Sunday, 31 March 2013

Interview on Zombie Sexuality


Rebeccah Redden recently contacted me for an interview for her blog "Where Did You Dig Her Up From?: The Critical Zombie"
 
 
RR: The Zombie is not considered a sexual being. Why, out of all the popular monsters, is the zombie regarded as something either without a sex, or sexually unattractive. Is it the animalistic qualities, the lack of consciousness, the taboo on necrophilia, or something different?

SJ: Foremost, zombies are unsexy because they are rotting corpses. From a very early age humans are psychologically primed to be fearful of anything that reminds us that we are mortal and physiologically vulnerable. As numerous psychoanalysts and psychologists have proposed, cadavers epitomise disgust because they inescapably remind us of our corporeality. On a more instinctual level, humans live interdependently: from birth, we rely on others to ensure our welfare. That trait continues into our adult lives where we live in social groupings. When one member of our closest groupings dies, we instinctively mourn their loss. Broadly speaking, the adage that “a part of us dies with them” is true insofar as part of what constitutes our stable psycho-social environment is lost when our loved ones cease to exist. In that sense, when others die, it is a reminder not only that we will expire ourselves, but also that we are vulnerable on a social level. Corpses symbolically stand in for that potential fragility and loss: by that I mean both loss of others (whom we love) and partial loss of ourselves. Given all of this deep-seated baggage, it is unsurprising that zombies – corpses who will not stay dead and buried – are not high on many people’s lists of turn-ons.

Another reason that zombies are not sexy is because they are without self. Being animated shells, they do not have conscious identity. Since sexuality is an identity facet, it is illogical for zombies to have sexuality (and thus they are not “sexy”). Interestingly, in zombie fiction there has been a notable movement towards imbuing zombies with identity since the mid-80s; I am thinking specifically about Bub from Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985) as one of the first “conscious” zombies. Since then, there have been more and more zombie texts that blur the line between undead and living human. In a film such as Robin Campillo’s They Came Back (2004), the zombies are simply resurrected, fully conscious humans, for example. Alongside that progression towards consciousness, zombies have been treated as sexual beings much more frequently in culture. For instance, zombie-porn films such as Rob Rotten’s Porn of the Dead (2006) depict the living dead instigating and engaging in explicit sex acts. In Otto, or Up with Dead People (2008), Bruce LaBruce uses sexually active zombies to explore homosexuality in some highly complex ways. It might not be that these zombies are “sexy”. For instance, I find Rotten’s film utterly horrific, not erotic. However, the living dead are certainly more openly sexual than they have been in previous eras.

It is worth noting that this shift is one of overtness and explicitness. In some senses, all zombie narratives have a sexual quality inasmuch as the undead are driven by carnal desire. They are obsessed with their craving for flesh. That yearning manifests in very intimate forms of contact (biting), which could be considered sexual. It may have taken a while for portrayals of zombies to become overtly sexual, but the trend is the logical conclusion of the carnal desire that zombies manifest.

 

 

RR: What do the repressed sexuality of the zombie and the explicit sexuality of the surviving humans say about the culture who watches them?

SJ: Fundamentally, zombie sexuality exposes how uncomfortable we are with sex. By that I mean that sex is treated as taboo, as something private, as something to be hidden. Again, that repression stems from bodiliness: it is akin to the urge many of us feel towards hiding forms of illness from those around us, or even burying (hiding away) corpses. In some respects, sex is much more directly interlinked with those aspects of existence than we would like to admit. Sexually transmitted infections mean that sex is medically “risky”. In an age where HIV has been discursively associated with sexual communicability, the fear of death haunts our sexual landscape. As several recent studies have demonstrated, many of our major disgust elicitors (such as sweat, saliva, semen, vaginal fluids) are implicated in sexual activity, because they stem from the body. Being connected with our animal nature and our corporeality, sex is subject to social cloaking because those aspects of existence are distressing.

