Monday, July 25, 2016

Films I Watched: June 2016

* means first time viewing

Bend It Like Beckham
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
The Red Queen Kills 7 Times
Pan (2015)*
Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 3
Tokyo Mighty Guy*
Danger Pays*
Murder Unincorporated*
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension*
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies*
Sense and Sensibility
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
Bloody Pit of Horror*
The Cannibal Man*
Tombs of the Blind Dead
The Phantom*
Deadpool
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Spirited Away
Paprika
10 Cloverfield Lane*
Aenigma
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
The Dark Knight Rises
Robocop
There's No Business Like Show Business*
A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow II*

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Overlords of the U.F.O. (1976)

W. Gordon Allen, the writer, producer, and host of this documentary, takes himself and the material presented here VERY SERIOUSLY. This is the film that dares to ask the burning question, “Who are the overlords of the UFO?” Why is it worded that way? I don’t know. While this is a rather dry presentation and gets a little dull at times, Overlords of the U.F.O. is pretty intriguing. The best moments are the artistic recreations of various incidents of sightings and abductions. However, my favorite bit is the information provided by communications from aliens of the planet Ummo. This stuff is just so wild and so much damn fun. Your enjoyment of this documentary will depend entirely on your interest in UFOs and the US government’s attempts to cover up these incidents.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You're Never Nothing (Coming Soonish)

Hey there! As far as busyness goes, I'm pretty businesslike. My band GYROJETS has been recording our first full length album and let me tells ya, it's a lot of work. We're doing everything ourselves to push my recording equipment to the breaking point and just to say hey look we didn't pay anyone to record this! As sort of a progress report and a way to get everybody hyped, we put out a little sampler (link below) of all 11 songs that are on the album as well as an improvised jam we did just a couple of weeks ago. So what's left to do? Ohhhh almost everything. The guitar and drums are about 90% done or more (I hope) and so that leaves bass, keyboards, synthesizer, broken dream-catchers, and vocals. See? Not that much!

Sam and I formed GYROJETS three years ago and we've played some shows. I think we have a pretty rad band. We didn't know what genre we were exactly so we made up our own. It's called Realistic Music. So anyway, I have been recording our demos since day one with varying degrees of success. Due to my stubbornness and addiction to instant gratification, those recordings are a little not so hot. So I'm trying something new and really taking my time as well as inviting my bandmate to be much more involved in the mixing process. I want us to the do the best album we can with the tools that we have. Next time, I'm totally fucking paying someone else to do this crap. I'm tired! So anyway, wish us luck!

Check it out right here and hear and hear.

And here's some recent-ish live footage. This was when we premiered our now famous jumpsuits.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Films I Watched: May 2016

* means first time viewing.

El Muerto AKA The Dead One*
Mortuary*
Captain America
Avengers
Thor
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Two Evil Eyes
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Lord of Illusions*
Ant-Man
Eye in the Labyrinth
Spectre*
Eye of the Cat*
Victor Frankenstein*
Nightmare Weekend*
Captain America: Civil War*
Friday the 13th
Edge of Tomorrow*
La Strada*
St. Trinian's
Night Screams*
Mountaintop Motel Massacre*
Blood Tracks*
The Mutilator*
Evil Laugh*
Graduation Day
Girls School Screamers
To All a Goodnight*
Slumber Party Massacre III*
The Boogey Man
Satan's Blade*
Terror at Tenkiller*
The Last Slumber Party*
Interstellar*
Drive Me Crazy
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials*
Goodnight Mommy*
Easy A
Naussica: Valley of the Wind
Contamination .7*
The Music Man
Grease

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cinema Somnambulist The Book Coming Very Soon

I've got my proof copy, y'all! Fixing egregious errors right now. It's gonna be rad.

You're holding this blog in your hands. One day, you'll hold the book of this blog in your hands!

Maybe I don't know how blogs work.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Giallo Meltdown Is A Year Old

Hey, Giallo Meltdown fans! Do you have Giallo Meltdown? If so, THANK YOU! Do you like it? Do you hate it? REVIEW IT! If you have a blog, I'd love to read what you have to say about it!. If you have a podcast, I'd love to hear what you have to say about it! If you have a vlog, I'd love to see what you have to say about it! So yeah, if you have the book and haven't posted a review of it on Amazon, please do. Good or bad, all reviews help me out immensely.

