Film: Upstream Color

I am a HUGE fan of Shane Curruth’s “PRIMER” and his next, “Upstream Color“, looks to be just as intriguing. Two teaser trailers were released in the last two weeks and both strike completely different tones. I have know idea what the film is about. All I know is that its imagery is stuck in my head and, for me anyways, that’s a good thing.

“Upstream Color” Teaser 1


“Upstream Color” Teaser 2

And, for old time’s sake, the Trailer for “PRIMER”:


About Clive Barker’s Latest Film Adaptation and Doing Your Part as a Genre Fan…


Whether you like his books, plays, paintings or movies, Clive Barker is somewhat of a force to be reckoned with.  Primarily affixed with the horror genre, Barker’s created some of the most arresting visuals ever in cinema, canvas, novels and short stories. And while all have sometimes been hit or miss, they have always been memorable in some way or another.

That said he’s had a big influence on me since I read “Books of Blood” in college and definitely since I saw “Hellraiser” in high-school (dear god did that movie keep me up at night… I loved it!).

I know, I read book after the movie, so sue me 😉 .

As far as cinema is concerned, his movies (mostly of which he’s written and NOT directed) have always ranged from mediocre (the “Hellraiser” series beyond part two, and even that wasn’t that great) to somewhat inspired (it gets knocked a bit, but I’ve always loved “Nightbreed”) yet, they’ve always been memorable.  And, like his written prose and his art, his movies always leave a bit of a scar on you and it’s for that, that Clive Barker will always receive my respect.  He is the king of creatively dark and disturbing visuals and to this day, a lot of his work inspires me.

Which brings me to this latest debacle in the film industry.  Well documented at the site, the latest film adaptation of his short story “The Midnight Meat Train”, has received the oddest film treatment from a major film studio to date.  Frankly, I haven’t seen a release like this in for, well… ever.  What happened is that the film was picked up by LionsGate (whores to the SAW franchise, and who can blame ‘em), a studio that has done VERY well for itself as of late, and, after viewing it, they decided to release it straight to the racks of a Blockbuster near you.  But then the fan-base (god-bless the interwebs) revolted and they decided to do a severely limited theatrical release… to the cheap seat theaters that barely dot the landscape of our great nation!

The aforementioned fan base then screamed an even louder “WTF”!!

And the real shame?

I may be wrong, (PLEASE, please, correct me if I am) but I believe it’s the “American debut” of a director that should be very dear to every horror fan’s heart:  the Japanese maestro of the epic and zany film “Versus”, Ryuhei Kitamura.

Based on his past exploits alone, this guy is clearly talented and after being fortunate enough to catch TMNMT at a “cheap seat” theater near me ( Carmike Blue Ridge 14 Cinema, 600 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC, 27606 (919)828800) I can safely say that he really needs to be given a better/fairer shake at films in the US.

Is it the “Citizen Kane” of horror?

Hell no!


But it is some inspired film making and some of it is definitely polished and memorable enough to stick with you well after the credits roll.  Which is well worth the usual arm and a leg you’d pay at the megaplex (Mel and I, embarrassingly, paid almost 20 bucks to see “Ironman” this summer) much less the buck or, in my case, buck fifty I spent to see TMNMT.  Yes, near the end it does kind of go into “um… what?!”-ville, but if you’re a fan of Clive Barker’s cannon of works you’ll know that that, for most part, rings true to life.

With Barker, it’s often not about about the destination, it’s the f-ed up trip getting there.

So… what’s the point?

Well, if you love the horror genre, or you even “sorta” love it, you should make the trip out to see “The Midnight Meat Train” at a dollar theatre near you.  It’ll totally be worth your time!  If anything it’s worth it, to see a talented film maker (Kitamura) and a good film adaptation of a Clive Barker short story.

Photo 1
Do your part and if it’s near you, go and see it!  Give the finger to the corporate film industry in America, and show them that these films deserve so much better!

At least better than this….

The 9th Annual Nevermore Film Festival 2008 Wrap-Up…


2008’s beloved festival was a little mixed this year. “Mixed” is a relative term but honestly; I viewed ’08’s Nevermore Film Festival to be potentially golden. There was a veritable shit-load of wonderful horror from all over the world that came out this year that they could’ve tapped into (Romero’s “Diary of the Dead” which ironically was playing there, just not at the festival, Bustillo and Maury’s “Inside”, or Dowdle’s “(REC.)” to name a few) and either because of budget constraints or negged studio offerings, they didn’t grab any of these. So what ended up on the schedule was a bunch of movies I knew nothing about. Which generally can be refreshing, but, between issues with my furry children, and the lack of time in general, I didn’t get the chance to do the typical research on what was being offered and what I did have time to look at, didn’t exactly grab me.