Powerfully, the zombie’s desire is not usually limited to specific genders or erogenous zones: all flesh entices them. Although they are slaves to their endless desire, they are wholly free in another sense. The living protagonists view zombies as destructive because they infect humans by tearing skin and shedding blood. The living are not simply fearful of zombies then, but also of their own physical vulnerability. Zombies are at one with their disgusting corporeality and give in to their cravings. In contrast, the living are terrified of their own bodies and of losing control over themselves. The presence of zombies spotlights how uncomfortable we are with fundamental elements of our existence: with our own bodies and desires. In that sense, it is to be expected that zombies are not considered “sexy”, since our sexual identities are bound into various forms of inhibition and disavowal. Denying that zombies have sexual identity is part of that inhibition process. So too is characterising the undead – beings that are openly attuned to their bodiliness and animal desires – as monsters.  

In terms of what the rise in zombie-sex implies about social attitudes, there are two distinct possibilities. The first is that we are becoming more liberal about sex: that a greater range of sexual expression is being tolerated in culture. Zombie sex might reflect a gradual shift towards becoming increasingly comfortable with our own bodies. Alternatively, the rise of zombie sex could signal precisely the opposite. Zombie sex is free, but it is associated with the conventions of horror. If sexual freedom itself – personified by the undead – is envisaged as disgusting and destructive, then the taboos surrounding sex are reinforced.  In that reading, zombie sex signals a “need” for increased conservativism.

 

 
RR: If a zombie should be created that is sexualized (as it has) what is it about that particular zombie that makes it ‘sexy’ or ‘attractive’, and why does it not surface into popular culture?

SJ: If we take the view that zombies signal liberation from constraints of civility and even mortality, it is clear why zombies are attractive figures. Either in the sexual or anthropophagic senses, when zombies fulfil their desire for flesh, they do so in a frenzy of activity. They are completely uninhibited. They know precisely what will satisfy them, and simply attain it. They are not hindered by other’s judgements. They are not encumbered by concerns over their shame or dignity. They care not for the person they engage with, whether they cause pleasure or pain.

The description I have just outlined is of pure hedonism: a fantasy of enjoyment and fulfilment from the undead consumer’s perspective. It may also be clear why that fantasy is as disquieting as it is appealing. Total self-fulfilment violates one of the fundamental aspects of sociality I previously outlined: interdependency. From an outsider’s perspective, the zombie’s freedom clearly causes pain to others. The real problem is that zombies are free because they do not care that others suffer to satisfy them. In fact, being without self, the zombies are incapable of empathy. Consequently, it could be argued that there is no self who can enjoy the pleasure: zombies are selfish, but also self-less. As a result, their freedom is destructive and futile. The flipside is that while humans are reliant on social connections with others to survive – and zombie movies often depict the living protagonists as an interdependent cluster – zombies have a kind of perfect autonomy. They may have no self, but they are driven only by their own fulfilment.

That paradoxical balance resonates with taboo forms of sexuality, which are commonly treated as counter-instinctual or puzzling. For example, Julie in Brina Yuzna’s Return of the Living Dead III (1993) is characterised as monstrous, yet sexually alluring within the narrative. Julie engages in extreme self-harm to hinder her desire for flesh. Those moments of injury are accompanied by her moans, which could certainly be construed as masochistic sexual pleasure. The lines between pain, desire and violence are utterly blurred in the film, just as they are in masochistic sexuality. Since these elements do not fit commonplace understandings of sexual pleasure, masochism is a socio-sexual taboo. It is not commonly and publically discussed. This zombie film is a cipher via which masochism can be discussed, albeit via a proxy (the undead Julie).

More recently, Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel utilised an imprisoned female zombie to explore rape in their film Deadgirl (2008). It presents a disturbing fantasy in which all of the young men engage in rape, apparently because they can “get away” with it. It might also be argued that the Deadgirl herself stands in for rape-fantasy from the victim’s perspective. In such a reading, her zombiedom and imprisonment are indicative of helpless passivity. I am among the viewers that found the film disturbing, but rather than angrily rejecting the film, it is worth reflecting on that source of discomfort. The horror stems from socially constructed norms regarding what can and cannot be voiced about sexuality. The zombie is used to flag such areas that need to be understood rather than discounted simply because they are difficult.

