Posts Tagged ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’

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Censorshit

March 22, 2014

Well, as both a fan of horror and a believer in the independent D.I.Y. spirit, nothing makes me cringe more than when the hysterics starts to holler “think of the children” ’cause by now I am fully aware it’ll always come back and bite the adults as well as the independents right in the ass. Nothing makes this more clear than the announcement of BBFC‘s coming new guidelines in the UK. Reading all about it in Moviemail‘s great article BBFC changes: A major threat to indie DVD labels? it had me going “oh great, it’s the 1980s all over again.”

Earlier this year there was an outrage in the international horror community when the British Board of Film Classification announced a new ratings system as well as them monitoring material that used to be exempt from classification – a “well-meaning” government legislation ’cause, you know, think of the children. The reason for said act apparently being reality shows like The X Factor and artists like Lady Gaga and Rihanna. A sane person would of course say things like “if you don’t like the show – change the channel” or “don’t buy products by artists whose message/image/behavior you don’t approve of” or something really outrageous like “try parenting, you idiot!”, but we seem to live in an age when no one wants to take responsibility for anything and politicians couldn’t be happier to appease to that mentality.

So what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the bite-yer-ass part: As an unexpected result of these new regulations, any video material needs to be classified – documentaries used to be exempt – especially if it might be considered unsuitable for children. At a cost, of course, meaning that if you were planning to release, say, a behemoth anniversary edition of Tobe Hooper‘s Texas Chain Saw Massacre you need to classify not only the feature but the trailers, TV-spots, any interview that includes clips from the feature etc. etc. – in short, running up a pretty hefty bill while trying to make us nerds salivate. This won’t be a problem for the majors – and this is the part where I’m really struggling not to believe the tin foil hat crowd – but it will strike a huge blow to the indies that are already in a tight spot financially.

This happened back in the 1980s as well when the Video Nasty hysteria hit the British Isles circa 1984 (oh, what a fitting year!) For a short while starting around 1979 and up to the mid-80s, cult classics like Lucio Fulci‘s Zombie Flesh-Eaters (released by VIPCO, natch!), Tobe Hooper’s 1974 chainsaw opus (that was banned from cinemas until 1999!) and Ruggero Deodato‘s Cannibal Holocaust etc. were readily available in UK video stores – completely uncensored – since the BBFC only had authority to classify theatrical releases. Long story short a lot of conservatives like MP Graham Bright and socialite Mary Whitehouse (who proudly announced on television that she, in fact, hadn’t seen any of these videos and didn’t need to in order to know they were harmful to children – never mind the fact they never were intended for children to being with) drummed up public outrage, newspapers like The Daily Mail and The Sunday Times added to the hysteria and soon The Video Recordings Act of 1984 was rushed through the House of Commons and came into effect in 1985.

The reason there is a lot of odd conspiracy theories regarding this sudden reaction seems to be Palace Pictures and their 1983 video release of Sam Raimi‘s 1981 Evil Dead. Run by young mavericks Stephen Woolley and Nik Powell, Palace focused on distributing not only horror and cult classics, but international art films as well (emulating Roger Corman‘s New World Pictures). Stephen himself has stated in interviews that the video release was the hit of the year, selling an estimated 50,000 copies at a sell-through of £40-£50, netting the “upstarts” a whopping £2-£2,5 million (approx. $3,2-$4,1 million) – earning them, as well as the VHS format, industry attention that in the end might’ve been what changed the market forever.

You see, as ludicrous as it may sound today, the majors’ attitude when it came to VHS was in essence that it was a joke. I wish I remember the gentleman’s name ’cause he is the film industry’s equivalent of Dick Rowe Decca Records‘ A&R man who forever earned his place in music history as the man who passed on The Beatles, telling Brian Epstein “Guitar groups are on their way out” – but he saw the video rental market as less than secondary and that the majors couldn’t be bothered with it. “People don’t wanna experience movies at home” was the (paraphrased) decree. With this move the majors opened up the market for the independents – as people did wanna watch movies at home and stores needed tons of product to supply them with – creating a golden opportunity for anyone with a bit of cash and enough chutzpah to go for it. Unless I’m completely misinformed one UK video label was in fact started up by an ex-plumber.

