Friday, 26 February 2016

THE DEVIL, PROBABLY




















I'm always interested in how Satan is portrayed in films, but only if he isn't a big red bloke with horns or a sinister looking guy with slicked back hair and a goatee, because that's really boring. 

In Zulawski's 1972 film The Devil, he is portrayed as a sharp faced sandy haired little man with the unerring ability to be everywhere at once. He is a stirrer and a wheedler and rather pathetic, especially when it becomes apparent that he is totally reliant on human beings to do his work for him ('he's a petty clerk, they won't let him have any bigger tasks'). He is short and slight and easily pushed around, bursting into tears when he doesn't get his own way. He carries a gun and has a weakness for interpretive dance, but isn't any good at it. 

Eventually, he gets his cock cut off while raping a nun and, in death, turns into a big black dog.   

Monday, 22 February 2016

SO MANY RECORDS







































In addition to watching a lot of films, I buy as much music as I can. I don’t have any specific criteria, I just like the good stuff. Here’s a mix of good stuff I have bought in the last few months. It has no particular theme, and is mainly old music that has recently been reissued, with a few new tracks thrown in just to show I’ve still got it. It gets quite exotic in the middle, which is excellent. All of this music is commercially available elsewhere, so please buy it if you like it. Here’s the track listing:

001 Black Hippies: Doing it in The Street
002 Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussions Inc: Caballo Negro
003 Donnell Pitman: Love Explosion
004 Sumy: Where Were You Last Night (Sexy Lady)
005 Forest Terry: Satellite Love
006 Willie West: I’m Still A Man (Lord Have Mercy)
007 Abu Sultan: Your Love Made My Head Hurt
008 Maurica Louca: Al-Asr Adh-Dhabi
009 Michael Stasis Band: Brown Cow
010 Arthur Russell: Lucky Cloud
011 Trevor Dandy: Is There Any Love?
012 Ami Shavit: Alpha 1
013 Carol: Breakdown
014 Owiny Sigoma Band: I Made You / You Made Me

It’s all stuck together so, for the best results, put it on when you have just under 63 minutes to kill. Go HERE to listen or download.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Saturday, 20 February 2016

PSYCHEDELIC FOX



























More screenshots from the title sequence of Foxy Brown, arguably the most fully realised of Pam Grier's 1970s star vehicles. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

WOULD YOU ADAM AND EVE IT?

























MAX BECKMANN: Adam and Eve (1917)

German painter Max Beckmann began his painting of Adam and Eve in 1913, only to have his work on it interrupted by World War One, where he served as a medical orderly, and saw more than his share of horrors. He completed it in 1917. There is an overwhelming seediness to the picture, and the mismatched couple seem more like a drunk and a whore rather than the Biblical first of the line - even the tree between them resembles a lamp post on the Reeperbahn. In a grey, wan light they stand, seemingly mid-transaction: him witless, awkward, gormless; her, looking older than him, proffering a breast, perhaps as an inducement to eat the apple the eared serpent lurking behind her has provocatively supplied. A daffodil provides the one bright spot in an otherwise pretty dismal Eden.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

GRAVEYARD BLUES AND REDS










REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, d. Jean Rollin (1973)

Rollin famously builds his films image by image, then fills in whatever gaps there are with snatches of dialogue and fragmented bits and pieces of narrative. Here, two young women, dressed as clowns, evade a police chase and take refuge in a cemetery and then a mysterious chateau filled with vampires. After half an hour, some nudity, and a lot of wandering around, the girls fill in their back story. It is the longest piece of dialogue in the film so far, and is fantastically succinct. 

'There was a party. We were dressed as clowns. We killed a man. We got away and our friend picked us up in his car. He got shot, then we came here.'

Seriously, what more do you need to know?    

Saturday, 13 February 2016

BLOOD AND SKIN









THE NUDE VAMPIRE, d. Jean Rollin (1970)


There’s a beautiful aimlessness to Jean Rollin films, which is not a criticism: we could all do with some aimless beauty once in a while. His oeuvre mainly consists of good looking and scantily clad people embroiled in supernatural situations in gothic locales. The Nude Vampire is no exception, and is full of twins and masks and blood and suicide. There aren’t really any vampires in the traditional sense, although there is a lot of nudity, so the title is at least half right. There is a proper story in there, and an interesting new horror mythology, but it all takes second place to atmosphere, location and Rollin’s wonderful visual sensibilities.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

THAT NIGHT, SOMETHING REALLY WEIRD HAPPENED

 

Tom Lovell's painting The Angel Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith in his Room is an important one for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. It was during that this visitation that Smith's mission was revealed, along with the secret that there was a book written on gold plates buried on a hillside. These contained a gospel and a secret history of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, and would become what is now known as The Book of Mormon. Moroni also made it clear that Smith should not show the original gold plates to anyone, ever, and that they would just have to take his word for it. And they did.     

Friday, 5 February 2016

SNAKES IN THE BATH








































I've been an adult for almost thirty years now, and I've been in a variety of situations with a number of ladies. The nearest I've ever come to this sort of racy banter, however, is when a young woman offered me oral sex in return for a can of beer. As I'd only just met her, and the beer was a Tesco special called Norseman, I declined: clearly, she wasn't exactly what you'd call picky.

This loaded conversation is from Veerana, and is even more charged when you understand that couple are both predators: 'the poisonous serpent' is actually a scaly vampire lady with horrible hands and terrible teeth, and her mustachioed bath mate is there to bring her to justice - at the end of a rope. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

CREEPY FOREST
























VEERANA, d. Shyam Ramsay and Tulsi Ramsay (1988)

At heart, Veerana (Creepy Woods) is a florid but effective, occasionally scary, sometimes psychedelic, slightly hysterical hour long fantasy horror film with a garish colour palette and some very expressive eyebrows. But this is Bollywood, so we also get another hour and a quarter of songs and comic relief, neither of which are particularly earth shattering, but most certainly provide the mad entertainment and value for money that Indian audiences demand from their motion pictures.

The film works best when it gets semi-serious, as in the scenes set in a satanic cult cave populated by stone headed monsters and a hairy wizard, or when a child possessed by a vampire makes a fish tank explode just with the power of her evil mind. It’s a film where a cheerful dance routine is followed by a man having his eyes bloodily blown out by flying glass, and although all the component parts don’t quite fit together, it’s good stuff and full of fun, you just need to make sure you set most of the evening aside to watch it. 

Thanks to Hellfire Video Club for the heads up on this one. You know your onions.