These depictions cannot be “popular” per se because they are dealing with taboo themes. In fact, if these portrayals were accepted in the mainstream, it would be a sign that the ideas contained therein were no longer taboo. Some of the sexual zombie’s appeal may stem from being taboo, from transgressing norms. Those norms have become especially fraught in the last decade due to the instigation of several legal sanctions against necrophilic pornography, and various forms of ‘war porn’ (of soldiers distributing images of war casualties in exchange for pornography, for example). Given that backdrop, explorations of zombie sexuality (which clearly carry necrophilic overtones) are unlikely to find the kind of freedom that the sexual zombie itself embodies.

 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity

 
I can hear the collective voice of a million, nay a billion members of the public, all crying in unison: "The 1987 film Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity has been released on DVD. Finally"
 
Anyone who has not already stopped reading to rush out and bu their copy can find out more (and watch the trailer) here:
http://www.88films.co.uk/grindhouse-3.html

Friday, 29 March 2013

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Biting Elbows

 
Although the above video has been getting good word of mouth, I was put off by the thumbnail for the video offered on many websites - a shot of a woman in a bikini (the only such shot in the entire video). Sex sells, I guess. 
Anyway, having finally watched it, this video really is good. The content is nonsense, but it has been a while since I have asked myself "how did they do that?" this many times in the space of five minutes.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

15 Second Review: Studio 60

Many years ago when I was teaching a curse on Hollywood industry, one of my students recommended that I watch a show called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Well, I finally have (it only took five years). The series is based around a television production a la Saturday Night Live produced by "NBS". That the show aired on NBC perhaps suggests that the creators aimed to make this show as directly reflective as possible. That Matthew Perry plays someone with drug and alcohol issues is one layer of reflexivity that cuts particularly close to the bone. In fact, the show opens with a tribute to Network and directly acknowledges that is what it is happening. From the outset then, it is clear that the writer is self-assured. As it progresses, the series displays that confidence via its breakneck dialogue, which is witty even if it is not always laugh-out-loud funny. In fact, the series leans towards drama much more than comedy, so Friends fans attracted to Studio 60 by the presence of Matthew Perry should take note.
The characters are likable and the performances are well judged, but ultimately, what let this down for me was the increasing reliance on romantic comedy conventions as the series progressed. The finale was especially disappointing on that front, not least since the Danny love story was established so rapidly...a little too damned rapidly in my view. The writers makes the mistake of leaning too heavily on a relationship that is not founded firmly enough to take the weight applied to it, and impending tragedy that never quite feels real (because "it's not that kind of story" as Matt has declares). Much of the time, the romance elements seem like a way of excusing that the series was written more for people who work in television than for people who watch television. Perhaps the continuing references to flagging ratings throughout the series latter half were another level of reflexivity. Its short run suggests that it was not especially well received. In sum, not a waste of time, but not groundbreaking.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

‘Shocker’ Remake?

As Bloody-disgusting recently reported, Wes Craven still wants to remake Shocker
Craven is quoted as follows
I’d like to redo Shocker just to get the special effects right because we had a real special effects disaster on the film,” he tells Crave. “The guy who was doing all the visual effects kind of flamed out, had a nervous breakdown because he was attempting more than he could actually do. When he told us towards the end of the movie that not a single one of the special effects was actually working, he was working on a new technique, my son’s job specifically became just to find all the negative. It was all around town in unmarked boxes and under people’s editing [benches]. It was a nightmare itself. We pulled every favor in town to get all those special effects done very quickly and some of them are pretty sketchy.

The real question is, does anyone else want Craven to remake Shocker? On the one hand, Craven might get it right this time. On the other...why bother?

Monday, 25 March 2013

15 Second Review: The Tall Man

Long before it was released, I made my peace with the idea that The Tall Man was not going to match its predecessor. Martyrs is the filmic equivalent of a mugging. I subsequently saw House of Voices, and found it to be quite sterile. Although it is Laugier's third feature, The Tall Man is a bridging point between House of Voices and Martyrs. The Tall Man shares some of Martyrs' game-changing style, and much of House of Voices'  tonal restraint.
I am reluctant to say much about The Tall Man's plot since it relies on unexpected shifts every 30 minutes. Clearly, Laugier is developing a style that contravenes the four-act plot model - at each of the four points a new shift is triggered.
Biel puts in a typically confident performance, as do the supporting cast. Aside from the opening credit sequence, the film looks sleek. The production is very accomplished, it just doesn't quite satisfy. What is clear is that Laugier has a commitment to the genre and is developing an original voice. I am sure that we have not yet seen Laugier's best, and that is a truly exciting prospect, even if The Tall Man itself is not.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

