Posts Tagged ‘John Carpenter’

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Being John Carpenter 2

March 11, 2014

Check it out:  Zack Dagoba just released a second John Carpenter tribute video: Being John Carpenter 2. Now, I already written about this UK producer/musician that runs both Memetunes Studio and the blog It’s Full of Stars here, so check out that post for more info and visit Zack’s blog here.

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It’s All in the Reflexes

December 18, 2013
copyright Pterodactyl Squad 2012!

copyright Pterodactyl Squad 2012!

For some creative genre-influenced sounds make sure to check out UK-based netlabel Pterodactyl Sounds‘ freebie compilation It’s All in the Reflexes! An 8-bit tribute to the soundtracks of John Carpenter, it offers twelve tracks by artists like Comptroller and Videogame Orchestra marrying the minimalism of said soundtracks with the minimalism of primitive 80s sound chips.

Pretty much summing up all that was cool about the 1980s – NES and VHS rentals, baby! – the dozen tracks are brilliantly executed and inspired to say the least. Just one of those fan efforts that surfaces online every now and then. My personal fave was Assault on Precinct 13 that had me salivating and wishing there actually was a game based on the genre classic, but make sure you give them all a spin.

Get if here, check out their Bandcamp here and join them on Facebook here. Check out Comptroller’s (lo-fi) live performance of his cover:

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The Daily Grindhouse

December 10, 2013

It’s cool seeing Call Me Greenhorn‘s music finally reaching an audience! New reviews – and the first for the Cutthroats at Midnight EP – comes courtesy The Daily Grindhouse. With some nice comparisons to John Carpenter and summing it up with “Subtle keyboards, ominous tones, and plenty of hints at action and brilliant sounds to come.” Brilliant! Check it out here.

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Black Friday and Murder

November 29, 2013

Check out the new Call Me Greenhorn EP entitled Cutthroats at Midnight. With a total of seven tracks, it’s a mini-OST with a murder theme (insert evil laugh if wanted). The title track was written for UK photographer Robert Boud‘s video project The Modern Day Holocaust and mixes John Carpenter with a Jamaican dub feel in the King Tubby vein. An additional six tracks was added – including what I call a “Moog Mayhem” version of the title track! Get it here.

As an added bonus I’m joining the Black Friday craziness! Starting today you’ll get a 40% discount on all my releases. Just enter the code “Sovac” during checkout to get it. The offer expires on Monday December 2nd at 11:59pm UTC.

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Being John Carpenter

November 27, 2013

Well here’s a pretty cool clip from the UK: Zack Dagoba‘s video (and track) Being John Carpenter. According to his blog It’s Full of Stars, Zack runs Memetunes Studio, and, in his own words, he sometimes get the urge to pretend he’s in the studio back in 1980 making a horror movie soundtrack in the John Carpenter vein. The end result is a cool sounding track just oozing retro and I can totally see this being used in one of Carpenter’s earlier efforts. It’s got a nice, minimalist vibe with a threatening undertone to boot.

Now this is already becoming somewhat viral in certain circles as it was posted by Death Waltz Recording Company on their Facebook page, and as far as I can tell it’s getting roughly 1,000 hits per day. Good news for Zack as it enables him to reach more fans (and clients), and, who knows, maybe this will make the retro soundtrack labels start noticing the modern outfits that produce these sounds today. Read more (including a complete tech list) here.

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An interview with Tal Zimerman

October 19, 2013

(NOTE: this originally appears on the Swedish Gore Film Society website)

Tal Zimerman at Home

The world is full of creativity. That is certainly nothing new, but thanks to the digital age the odds for someone having their dream project realized has become much, much better. Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo (easily some of my fave websites) anyone can pitch their idea to the world and with a bit of luck get it financed. Being a believer in all things D.I.Y. I consider this a healthy and promising phenomenon and try to support interesting projects as much as my wallet allows me.

Tal Zimerman‘s pretty known among horror fans as he’s not only a writer for both Rue Morgue Magazine and Fangoria, but also an authority when it comes to genre movie posters. I recently found out about his upcoming crowdsourced documentary Why Horror?, a look at the psychology behind this phenomenon, and immediately decided to jump on board.  Ambitiously aiming to produce the most comprehensive documentary on the topic, Tal and Co. already amassed an impressive list of interviewees (George Romero, John Carpenter and Eli Roth just to mention a few), and plan to travel around the world in order to cover every aspect of this old phenomenon. Wanting to find out more, as well as help spread the word, I sat down and sent off a couple of questions his way, which he graciously answered.

So tell me a bit of the origins of the documentary. From my understanding it actually mutated from a different sort of concept.
Yes, that’s true.  I wanted to shoot an hour for TV that focussed on Toronto, where I live.  We would see how very horror-centric this city is, from festivals to famous shooting locations, to social activities and everything in between. There’s a pretty big horror community here and we all agree that we are spoiled rotten with things to do.  The production company I approached, with whom I had worked on a comedy project, was kind of baffled by my outward horror fan persona.  We got to talking about why I like horror, and why people in general, everywhere like horror.  So we decided to abandon the local focus and go global and that a feature film exploring all these things was best for the scope of the idea.