That all changed with the Video Recordings Act that brought down a lot of these smaller operations as they just couldn’t afford the fees that came with the now-mandatory classifications. The market “cleared up” and in its wake the majors and corporate video chains moved in. Conspiracy or not, that was the effect. Parallelling that some thirty years later, the new BBFC classifications fee is flat, meaning that both Universal and a UK indie label like Arrow Video – known for their amazing editions of both horror, cult and independent films that’s just crammed with bonus material – pays the same amount for having their releases cleared with the British censor. Even though the law goes into effect in May 2014, and we’ve yet to see how it will affect independent horror releases, Nucleus FilmsMarc Morris already stated that their 3-disc DVD box release of Jake West‘s 2010 documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide will not be reissued as just reclassifying it would cost them somewhere between £6,000-£7,000 (approx. $9,800-$11,500) – making it too expensive to release and impossible to sell due to needing an unrealistically inflated price in order to recoup the costs. I urge you to get it now as it is mandatory viewing for any horror fan.

To sum it all up the new classification system is moot at best unless the UK government is planning to revert its whole country back to a pre-internet age where information wasn’t readily available at the click of a button. In Kirby Dick‘s 2006 documentary This Movie is Not Yet Rated, director John Waters says something along the lines of how futile censoring movies at all these days is since most teenagers in their curiosity have gone online to look up more outrageous violent and sexual content than their parents would like to believe or admit – or do they really think they’re doing their homework for that many hours a day? – and with physical formats in all honesty being a thing of the past that mostly us old farts cling to, I kinda draw the conclusion that it’ll only affect 1) those of legal age while 2) adding another nail in the coffin of the already-narrowing independent market of an already-narrowing, “assorted” content – but maybe that’s what these conservatives have been wanting for these past thirty years. Think of the children? Babysitter society.

More on the subject:
Ban the Sadist Videos Pt. 1 (top) and Pt. 2 here.
Draft Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014 here.
The BBFC online fee calculator here.
Video nasty (wiki) here.
Blue Underground‘s Discovering Evil Dead here.
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide trailer here.
Pre-1984 uncensored UK VHS videos have a cult following and are popular among certain collectors. Called “pre-certs” they sometimes fetch impressive sums on eBay UK. Find ‘em here.

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Ghoul School

January 15, 2014
copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

Ever done anything by sheer accident? I for one truly believe in serendipity, and if you’ve even read the slightest bit of C.G. Jung you know what I’m talking about, but sometimes it even surprises a true believer. Nothing wrong with a good work ethic or brainstorming, but letting your subconscious take control usually creates more interesting results. It only takes time and patience.

Anyway, sitting down to do something as mundane as just creating a profile pic for my Facebook page – my digital camera works fine but some French jerk rummaged my bag and stole the USB cable while I was on tour I can’t upload any photos – I kinda came up with this concept. The initial sketch turned out pretty good so I figured I’d just go for it. Check out my Lucio Fulci tribute Matul High School Class of 1979.

Available via my Society 6 here and please do join me at www.facebook.com/SellergrenDesign for more imagery. While on the subject of tributes to Zombi 2 aka Zombie Flesh-Eaters:

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Invasion of the Dead

December 28, 2013

With the recent review of Call Me Greenhorn‘s L’Isola dei Morti Viventi in Rue Morgue magazine – and there’s more to come, natch – I decided to create something visual in order to spread the word online. With the track Invasion of the Dead (Main Theme 2) actually being inspired by the final, church-storming sequence in Lucio Fulci‘s Zombie Flesh-Eaters (aka Zombie 2) it wasn’t that hard to figure out what imagery to use, so I popped my German bootleg *cough* DVD into my new video editor and got to work.

As an added bonus I decided to see how effective the track A Feast on Flesh would be set to the zombie-munching sequence of said movie and it turned out pretty cool as well. A couple of quick edits – unlike Fulci I chose not to start with a gory visual punch, opting for revealing more carnage as the scene progressed instead – and it was done. Consider it a bonus. A NSFW bonus.

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8 Bits From Hell!

October 6, 2013

Well, here’s a project that easily scores a 95 on the Nerdgasm-o-Meter for it’s sheer creativity and awesomeness: Docterror.com‘s 8-Bits From Hell! Taking their cue from classic Nintendo Entertainment System games such as Friday the 13th, artist Frank Browning with musician Sean O’Connor (under the Hacktivision moniker) set out to emulate these games – with a horror twist to sweeten things up.

zombieNES8How about Lucio Fulci‘s Zombie Flesh Eaters (that’s Zombi 2 for those in the States) complete with a zombie-vs-shark sequence (and infamous eye-gouging scene), Lamberto Bava‘s 80s gorefest Demons (yes, you can choose motorcycle man mode), and even Cannibal Holocaust (yikes!)? All staying surprisingly true to the celluloid originals – which is more than you could say about some of these games back in the 1980s. More goodies include Hell of the Living Dead, Black Christmas and Absurd (aka The Grim Reaper).

Only existing as videos on YouTube (along with additional coolness such as screenshots, promo artwork and instructions via their webpage), these mock-ups got both horror fans and NES enthusiasts salivating, urging them to actually make this a reality. I for one agree and would be more than happy to chip in some money to fund a Kickstarter project. Maybe if word gets around it’ll happen?