15 Second Review: The Art of Rap

Anyone who loves rap will be excited at the prospect of  this documentary. Heavyweight director Ice-T uses his  net of connections to amass a host of rap grandmasters including MC Lyte, Q-tip, Eminem, Dr Dre, and KRS-One. At its best, the documentary provides a forum for these rappers to discuss their origins and techniques. It also allows these rappers to exchange personal anecdotes, which is probably the most interesting aspect of the film. For example, hearing about Ice-T's stage tricks (including using front row fans as a kind of auto-cue) is worth thirty seconds of anyone's time.
However, much of the documentary is comprised of the guest stars rapping to camera (often reciting passages from their favourite tracks by other artists). After a while, that repeated trope begins to wear a little thin. While there is some commentary on different styles, the discussion remains vague and surface-level. Perhaps this is partially because the commentators are masters: they already understand the intricacies, and so take the process for granted. What remains is a host of rappers essentially declaring that rap is difficult and is misunderstood by outsiders. Yet the film offers no bridge for any outsiders wishing to learn, or any tangible evidence of precisely why rap is difficult. Consequently, this documentary preaches to the converted, and feels a little self-congratulatory. Given that the talent aggregated here is unparallelled in the field, it all feels like a wasted opportunity, and that is a real shame.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical

Rebecca Thomson's Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical
 
Features such timeless classics as "My Girlfriend Ate My Pussy - Literally"
 
 
 
Rebecca is currently translating the short into a feature length movie. Check out http://www.zombielesbianmusical.com/ for more details
 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Late to the Party: Nip/Tuck Seasons 1-3

I seem to have missed a number of hit US series in the mid-00s. Working three jobs and writing a PhD can really impinge on one's ability to engage with...well everything and everyone. One series I have only just caught up on is Nip/Tuck: I thought I may as well give it a bash as part of my Ryan Murphy kick, having recently caught American Horror Story and some fragments of Glee. Yeah, you heard me, Glee - if you haven't heard the auto-tuning, you do not know genuine horror.
On the grapevine, I heard that the first three series of Nip/Tuck are worthwhile, and beyond that point the series becomes silly. Given that the ending of season three was an absolute farce, I dread to think how ludicrous season six is. In fact, the rot sets in very early on. Mid-way through season two, we are treated to a hallucinatory "here's what your life would have been like if..." episode, a trope I thought was reserved only for the televisual equivalent of a broken legged race horse. The opening of series three pulls a similar stunt, with even less impact.
The running storyline between seasons two and three - which centres on a masked serial rapist - is also flawed, and not just because of its dire conclusion. Presumably the arc was introduced to breathe life into what would otherwise be episode-by-episode investigations into specific (and increasingly bizarre) surgical procedures. The shame of it is that the first series contains some really neat ideas: the surgeries parallel personal issues in the lead protagonists' lives. However, by the second season's rather tasteless conjoined twins episode, even that trait has become sledgehammer in approach.
Perhaps this lack of subtlety is apposite given the theme of cosmetic surgery. The protagonists' careers are centred on shaping their clients' looks in a world obsessed with appearances (as the script-writers insist on continually reiterating). It seems apt that the storylines become increasingly sensationalistic and superficial, then. Moreover, the show's clean, glossy aesthetic - which reminded me of the videogame Mirror's Edge - underscores how shallow and artificial the protagonists' professional lives are. Even the deep-seated marital and personal traumas that unravel as the series progresses feel like soap-opera constructions rather than meaningful revelations. However apt that tone may be, ultimately, Nip/Tuck's dramatic trajectory is harder to stomach than the show's realistic visceral effects.      

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Napalm Death so Loud They Could Destroy English Heritage


According to a report on Reuters today, a Napalm Death gig has been cancelled out of fear that they are so loud they might damage the V&A museum:
Awesome

Full article from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/20/entertainment-us-britain-museum-band-idUSBRE92J0IR20130320

(Reuters) - London's famed Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has canceled an experimental concert by extreme metal band Napalm Death, fearing the noise level could damage the 104-year-old building.
Ceramic artist Keith Harrison from the V&A, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, collaborated with Napalm Death on a set to be played through a sculptural sound system which would disintegrate under decibel stress.