John CarpenterYou chose to have this crowdfunded. Considering the popularity of horror these days, did you consider having it produced by a studio? Was there any pitching for producers involved or did you immediately decide to go with Kickstarter?
I’m actually working with a great production company who specializes in TV comedy here in Canada. The feature length documentary format is new for all of us. There are producers on the project and they pitched it at a local documentary conference. We secured a broadcaster and managed to acquire a bit of funding for development.  The Kickstarter idea came when we realized that the costs of travel and film clip licensing were going to require a lot of money.  Almost everything that you saw in the demo was shot here in Toronto.  To tell the story we really want to tell, we need to travel and we need to show movie clips.

You managed to amass a quite impressive list of people for this! Tell me a bit of that process.
Again that comes back to where the production is located.  We have the Toronto International Film Festival and the Fan Expo, two enormous festivals that bring in top talent.  Having attended both shows for over 10 years, you meet people who know people who can introduce you to people.  Nothing is ever that easy, though.  You still have to hustle and nag and beg.  TIFF is especially tough because distribution companies fly in these directors to talk about the movie they are promoting and we’re talking about horror in general.  It helps to have people on the inside to get those kinds of interviews.  Having an interesting subject matter helps, too.  In reading the description of our movie, a lot of people want to express their ideas on the subject, so it’s just a matter of getting our material into the right hands.

George RomeroCROPPEDAs far as I know, this is the first attempt at covering the psychology behind the horror phenomena. Has there been any real revealing surprises while conducting those interviews?
Lots.  Without spoiling anything, I will say that spooking each other out is a very old custom.  Reminding the people around us of our mortality goes back to pre-language civilization.  Wanting to explain what’s on the other side is a natural, human desire.  Not all of us are content with what religion, or even science has to say about death.  And the more you attempt to cover it up, or try to escape,  the more abstract and creative the ways it bubbles to the surface are.  That, and also the fact that John Carpenter is a huge video gamer.  That blew my mind.

Considering some of the past high-brow snubbing of the genre, did you notice a change of attitude among the academics, or has there been some typical “this is garbage and it turns children into serial killers” sentiments vented like back in the hysterical 80s?
Its funny, we have tried to find people who are vehemently opposed to horror, like a larger anti-horror sentiment, it’s not there like it was in the 80s.  We are getting individuals telling us that their parents or co-workers have voiced concerns about their mental health because of horror, and that they can’t wait for our movie to help them explain their passion, but no big anti-horror movement to speak of.  There was some interesting stuff happening when movies like Saw and Hostel came out, and the idiotic label “torture porn” reared its head, but that goes back ten years.  In the time since, TV shows like Dexter, True Blood, and The Walking Dead have brought horror to the mainstream and into people’s houses – and they LOVE it.  So the genre is really at its peak of popularity and that’s another reason why now was the right time to do this film.

Eli RothCROPPEDI agree. The timing’s perfect. Personally I’d like to know why this genre is so polarizing. (The only other form of cinema doing that being porn.) Do you have anything to share regarding that? Why do people either love it or hate it but rarely anything in between?
It’s sort of designed to do that.  It’s safe to say that there are reactions to horror, both physical and mental, in everyone who sees it, but not everyone is going to enjoy that reaction.  But anything that pushes boundaries, which is one of horror’s main functions, is going to upset some people and delight others.  Some people are naturally curious and adventurous.  Others are content in the safety of their shells.  It comes down to personality.

Also, covering the various aspects of horror all over the world. Have you noticed any big differences? With the exception of noticing Euro horror being a bit more “arty” than the pragmatic U.S. films I really can’t say I’ve studied it at any length, but are we afraid of different things?
We are most certainly afraid of different things, or at least, have very different ways of approaching our anxieties.  In Japan, for example, there are several examples of folklore with haunted spaces and spirits trying to manipulate the living.  These tie in to that society’s family-related anxieties.  In Australia, the vast emptiness of the deserts have created a fear of isolation, which has been the theme of many great Oz-horror films.  In the end, though, it all comes back to the fear of death.  How that fear is represented is very driven by local attitudes.

How much of the documentary is already finished? How are you looking to expand it with the crowdsourced budget?
It’s hard to say, quantitatively, how much is finished.  We have roughly 40 interviews, mostly with film-centric individuals.  We still need to talk to art and literature historians, psychologists, and video game developers.  We definitely know what we want to talk about, and a budget from crowdsourcing will, for example, allow us to show works of art in museums and galleries, as opposed to jpegs.  It will give us the ability to talk to video game developers in Japan directly instead of just showing their works.  The movie is definitely happening, but a little extra push can take us a long way.

As it is feature length: Will we see this having a theatrical release?
I hope so.  It will appear on TV here in Canada next year, and we’re hoping to show it at some festivals before that.  We’re shooting with the theatre experience in mind, so we’re all hoping for a theatrical release.

So am I! Best of luck with the project, Tal.

Interview by Magnus Sellergren.
Photos courtesy Tal Zimerman.

Make sure to check out the project on Kickstarter and join them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WhyHorror. Again, the pitch video:

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Why Horror?