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L’Isola dei Morti Viventi

August 31, 2013

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Ah! Savor the musty air of the thrift store. Get fascinated by the visceral artwork of the 30-year-old artifact in your hands. The back of the worn-out VHS sleeve reads:

After NYPD raid the home of dreaded serial killer The Manhattan Mutilator, they find evidence of ritual cannibalism with all traces leading to remote Caribbean island Azul.

Sandra Knowles, the sister of one of his victims, teams up with investigative reporter Peter East, police lieutenant Graham Gordon and female anthropologist Barbara Stanfield to investigate further.

Once arrived they find an island in the grip of fear, with the natives having resorted to voodoo superstitions to protect themselves against a centuries-old curse promising the return of plantation slaves killed in a massacre, and a sugar cane plantation owner that’s not all what he seems…

Ever heard of Fabrizio Ardente‘s ZOMBIES: Island of the Living Dead? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t ’cause it never existed. But I do like the plot summary.

If memory serves me correct it was back in March this year when I had the idea that the tons of sounds available to me would be perfect for doing an 80′s sounding OST inspired by the Italian-produced horror films in my collection. I spent a Sunday going through the retro synth sounds in Reason 6.5 and towards the end of that day I had A Modest Tribute to Fabio Frizzi finished. As clunky as it sounds to me now when I have the updated version finished it’s still available on my SoundCloud.

Anyway, with that initial try somewhat successful, the idea of doing a complete soundtrack album was born. Just make up a fake title, do a basic plot line to get a rough idea of where the thing’d be going and create some fitting tracks similar to what Fabio Frizzi did for Lucio Fulci‘s cult classic splatter-fest Zombie Flesh Eaters and Nico Fidenco for Marino Girolami‘s Zombi Holocaust and presto! Instant nerd-boy fun. I did a couple of demos in April, put them in the “to do” folder and with the exception of one productive day in June, well, kinda forgot all about it. Too bad my social media ad promised its release in August! So, fast forward to last week when this happened:

Skärmavbild 2013-08-30 kl. 08.23.56

Well, there’s nothing like a time limit to kick your ass into gear, and with my duties for The Norliss Tapes‘ upcoming full length finished it was just a matter of “don’t think do”. If anyone else out there is into Jung you know what he says about letting the subconscious take control, and these past couple of days has been nothing short of a whirlwind of creativity that once finished actually don’t sound like someone unleashed the Tazmanian Devil in a Moog factory – even though that is how I perceived the experience, ha ha ha.

So, I’m pleased as heck to announce Call Me Greenhorn‘s soundtrack album L’Isola dei Morti Viventi! Eighteen tracks in total, with songs, cues and stings ranging from almost cutesy (for me) Caribbean-influenced sounds to pure psychedelic LFO freak-outs. It was a blast to work on and I’m hoping horror hounds out there will agree and take to liking it.

Available via my Bandcamp here and for your listening please just click “play” below. And help get this out to the horror community!

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Pimping My Sh*t

March 29, 2013
Share away!

Share away!

Yeah, so while busying myself with finishing up a ton of stuff right now I also took a short break to finish up a sort of made-for-social-network advertisement for Call Me Greenhorn‘s 2013 releases. And I’m pretty damn impressed by the sheer output once I sat down and collected ‘em all into one place.

Anyway, if you got a minute to spare I sure as heck would appreciate you taking the time to share this .png on your Facebook or G+ page with the text below. And if you spam the shit out of it do a darn good job spreading the word I promise I’ll make it worth your while! Share the pic, copy and paste the text below. Thanks!

My my, it’s gonna be a most productive ol’ 2013! Slated for release – with a chance for a couple of bonus goodies – we’ve got the following stuff ready for release. Check it out and please share!

IN SPACE EP: Six track synth-ish EP inspired by general space geekiness. Features the rough-mix of the title track that will appear on the S/T full length.

ARMAGEDDON DUB: Two dub tracks deemed “too dark” for inclusion on the S/T full length. Features guest appearances of Australian musician The Jimmy C and The New York Brass. Heady and heavy!

THEY CALL ME SUPERSEVEN: Seventeen tracks written for and inspired by the The Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West web series/feature. Very 60s sounding. Very loud. With some xylophones too!

CHASING THE DAWN EP: Three 80′s sounding tracks written specifically for an upcoming feature film set in 1980s Los Angeles. Think Carpenter, ninjas and neon.

CALL ME GREENHORN 2 EP: aka ‘The Abandoned Project’. A total of eleven tracks written and recorded throughout 2012 (and 2013!) that were scrapped in favor for the new material created with more up-to-date equipment. Plunderphonics meets the kitchen sink! Features appearances by The New York Brass.

