Grin and bear it.
Well, as Mme Halloween – that’s miss Hallows to you – complimented me by mentioning me in her previous post about the nearly complete H.P. Lovecraft audio book collection on Archive.org (and referring me as ‘dashing’ without adding ‘outta here’ to said sentence) I thought I’d share this great post from her blog The Year of Halloween: Zombie Head Hors d’Oeuvres! These look pretty easy to do and still really kick-ass, so why don’t ya head over there and get the recipe? There’s still some time left before the season finale of The Walking Dead so you still got time to finish it. Check it out here.
Speaking of Head Cheese I immediately thought of Canadian punk rockers The Hanson Brothers (yes, they got the name from the 1977 hockey cult classic Slap Shot starring Paul Newman), and since I always have a tendency to go on and on about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre I’d better just post the song instead of mentioning how it actually was the original title of the movie. Off their first album Gross Misconduct that kinda sounds like a lost Ramones album about hockey. Check it out:
Filed under Other Music, Web
Well, here’s a nice little clip I stumbled across: Evil Dead II – the claymation! For all of you that enjoyed the Pingu version of John Carpenter‘s The Thing (personally I found that version way better than the 2011 remake), director/animator Lee Hardcastle offers up tons more of short and funny reimaginations including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Robo With a Shotgun and Shaun of the Dead.
He recently visited Sweden as a guest at the Lund’s International Fantastic Film Festival (giving a Q&A), and you can see that and much, much more on his official website here and his YouTube channel here. I wrote about the Pingu claymation here.
Filed under Film, News, Web
I was hepped to this article via The Adventures of Superseven‘s official page on Facebook: Jerry Kokich‘s How To Make A Web Series that he wrote for Filmmakingstuff.com. In it he gives some great advice when it comes to indie filmmaking using his own experience producing the Superseven web-series. And I think he brings up some great points in his article, but the main one is that many hopefuls waste their time (and money!) on the tech side when it’s the creative one that really matters. And that’s something I’ve been trying to tell people for years. You think you need a zillion dollar’s worth of equipment in order to make that masterpiece? No, all you need is a good, compelling story (or just a plain entertaining one!) and people will watch it even if you shot it on your darn iPhone.
In the end tech means very little. Sure, it can add a nice polish to an already good product, but – as the old musician’s proverb go – you can’t polish a turd pal. And that’s one of my main problems with today’s film industry. I’m gonna use Alien 4 as an example: I’ve done lighting on small local indie projects (and I’ve learned my fair share of available tricks when it comes to film editing) and from a strict technical point that movie is just perfect. Each scene is an individual masterpiece and is nothing short of breathtaking when it comes to scenery, lighting, camera filtering and editing. Still, I find it duller than watching the lawn grow. In November. The story is a hack-job at best, the characters pure cardboard and the dialogue is so excrutiatingly bad I can almost enjoy it on a pure ironic level. I have no idea how much it made at the box office, but I seriously doubt it had the same impact as Alien or the follow-up Aliens. Compare that to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (yep, Angry Old Fart is gonna bring up Tobe Hooper‘s classic once again!) or John Carpenter‘s Halloween that were shot on a beat-up old 16 mm camera (although I think Carpenter went with 35) with an inexperienced crew of enthusiasts, starring noob actors and for laughable budgets somewhere around $300,000.
That’s all you need. Enthusiasm and a great story. Don’t get stuck on the tech hooplah because chances are you’re gonna find yourself paralyzed by it. The average viewer is willing to accept a lot if he or she is truly entertained by your product. And to people that insist on the tech-talk (and FYI there’s a lot of that when it comes to music as well) I’ve got the same question I’ve had for years: So what typewriter did John Steinbeck use?
Anyway, it’s a great article. Read it here.