But museum officials said the one-off performance, scheduled for Friday in the V&A's Europe Galleries, had been canceled out of concern it was not only the intended sculpture that would be damaged.

"A further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building," a museum statement said.

"The V&A is committed to an exciting program of exhibitions and events but the safety of our visitors and building remains our priority at all times."

Napalm Death, a self-described "grindcore" band which has released 14 albums since forming in Birmingham in central England 30 years ago, said the project aimed to merge extreme metal and art.

The band, whose last album included songs like "Leper Colony" and "A Gag Reflex", is listed by Nielsen SoundScan as the seventh best-selling death metal band in the United States.

15 Second Review: Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Grave Encounters 2 exhibited many signs of promise during its run time. There are a couple of effective moments. Of note are some of the intercuts to footage from the first Grave Encounters film, and the sequence featured on the promotional poster (left), in which the filmmakers utilise the supernatural by offering sudden, unexpected action.
That said, these moments are equally indicative of the film's central weaknesses. Principally, the filmmakers do not settle on what the film's aims are, and as a result Grave Encounters 2 lacks identity. One minute the script contains explicit reflection on supernatural found footage films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Moments later, key incidents from those films are summarily ripped off. The event depicted in the film's poster campaign is one part Rec, one part Paranormal Activity, for instance. Since these influences are so apparent, the overt commentary on found-footage contained in the script come across as apology more than reflexivity. At times, Grave Encounters 2 is closer to Scary Movie 5 than it is Paranormal Activity. The methodology is certainly not as "clever" as the script-writers seem to believe it is. In fact, these intertextual bridges muddies the work the filmmakers put into creating a legacy for their own Grave Encounters franchise.
Moreover, in the climax, unconvincing CG camcorders float around in a bid to excuse abandoning the found-footage shooting methodology. For that reason, the climax was alienating rather than exciting.
In sum: some cheap scares, some shoddy acting, and some wasted moments. The film feels more like an advert for a Universal Studios theme park "experience" than a horror movie.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Robocop, Fried Chicken and Korean TV


I love fried chicken. I love Robocop. By watching this video, I now have at least one reason to love Korean TV commercials too. The grease must play havoc with that shiny suit.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Saw Cruise

Fandom can lead some people to do crazy things. For those losing their grip on rationality, the kind folks at http://www.bocaratontravelgroups.com/images/SawatSea.pdf are offering this sensational holiday package:

Now, look closely at who is aboard for the trip. That is right, you get to hang out with Ned Bellamy aka 'Jeff the Drill Chair Man', who made it to the screen for 90 seconds in 2004. Hmmm. How about Dan Yeager? How he really is 'Big News'. After all, he appears as Leatherfa... wait a minute. That isn't Saw. I thought this was a Saw cruise? Oh I see, my fault, his name is tenuously linked to the franchise by the word "saw" itself. He is 'the man behind the chain-SAW', no less.

Well, okay, so much for the 'Saw-celeberities' (surely "Saw-lebrities"?). Perhaps they have honed the activities to make the whole thing more Saw-y. And yes, here it is: experience the sheer unrelenting terror of... hang on a minute. That luxury cabin doesn't look all that grim to me.
 

I certainly don't remember a 'dance party' being part of the Saw experience. In fact, the only 'pool party'-like scenarios I remember were the pit of dirty hypodermic needles in Saw II and the "drowning in a vat of putrid pig-liquid" incident in Saw III. I thought I had seen all of the films, but evidently I missed the sequel that featured the 'open bar' and the 'pre-paid gratuities'. As for 'Win Prizes', how about the goddamn 'gift of life'?