S/T: Currently in the works, this is technically the second full length from this solo project. Features all kinds of sounds ranging from garage to dub to Kraftwerkian beats. Guest appearances from all over the damn planet!

L´ISOLA DEI MORTI VIVENTI: Ever heard of Fabrizio Ardente‘s ZOMBIES: Island of the Living Dead? Don’t feel bad if you don’t ’cause it never existed. Inspired by the late 70′s synth sounds created by Fabio Frizzi for Lucio Fulci‘s cult classic Zombie Flesh Eaters, this faux-OST will feature songs imagined for a gory, Italian-produced video nasty circa 1982. Currently in the works it’s most likely to turn out as an 8-song EP.

Anyway, I’m heading back to the lab. Cheers!

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A Modest Tribute to Fabio Frizzi

March 24, 2013
no copyright infringement intended!

no copyright infringement intended!

Well, Sundays are usually what I call Rockin’ Laundry Day, but since some of my neighbors decided to move in and occupy said space – a source for 90% of Swedish conflicts I might add – I popped down in front of the computer and decided to work on a lil’ something just to amuse myself. The soundtrack album for They Call Me Superseven has been finished so I decided to play around with the older, more kinda retro synthesizer sounds available in Reason 6.5.

Drawing inspiration from various Italian horror soundtracks of the late 70′s, and mainly Fabio Frizzi‘s score for Lucio Fulci‘s cult classic splatter fest Zombie Flesh Eaters, I dug up what sounds I deemed fitting and made up A Modest Tribute to Fabio Frizzi pretty much on the spot. It turned out pretty nice and it was fun creating something just for the heck of it and then share it. Check it out on my SoundCloud here and feel free to share!

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Soundcloud Anspieltip!

January 24, 2013

copyright Project Moonbase!

Well, here we go with the nice bit of news I just didn’t have time to write about yesterday on account of working on Call Me Greenhorn‘s Thermal Radiation Overload for the upcoming In Space EP. Recently I sent off a brief email to the great blog/podcast/radio show Project Moonbase telling them about the (then) new rough mix track In Space on Soundcloud, and the following day I receive a notification they’ve added me to their follow list. Yay! Imagine that, a GOOD stalker, ha ha ha. And if any of you guys are reading this: Lemme know if you want me to send something and I’ll get right to it!

Anyway, a great thing about that site is the ability to show/share whatever sounds you’ve found and enjoy yourself to the people that are looking you up. This is kinda like back in the day when the guy behind the counter of your local record store actually knew something about music and could hep you to other bands that you might enjoy. “You like The Ramones, kid? Might wanna check out Buzzcocks and The Boys as well!” And that’s something I really miss with most of the online audio sharing sites available today.

So, I immediately decided to check out what other artists they’re keeping an eye on, just ’cause I’m such a huge music nerd, and – good or bad – there’s always something beneficial of hearing new music, whatever you might think of it. The main focus is on electronic sounds, and here’s my personal list of the ten artists I found and enjoyed – and yes, I am fully aware that Giorgio Tucci‘s score for Lucio Fulci‘s gore fest Zombie Flesh Eaters was recorded in 1979, but it’s so damn cool Death Waltz Recording Company reissues these old horror soundtracks on vinyl!

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Pic o/t Weekend

September 7, 2012

Well, considering my previous post I’d guess this is pretty fitting. Something tells me I’m gonna spend the weekend watching, oh, Night of the Living Dead, Hell of the Living Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Burial Ground: Nights of Terror.

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A Lil’ Update

May 21, 2012

Well, I was sick as a dog last week. Started off late on Sunday evening with me feeling kinda sluggish but I sure as hell wasn’t expecting to wake up early Monday morning looking (and feeling) like something out of Lucio Fulci‘s Zombie Flesh Eaters. I’m better now but still can’t help feeling I missed out on a week’s work. Call me a workaholic.

A bit of news. My debut column TapeMix – Best of Bandcamp and a beefy interview I did with Jamie Coghill (aka The Jimmy C) has been sent off to the editor at CRKO after I spent the weekend editing it.  I’m excited about this and am really looking forward to help spreading the word of cool, unknown music. The site is still up and running so check it out here.

And finally, my fave musical project ever – The Norliss Tapes – has a site up and running on Bandcamp! Our first two releases A Little Bit Tipsy and A Trip to the Moon! are available now with a third entitled Bad Robot EP coming soon-ish (got a little bit of tweaking left to do!) Listen to the sample track Zero Gravity Moonstomp below and check out the rest of our stuff here. ‘Til next time.

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