" single)

The Folk Alliance International Conference starts today in Kansas City

folk alliance Rock Star Journalist has been suffering a little lately, as I've been working a lot of freelance for the Pitch in advance of the Folk Alliance International Conference. It's a five-day conference taking place in Kansas City this week, starting today, and running through Sunday. I had the fun job of interviewing some of the showcasing artists in order to help promote it, and that's pretty much sucked all of my energy lately. However, I've gotten to speak with people like actor / musician Ronny Cox about the new Robocop remake, ask BR5-49's Chuck Mead about his work on Broadway, and so much more. You can check out all my interviews (sans one, which hasn't run yet) after the jump, as well as details of how to attend the conference. * Christine Lavin on her work with Don White and laptop concerts * The Black Lillies' Cruz Contreras on the band's origins and building a fanbase * Guitar virtuoso Redd Volkaert on teaching and pleasing the audience * Chuck Mead talks Plowboy Records, his new album, and the Million Dollar Quartet * Whiskey Shivers' Andrew VanVoorhees on the band's evolving sound * Gangstagrass mastermind Rench on what bluegrass and hip-hop have in common * Ronny Cox on the differences between playing music and making movies The Folk Alliance International Conference starts today, February 19, and runs through Sunday, February 23. You can find me there Friday, February 21. More details can be found at the Folk Alliance website.

Rock Hard Erections Cialis

john-jughead-pierson Rock Hard Erections Cialis, Former member of Screeching Weasel, the Lillingtons, Even In Blackouts, et al, John "Jughead" Pierson, started a blog last month called Memories of a Jughead, and you really ought to start reading while it's new. There's not a lot of stories up there, but the ones there are detailed, insightful, 100mg Rock Hard Erections Cialis, and introspective.

It's this rambling, 40mg Rock Hard Erections Cialis, slightly discombobulated style that makes it so readable. There's no filter between mind and keyboard, it seems, and Pierson's stories are full of asides and details that give you the sense that he's really looking to make you feel like you're part of the story.The three-part tale of "To Geek or Not to Geek" (part one here), 1000mg Rock Hard Erections Cialis, regarding he and his girlfriend Paige's adventures meeting Patton Oswalt, Kyle Kinane, Rock Hard Erections Cialis japan, and Brian Posehn might be the most heartfelt tale I've read in months.

So, yeah -- check it out. Here's to hoping it leads to another book, Rock Hard Erections Cialis overseas. Failing that, it's probably the best punk rock blog this side of the Bad Sandwich Chronicles (also from a Chicago pop-punk artist -- small world).

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Zithromax Long Term Damage

casual-cosplay Zithromax Long Term Damage, You can check out all the attractive ladies who were kind enough to let me snap their photos over at the excellent website, Geekbauchery, where Mr. Geekbauchery's audience is far more suited to salacious things than we crate-digging, 150mg Zithromax Long Term Damage, Zithromax Long Term Damage australia, book-reading dorks at Rock Star Journalist.

Look for the rest of our C2E2 coverage tomorrow, 250mg Zithromax Long Term Damage, Zithromax Long Term Damage mexico, where we'll talk with Tom Brazelton about the future of Theater Hopper and how he plans on wrapping that up. C2E2 was a blast and a half, Zithromax Long Term Damage overseas, and the wife and I have already made plans to attend next year when it's back at McCormick Place on April 26-28.

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Lumigan Opth Soln

[caption id="attachment_4114" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="The Devil"]The Devil[/caption]
The Middle of the Map Festival Lumigan Opth Soln, is where I've been. Thursday through Saturday in Westport -- something like 80 bands, of which I saw a quarter. Then, Lumigan Opth Soln us, the band for which I yell played its first show Sunday night, so it's been four straight days of holy fuck. Lumigan Opth Soln overseas, Don't expect much this week, as we're kind of in a holding pattern until the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo this weekend. That's right, kids -- Rock Star Journalist is covering C2E2, Lumigan Opth Soln ebay. Look for lots and lots of pictures, stories, 20mg Lumigan Opth Soln, and the like Friday and Saturday and Sunday. In the meantime, hold tight and check out my coverage of Middle of the Map over at Wayward Blog: the kick-off party, day one, Lumigan Opth Soln canada, and day two.

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Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast

Over at the Pitch's Wayward Blog Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast, , I get to use the nature of a major metropolitan free weekly to speak with all kinds of people who are slightly more well-known than the people with whom I speak over here. That's not to say that anyone's better than the next person - just that the people whom I interview for the Pitch are probably gonna garner a few more hits than the indie bands and label heads here at Rock Star Journalist. Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast japan, In the interest of making my writing work for me twice, here's a brief compendium of folks from the past few months.

* Valient Thorr's Valient Himself on politics, 50mg Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast, bad flicks, 750mg Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast, and Thorriors.
* Director Gorman Bechard on his Replacements documentary, Color Me Obsessed, 150mg Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast.
* Bryan Cox talks up Soft Lighting's debut, Slow Motion Silhouettes, Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast.
* The State's Kevin Allison takes a Risk with his podcast. 20mg Itraconozole Vs Diflucan To Treat Yeast, * The Pharmacy want you to Dig Your Grave.
* Omaha's Conchance on the trials and travails of indie hip-hop.
* KU's Paul Laird addresses the racial and gender politics of South Pacific.
* Alive Records founder Patrick Boissel on his label's new compilation, Where is Parker Griggs?.

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Cipro Ulcerative Colitis

tiki-bar Cipro Ulcerative Colitis, After a rather hectic start to the week, it seemed like a good idea to play some cocktail lounge music. Call it space age bachelor pad, call it exotica, call it what you will, it's a very nice respite from the hurley-burley of my week thus far.

Sunday night saw a Fake Problems show interrupted by the news of Osama Bin Laden's death, followed by not a lot of sleep and a full day of work. On Monday, 200mg Cipro Ulcerative Colitis, the wife and I saw Jay & Silent SMod at the Midland, came home, and got not a lot of sleep. A similar thing happened on Tuesday, only it was Social D at the Beaumont, and I mowed the lawn and did the laundry instead of working the day job. 750mg Cipro Ulcerative Colitis, We'll be back next week with the usual punk and rock cavalcade, but I think the regular switch-ups in the podcast make it a little more entertaining than a non-stop parade of "1-2-3-4!," y'know.

Podcast #46, "Drinks At 8"

Les Baxter, "Blue Tango" (The Sounds of Adventure)
Groucho Marx, "Hooray For Captain Spaulding" (Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Novelty Records of All Time)
Michel LeGrand, Cipro Ulcerative Colitis india, "The Third Man" (I Love Movies)
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Combustible Edison, "Breakfast At Denny's" (I, Swinger)
Disney Orchestra & Chorus, "Pink Elephants On Parade" (Dumbo soundtracK)
Martin Denny, "The Quiet Village" (Exotica)
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Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra, "My Shawl" (Cugat Cavalcade)
Dean Martin, 500mg Cipro Ulcerative Colitis, "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" (Dean Martin Hits Again)
Girl Trouble, "A Shot In the Dark" (The Estrus Cocktail Companion)
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Electronic Concept Orchestra, "Je t'aime...moi non plus" (Electric Love)
Nat "King" Cole, "Mona Lisa" (Golden Hits)
Ferrante and Teicher, "Cumana" (Soundproof)
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National Orchestra & Soloists, "Babalu" (Caribbean Holiday)
Robert Morse & Sammy Smith, "The Brotherhood of Man" (How Succeed In Business...)
Perez Prado, "Mambo No, Cipro Ulcerative Colitis ebay. 5" (Mambo By the King).

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