I am not saying that I want to go on a cruise tour where I am summarily tortured (although perhaps all of these promises are a sadistic ruse...). However, this cruise has swung too far into shiny "Saw-tastic" terrain. At minimum I hope that a Billy Puppet cycles into every room in the middle of the night to inform the passengers that he wants "to play a game"

Whisky Tasting in the Name of Science

Calling all whisky lovers! Prof. Charles Spence is conducting an experiment into how taste is affected by other senses. To do so he is using whisky, which presumably will attract a number of participants.  
The study is running in Soho (79 Beak Street) on Wednesday 20th March and Thursday 21st March. Apply by emailing Charles at laboratory@condimentjunkie.co.uk

Apparently there is also an online version (which I'll be checking out) at www.condimentjunkie.co.uk/sensorium

Although this looks suspiciously like an extended advert for a particular brand of whisky, I am assuming that Spence's experiment has been funded by that company.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Metal cover of "Kiss From a Rose"

Surprisingly, this doesn't suck anywhere near as much as I thought it would. That is not to say that it doesn't suck...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Prancer - Dillinger Escape Plan

A new song from Dillinger Escape Plan. Much shorter, much more fun, and far more aggressive than Public Enemies - the Michael Mann film about John Dillinger.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mummified Hands


We recently went on a behind the scenes tour of the Hancock Museum's Natural Science Stores. Here are some of the incredible things we saw there.
 
 







Friday, 15 March 2013

Late to the Party: Prison Break Seasons 1&2



Much like 24, I heard good things about Prison Break on its release, but I was also told that it quickly became silly. Having recently made peace with 24's farcical antics, I decided to give Prison Break a go. After all, I sat through the whole of the decidedly mediocre Oz, and I have a soft-spot for Bad Girls, despite how trashy it is. Okay, I love Bad Girls because it is so trashy.
Compared with the giddy heights of Larkhall, Prison Break is not trashy enough in the first instance. However, like 24, it certainly is not the quality television suggested some critics declared it to be.
The first series suffers from its duration. The escape plot is endlessly and frustratingly spun-out. Still, that at least gave me chance to get over Wentworth Miller's uncanny similarity to a Team America puppet. Seriously, the man looks and speaks like a marionettes.
According to word-of-mouth reports I received (well overheard - I don't socialise much), the second series suffered in premise. "The show is called Prison Break", I heard people scoff, "how can it possibly work once they have escaped?". Well, as it transpires, the eponymous break is the best thing that could have happened to the series. As much as I would have liked to see whether the writers could drag out the attempted escape over 81 episodes, I am reasonably certain I would turn off after the first 40 hours. Rather than being treated to an endless barrage of aborted plans in the jail, season two offers a host of hindered ploys in a variety of locations. Admittedly, that does not sound like much of an innovation, but it makes a noticeable difference to the show. Engaging with a variety of incidental characters and situations provides room to breathe, meaning the convoluted plot does not feel quite as ridiculously drawn out as it undoubtedly is.
Moreover, the characters flourish in their new surroundings. Robert Knepper really shines as T-Bag in a way that he did not in the first series. Engaging with the diegetic populace means he can to swing wildly between sleazy, sinister, vulnerable and utterly charming - not an easy range to pull off while still maintaining the character's integrity.
That said, with great freedom comes great responsibility (or something like that), and the show's writers frequently forget to maintain narrative coherence. Allowing the characters to roam opens up a host of gaping plot holes, and moments of sheer over exuberance ("Christ in a Rose" - good lord). If you are willing to chow down this s**t with a healthy pinch of salt, it is fun-times all round. Bring on season 3 where Michael finds himself...IN ANOTHER PRISON. If you have not seen the series, I will leave you guessing as to whether I am joking or not....

Thursday, 14 March 2013

"Who's on First?"

 
Following my WC Fields kick a couple of weeks ago, here is a great Abbott and Costello routine. Convoluted as it is, the performance is wonderful. The script must have been a nightmare to learn, and reciting it at this speed is astounding. 
 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Trailer Trash: Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi

Poster: Birdemic 2: The Resurrection:

Oh dear. Birdemic was pretty crap: the trailer was awesome, but in practice, the film was simply boring. The sequel is nearly here, and I assume the poster will be better than the film itself.

birdemic 2 poster 692x1024 Heres the Theatrical Poster For Birdemic 2: The Resurrection

UPDATE: I've just noticed that 'Master or Romantic Thrillers' is trademarked. Unbelieveable.

