Archive for July, 2012

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(More) The Thing

July 31, 2012

A friend of mine recently sent me these videos showcasing the original concept art and mechanical effects that was produced for The Thing 2011 – making it even harder for me to fathom why on Earth the producers decided to go all CGI on us. These are some amazing, physical pieces of art showcasing just the sheer amount of talent and craftmanship the FX studios can offer these days. It’s mindblowing and gives you an idea of just how good this movie could’ve been.

Now, I’ve actually googled it and the only reason or explanation that I could find why the producers made their decision is that they thought the animatronic effects moved too slowly. Or the test audience (and don’t get me started on that subject!). I can see that, but that’s where CGI actually can prove to be a great, useful tool: cleaning up imagery or enhance speed etc. of certain scenes. Instead they turned it into just another awful-looking Playstation game. The problem: CGI is not and never will be a 3D object. And the technology hasn’t come anywhere near a stage where they can honestly say it fools the human eye. I’ve seen my fair share and still go “video game” as soon as it rears its ugly head. Background FX? No problem! I’ve seen some great usage of it in say George Romero‘s Land of the Dead. Or made to enhance physical effects in Sean of the Dead.

But let’s compare! Here’s the FX as they are shown in the movie. You decide what looks best.

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They Live!

July 31, 2012

I got this via The Dude Designs – awesome poster art for John Carpenter‘s classic They Live. Apparently meant to be released as a limitied-edition tribute poster to Roddy Piper, it’s only available to see online right now (as he himself explains there might be some legal/copyright issues to solve before it can be released) so enjoy and drop him an email to pre-order.

If you recognize Thomas‘ style my guess would be you saw his great key art for the Hobo With a Shotgun DVD. He’s done tons of great work, check it out on his website (linked here) or just check out his Facebook here.

Speaking of the movie, Carpenter himself claims it’s his most political movie (so far), dealing with 80s consumerism – and oddly enough it must’ve struck a chord with some conspiracy theorists because some out there claim it to be the truth these days. Anyway, it’s got a bit of an action/sci-fi blend going and if you haven’t seen it (as always) – DO! The trailer:

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(More) Scientist

July 30, 2012

Well, I guess you guys just have to bear with me while I’m having a total nerdgasm today. This clip with The Scientist doing a dub version of Bob Marley‘s Lively Up Yourself is just breathtaking. Yes, I am fully aware that to the average person (read: normal) this is just some guy twiddling some knobs (and let’s take the high road on this shall we?), but look at the ease and total control this man has over the equipment! It’s like watching a highly skilled artist paint a masterpiece.  So fluid. And the fact he’s doing this in real-time and not using computer programming whatsoever to help out is nothing short of amazing!

I’ll be back to my normal self tomorrow.

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The Scientist

July 30, 2012

Well, this is pretty much just gonna appeal to the fellow audiophiles out there, but I stumbled across these great clips on YouTube showing Jamaican dub-engineer Hopetown Brown (aka The Scientist) doing what he does best in the studio. Mostly famous for his cult The Scientist Meets… 80s albums on Greensleeves Records, he’s now living in the States but keeping himself busy mixing and mastering various projects. The clip shows his take on Marvin Gaye‘s classic What’s Going On?, but there’s more to be seen on his website here.

If you’re new to this form of music it’s easily described as a genre where the mixing console itself is the most important instrument adding and subtracting the sounds recorded – often with tons of trippy echo and delay effects. Starting out in the early 70s with King Tubby leading the way (amazingly enough on a damn four-track!), The Scientist was his young prodigy that soon enough made a name for himself. It’s pretty trippy and an aquired taste, but this might give some inspiration to fellow engineers out there.

Speaking of King Tubby, this is one of my absolute favorite tracks of his: his collaboration with Augustus Pablo entitled King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown. Check it out.

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Misfits Week Finale!

July 27, 2012

Well, as always when it comes to picking favorites from a band’s discography you find yourself having too many choices. As a record collector I honestly sometimes wish there only was one damn song released by one damn band on one damn record and that’s all you had to settle with and get on with your life (not to mention saving your hard-earned $$$). It’s kinda like what DEVO once stated in Freedom of Choice; get too many choices and you just end up wandering in circles.

Anyway, with that said I tried to avoid more cuts from Static Age so I went with London Dungeon (originally released as a 7″) and Death Comes Ripping off the more thrashing  Earth A.D. LP for my final Misfits post. If you haven’t checked them out already – DO!

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Pic o/t Week 2

July 27, 2012

Ha ha ha, it’s funny but something tells me we’re actually heading that way.

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Pic o/t Week

July 26, 2012

I’m not too sure, they’re kinda high in cholesterol, ha ha ha. Anyway, after having just an amazing summer week the weather forecast promises rain this coming weekend (of course), which kinda bums me out. So I might dust off the old Alien movies and just kick back instead. Been feeling kinda low energy so it’ll be nice to take a day off and just relax.

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Misfits Week Cont’d.

July 26, 2012

Well, after mentioning Vincent Price in my previous post the choice of what song to add during my Misfits Week was pretty much a given: Return of the Fly (he’s even mentioned in the lyrics!) Again taken from the Beware 12″ EP (and again originally recorded during the Static Age sessions) it’s a tribute to Edward Bernds 1958 horror classic starring Vincent. Have you seen it? Check out the trailer:

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Corman’s World

July 26, 2012

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!

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Oops!

July 25, 2012

Damn it, I completely forgot! The trivia question from what movie The Misfits got the lyrical idea for We are 138 is of course George Lucas’ 1971 debut THX 1138! Starring Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence among others, it’s a dark sci-fi borrowing a bit from George Orwell‘s classic novel 1984. In a futuristic world, humanity lives under ground and the working classes are being fed mandatory mind-numbing drugs in order to stay sedate. Human emotions – and especially the physical, sexual expression of love – is pretty much illegal, so when worker THX 1138 decides to stop taking his medication and starts a relationship with LUH 3417 he suddenly finds them both being outlaws.

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