Well, once again I find myself turning into that damn Angry Old Fart, shaking my fists and screaming at clouds on account of “everybody ruining everything.” Just when you thought you’ve heard it all concerning remakes a friend of mine heps me to this: Texas Chainsaw 3D. Apparently a sequel/remake/wash-up of the prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Beginning ’cause, what, it’s been six years so you’d understand why the studios wanna revisit this franchise. Gah! And if that wasn’t enough how about The Killer Klowns – the Sequel? It’s yet another example of what happens when stupid people gather within the confines of a conference room and decides to squelch whatever’s left of Tinseltown’s creativity. Remember Jason X? That damn thing just reeked of comittee meetings:
- We need to revamp this franchise.
- I was just thinking that!
- Umm…what about…Jason…uh, in Space? They’re still running the Alien series somewhat successfully.
- I was just thinking that!
- Well I love it!
And – brace yourself – rumor has it that Lionsgate Films secured the rights to the franchise from New Line Cinema and are planning a total of seven films. Now if that doesn’t make you feel like you’re trying to find your way out of a pitch-black cellar with its floor covered with rakes I don’t know what will.
Now, even though I really hate to admit it I can on a strict economical level understand that if you aquire the rights for a movie that you want to make the most of it in order to maximise the profits from your deal. That’s Capitalism 101. But that used to mean heavy merchandising, saturating the rental market or just selling various editions of it on DVD – not remake the damn thing every second year. I mean c’mon, are you really that out of ideas? Did the pioneering spirit that gave Hollywood its name die out so all that’s left are coked-out accountants that go “I love lamp” while trying to wrap their heads around the latest Lynch script? Big-name producers apparently died off and a stampede of marketers followed, moving in with what I call a “McDonald’s attitude” (“hey, we heard you liked cheeseburgers so howsabout a billion of ‘em?“) killing off what little was left of the mainstream industry’s creativity, spirit and originality. Remember such 70s classics like The Exorcist, The Taking of Pelham 123, Get Carter, The French Connection? Not gonna happen anymore. Until the bottom falls out like it did towards the end of the 60s forcing the major studios to put on their thinking caps in order to save themselves.
There’s hope though. Just spend an hour or two on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find tons of bright, creative people offering something truly fresh to share with the world. If the average consumer decides to support them with, say $50 a month you’ll give these people a chance to hone their art and with a bit of luck we’ll have a decent, independent film industry within a decade.
Oh well. The weekend’s coming up and I think I’m gonna revisit The Amityville Horror and Escape From New York (the 2003 special edition DVD collector’s set is nothing short of amazing when it comes to bonus material!). Make sure you check out Catie Rhodes‘ great comparison of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the 2003 remake here, and enjoy DEADPIT Radio‘s September 7th episode where they discuss the 3D version. Keep in mind there’s heavy usage of the F-word:
Filed under Film, News, Web
Yes! As the exploitation film genre slowly gathers more and more fans (as it always has despite the efforts of stronger forces) it’s nice to see the producers and directors finally getting their due. Granted, I cringe every time I hear/read the news of yet another old fave becoming a remake but find solace in the sheer amount of material being re-released on DVD – with tons of bonus goodies to boot – on account of it reaching a wider audience. Censors tried their damndest but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Toolbox Murders and I Spit on Your Grave are still here. And the censors? Well, they’re left with eggs on their face. If anyone even remembers their names that is. Some snobs call it “low-brow” or “b-culture”, but the only culture I’d ever be so brash to call “low” is the one that obviously needs government grants in order to stay alive.
Anyway, Alex Stapleton’s documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel is a tribute to the man that personified exploitation – Roger Corman. Director and producer of 400+ movies the man is a legend that gave the world a multitude of drive-in classics as well as starting whole genres on his own (like the w.i.p.), and – to quote the title of his 1990 self-biography – never lost a dime doing it. Lots of interviews with actors and directors and filled to the brim of high-octane fun. It probably won’t be released domestically on the Swedish circuit but I am definitely getting a copy of the DVD from Amazon. Read more about it here.
Speaking of Corman’s ouvre, one of my all-time faves is his 1961 The Pit and The Pendulum starring Vincent Price. Based on E.A. Poe‘s short story it’s a beautiful piece of Amercian Gothic. Check out the trailer and try to see it – it’s great!