October 11, 2013

Well, here’s an interesting new Kickstarter project you should check out: Tal Zimerman‘s documentary Why Horror? – A New Documentary. A look at the psychology behind the horror phenomena – be it film, art, literature or video games – it’s got a great round up of people in it trying to explain the wheres and whys of this polarizing subject: Film makers, historians, psychologists, sociologists etc., with names including directors George Romero, John Carpenter and Don Coscarelli (Phantasm! Yay!) just to name a few.

The project is helmed by quite an impressive roster of peeps: Tal has done work for both Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines; and directors/producers/editors Nicolas Kleiman and Rob Lindsay got previous experience from several documentaries, including Kazak: The Making of Avraga. They aim to make the most comprehensive documentary on the subject, and by the looks of the pitch video I’d say they’re onto creating it.

Pledges range from $10 CAD up to $8,000 CAD, with goodies including everything from t-shirts, blu-rays and dvds to attending pre-screenings and premiere parties (and do note that a $20 CAD pledge or more gives you screen credit to add on your IMDB). Join ‘em on Facebook here and check out the campaign here.

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Cutthroats at Midnight

September 22, 2013
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Hey, check it out: I was recently approached by UK photographer Robert Boud to produce a track for his upcoming video based on the series The Holocaust. We collaborated earlier this year when he used Call Me Greenhorn‘s track Armageddon Dub for his brilliant series Aftermath Apocalypse (a match made in heaven if you ask me), and yesterday saw me finally having the time to sit down and produce something fitting for his project.

Entitled Cutthroats at Midnight I did a sort of weird blend between the horror synth sounds of John Carpenter and the Jamaican dub stylings of King Tubby. On paper it may look like a pretty damn unlikely combo, but I think it kinda works. Got a nice, menacing feel while still delivering a groove of sorts.

The video will be out later this year (I think), I’ll get working on a couple of more tracks to have an EP’s worth of material to release on Call Me Greenhorn DUB, and in the mean time give the track a spin below.

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Friday Night Roundup

September 20, 2013

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Well, here we go with the end of another week and again another roundup. First off I wanna plug my recent Society 6 addition: Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. It took me a week to finish and I really busted ass on this one as I am a fan of John Carpenter‘s The Thing and wanted it to turn out just right. I am psyched by the results so make sure to check it out!

More great work found on S6 is Casey Weldon (that kinda reminds me of Mark Ryden‘s work), Guiseppe Cristiano, GBret, MZart-Mel Bohrer, Andrew Henry, and Hillary White, who truly’s got something unique going! The classics meets pop culture like you never seen before. Check ‘em all out!

Music wise Death Waltz Recording Company made a couple of tracks from the coming release of the soundtrack from Lucio Fulci‘s New York Ripper available on their SoundCloud. The album will go on sale next Friday, so check it out here, and while on the subject the label will also release a four-track EP with Goblin to coincide with their first US tour.

More found sounds on SoundCloud is Panhandle‘s Click Clap. Released by Finders Keepers Records this track is just amazing! There’s something hypnotic about the damn thing and I can’t stop listening to it. And with 14,000+ plays I guess I’m not the only one. Just brilliant!

Aussie musician The Jimmy C also released a couple of new tracks on SoundCloud: Two Ween covers slated for an upcoming tribute album, Even If You Don’t and Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy). My fave is the first one, but give ‘em both a spin!

In other news Call Me Greenhorn‘s fake-OST L’Isola dei Morti Viventi is still moving steadily upwards. Kinda weird considering it was a 100% fan boy project, but I am not complaining. Just goes to show that you really should vent that inner nerd. Give it a spin below and get it via Bandcamp here.

Other than that I found the time to catch the amazing photos collected by Superchief in their 80 Photos of Old New York (1970 – 1989) post, and apparently yesterday (September 19th according to the official website) was Talk Like a Pirate Day. I totally missed out on that one. Did you celebrate?

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Get Carpenter

July 22, 2013
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Well, here’s yet another bonus release for the summer: Get Carpenter! Pretty much a tribute to director John Carpenter‘s musical work in Halloween etc. this project is a pure fan boy attempt to both emulate and honor those soundtracks that were such a big part of my VHS brat days. It’s kinda funny how he in an attempt to save money actually created a specific sound that has it’s own scene of fans and musicians today, so I’m guessing in the near future we’ll see “John Carpenter” also being a musical genre. There’s tons more bands out there emulating the horror sounds of the 80’s btw, check out Umberto and The Giallos Flame if you don’t believe me.

Anyway, two tracks in all – I’m just getting into the specific synth sounds of the 1980’s – with no set price (donations are much appreciated and will be used for future work) as this is not one of those zillion-releases-a-month type things. I’ll put something out every now and then just to nerd out. I’ve got enough as it is with Call Me Greenhorn‘s music heading into blissful sync licensing territory and The Norliss Tapes‘ upcoming debut album.

The sleeve (and project name!) is of course a tribute to director Mike Hodges‘ 1971 U.K. gangster classic Get Carter starring Michael Caine and it struck me as fitting once I decided to release the songs and needed a sleeve. Check it out on Bandcamp and give Sequence 1 a spin below:

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