So, in short, I was little bummed about Nevermore this year. Which breaks my heart, because I completely look forward to it every year.

highlander2d tenebre shrooms

But the ball wasn’t dropped completely!

They did have some gems lighting up the screen.  Like the only 35mm copy of “Highlander” for public distribution and an exclusive copy of Argento’s “Tenebre” uncut, some really great horror “shorts” (one of which I chatted up the director with, super nice guy), but other than a showing of Paddy Breathnach’s “Shrooms” (a movie I was actually excited to see) there wasn’t much that caught my attention.

The fan turn out was down, the folks serving snacks and beer weren’t really into the scene and between the small vendor selection (not ANYONE’S fault… except for maybe the economy) and the lack of an actual “Nevermore” poster (which I shamelessly collect and stick up in my cubicle purgatory each year), it was all kinda depressing.

I guess when you get right down to it, I saw the potential film pool to pull from this year and then saw the lack of all of that as a major missed opportunity. In the past, Nevermore has always been a portal of what was to coming to the US and this year it just wasn’t that.

Don’t get me wrong it’s still head and shoulders over anything that is held around here for the genre, the good folks at the Carolina Theatre deserve much much praise and this year did offer us some awesome trips down memory lane which wont soon be forgotten.  But compared to years past, you can only say: “Well, there’s always next year…”.

And, there is always that.

Now playing: Alexi Murdoch – Wait
via FoxyTunes

About the Movie Review I Had Planned…

ThereWillBeBloodHow funny is it that the movie I enjoyed the most this year is pretty much unwritable for me?

I saw PT Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” two week’s ago and I’ve tried to write a review for it three times, only to delete what I’ve written 30 minutes in. It’s not that the movie is that bad, no quite the opposite, it’s that it, at this juncture anyways, defies words from me. At least adequate ones. It’d be easy to spout off about how it’s Anderson’s greatest achievement to date, about how Daniel Day Lewis will make you believe in the dark center of every human heart, how the cinematography is literally jaw-dropping, and how it feels like every second of the film was handled with a tenderness and care that I haven’t seen in an incredibly long time.

It’d be easy to say all of those things.

But it still wouldn’t encapsulate my entire feelings for the film and how much I firmly believe that every lover, liker, or indifferent viewer of film should go out and see it today.

I could and should write more. Give the film it’s due and put in the time. But time is a precious commodity these days, so this review will have to pass.

So please see it. It’s easily one of the best I’ve seen this year, or ever.

Now playing: Alexi Murdoch – Orange Sky
via FoxyTunes

What a couple of weeks!

I was out paying close attention
Or was I lost inside my thoughts
These days it’s hard to tell what’s outside from what’s in my mind
And oh god, it’s beautiful
The way our chemicals collide

-Cloud Cult from their song “Chemicals Collide”

Let’s see, coming up, a review of “There Will Be Blood” by the always amazing Paul Thomas Anderson!  Saw it this last weekend and I’ll have a full write up on it by the end of this week or sooner.  Suffice it to say, the review will be positive….

What else?  Oh yeah… ‘been writing like a fiend lately!

The screenplay I was psyched about possibly completing by year’s end, got sidetracked when the good friend I am collaborating with decided that he would go and get engaged to his awesome girlfriend!

Sheesh, priorities dammit! 😉

In all seriousness you two (and you know who you are…) it’s about freaking time and I’m so happy for you!

Regardless, I’ve been writing quite a bit and so has he (when he has time to breath) and it is coming together nicely!

It’s funny, as I’ve become older, the urge to write has become more of a necessity.  In the past it’s kinda been a necessary evil, something I do to level out. But lately, I find it becoming a literal joy.  The accomplishment, the need – it’s all genuine, which is what it should’ve been all along, but I didn’t see it that way.  I always viewed writing as something I should’ve been doing, not necessarily something I’d always want to do.

Now it’s different.  My writing sessions have been more frequent and the results wax between something I think is pretty good, to something I’m actually proud of.

Which is more than it’s ever been!

So, I have been busy.  Too busy to blog as frequently as I’d like, but it’s a good busy!  A “busy” that pertains to me, which, in and of itself, sounds a little selfish, but, hopefully, it ends up being something that you all will enjoy someday.

We all have the right to dream. Yes? 😀


Now playing: Cloud Cult – The Shape of 8
via FoxyTunes