Monday, 11 March 2013

영화 나쁜 피 (Dirty Blood, 2011)


The Punisher


The Punisher is a Russian Bus Driver who has no tolerance for poor driving. Insurance scamming is apparently very popular in some areas of Russia. This is one driver who refuses to be a soft target and brakes for no-one. Although car crashing vigilantism should not be condoned per se, it is hard not to have some admiration for someone who call themselves "the punisher".

Friday, 8 March 2013

Ghostbusters Lego

Proof that nerds have fun: some internet based humans have experimented with Ghostbusters lego, and the result is this gallery of wonderment










Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Carly Rae Jepsen Vs Nine Inch Nails




I am sure Trent Reznor would approve of this emasculating mashup. The first verse is a bit tenuous, but the rest is pretty good. Call Me Maybe was all about the chorus anyway.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

15 Second Review: Frankenweenie


The majority of the reviews I have read of Frankenweenie have been preoccupied with the idea that it was not a return-to-form for Tim Burton... Well, here is the news. Tim Burton is not likely to "return-to-form" - he is simply a different filmmaker now, because it is no longer the 1990s. People grow and experiment. The cinematic landscape has changed. Frankenweenie should be judged in its own right as a film rather than as a "Tim Burton film that is not what the public wanted a Tim Burton film to be".
As for Frankenweenie itself: the film is fun, but not life-changing. There were a couple of good laughs to be had (particularly with regard to the Sea Monkeys), but the film is not hysterically funny. Neither does it integrate the horror elements especially well. There are some quite forced references to Universal's Frankenstein, and even to Burton's own Batman, but neither adds anything to the film. In fact, they add to the sense that the film is superficial. The story is fine, if a little sentimental towards the end. In sum, it is all quite sweet, but little more. As an animated movie, it pales against the backdrop of Rango, Up, and Ponyo. In some regards, it even pales compared to Bolt. That said, if even one young viewer is encouraged to engage with more monochrome monster movies as a result of seeing this, then I am reluctant to begrudge the existence of Frankenweenie.

 

Anatomy of a trailer

Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut »
Head over to New York times to read how scenes from five of the nine best picture nominees were reassembled to promote the films.
 
 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Trailer Trash: Sadako hands on in packaging new Ringu DVD



In order to boost sales of Sadako 3D, the latest film in the Ring series, Sadako herself is joining the production line...

I haven't seen the film yet, but reports are that it is pretty dire (even in 3D). Still, the marketing campaigns have been ace.

BBFC online survey/Guidelines review


 
See press release from bbfc.co.uk
BBFC logoFrom Friday 1 March for six weeks, anyone will be able to complete the survey on the BBFC website, helping to contribute to the large scale public consultation exercise the BBFC carries out every 4-5 years. The review ensures the BBFC Classification Guidelines for age rating films are in step with public opinion.
The survey asks the public to give their views on the age ratings of recent cinema and DVD releases. It also captures how often respondents visit the cinema, watch films online and whether they usually watch films with a particular age rating. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete.
David Austin, Assistant Director of the BBFC says:
The online survey is an important part of the Classification Guidelines review process. We’re keen to hear from adults and young people about whether they agree with BBFC age ratings for recent films and DVDs and how frequently they watch films both at the cinema and at home.
The results of the online survey will be processed alongside the results of nationwide focus groups, telephone interviews and specialist research, giving the BBFC the views of around 10,000 members of the public. The updated BBFC Classification Guidelines will be published at the end of 2013. The previous BBFC Classification Guidelines Review was carried out in 2009.
 

Poster: Venom's 25th Anniversary


venom25years [Random Cool] 25 Years Of Venom Infographic!

Friday, 1 March 2013

15 Second Review: Peep Show Series 8

Since series 4, Peep Show has been floundering. Series 8, however, is the most lacklustre effort in the show's run. Although the characters have little motivation per se, their lack of momentum has been slowly eating at the series for some time. At least earlier attempts to impose stimuli (Sophie's pregnancy, for example) provided some forward motion for the scripts, even if it felt forced. In this most recent series, there are one or two laughs, but do not expect more. Mitchell and Webb go through the motions, but the series is missing the awkward, slightly hideous quality that made it enjoyable in the first instance.  One day, the series might find its feet again, but I am not sure that I'll still be watching when it does.