But the main point of my bloggin' this blog post right now is that I want to say how much fun I've had since putting the book out. I've been able to appear on some cool podcasts and some really nice people have reached out to me to say that they liked Giallo Meltdown. I've also had some really stellar reviews from some very nice folks! These kinds of things mean the world to me.

As for negative criticism, there's been only three things so far. The first one that really embarrassed me was the first bunch of copies went out with a ton of typos. I stupidly got too excited and released the book within days of getting my proof copy. Wow, yeah. Huge mistake. I revised the book and quietly re-released it. Now the only version available out there is in 120% better shape. What can I say? Rookie mistake!

The second thing that happened is that one reviewer took me to task for spoiling the films. I never reveal the killer or the ending of the movie in the book but someone still got mad because I revealed too much about the plot of The Crimes of the Black Cat. All I can say is "Sorry, man." It never occurred to me that revealing the killer's modus operandi would be a huge spoiler. I guess I'll have a disclaimer at the beginning of part 2 to watch the movies before you read about them in the book!

Lastly, two people had a problem with the cover. They both said I should have used a more familiar giallo movie poster so that the book would sell better. To that I say, "No shit, Sherlock." I like giallo posters and all but I wanted something on the cover that reflected the personality of the book. My wife LeEtta, who drew the fabulous art for Giallo Meltdown (and tons of other stuff for me over the years), was there for all these moviethons and she knows what I like. Plus, she's amazing. Why would I want a poster of Bird with the Crystal Plumage or Torso or frickin' Who Saw Her Die? on the cover? I prefer originality.

And you know what? There are a couple of references to gialli in that book cover! I sent her some reference material and asked for a very specific look to the straight razor on the cover. Does it look familiar to you, giallo fans? It should! So to the haters, don't worry, I will continue using LeEtta's awesome art for all of my projects. Deal with it.

So anyway, the planning of the next volume of the book has almost reached its end. Let me tell you a little more about it. As you may or may not know about me, I'm very liberal with what is and isn't a giallo. What I want to explore in the second volume are threefold: key giallo titles that I missed in the first book (New York Ripper, The Stendhal Syndrome, etc.), films that inspired the giallo (Psycho, Blow Up, etc.), and films that were clearly inspired by the giallo (Friday the 13th, Berberian Sound Studio, The Editor, etc.).

Though I tried to make it clear with the first Giallo Meltdown, this is a book from a fan and not a scholar. I want to talk about this up front so people don't pick up my book thinking that I'm the guy whose gonna say in black and white, "this film is a giallo" and "this is NOT a giallo at all" with some authoritative posturing. I definitely want to have fun which has been my intention from the get-go. I want people to come with me on this journey no matter what ridiculous things get along along the way.

So let me just beat this to death right here. If you bought my book, thank you one million times over. If you're a Kindle subscriber and you got it for free, thank you too! If you killed a dude to steal his copy, why'd you do that? That's messed up, bro. But thank you! I've got some fun projects in the works (like the coming VERY soon Cinema Somnambulist book and another issue of Fang of Joy).

Monday, May 16, 2016

Films I Watched: April 2016

* indicated first viewing

April Fool's Day
Bubba Ho-Tep
The Beyond
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Dr. Phibes Rises Again
Naked You Die
Persuasion (1995)
Murder Obsession
10 to Midnight
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Out of the Dark (1995)
The Case of the Bloody Iris
God of Cookery
Gangster VIP*
Gangster VIP 2*
Heartless*
Goro the Assassin*
Black Dagger*
Kill!*
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Grease
Matango
Bride of Re-Animator
Pillow Talk
Love Come Back
Up in Arms
Secret of the Kells*
Phantom of the Ritz*
No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers*
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Hausu
Wake Up and Kill*

Friday, May 13, 2016

Franco Friday #61 - El siniestro doctor Orloff (1984)

I keep thinking that the Franco Friday series is over. I know that I’ve only seen one quarter of Jess Franco’s films and there’s still greatness to be found if I keep scavenging. But honestly, I’m still fried from the last time I jumped in. And as usual, I have so many other fun things going on that this project seems like it might be officially dead. Then, out of the blue, I find ANOTHER Dr. Orloff film! Wait what? How did that happen? Well, gang, here I go again. Let’s see what old Orloff was up to in 1984.

El siniestro doctor Orloff
Directed by Jess Franco
1984
Howard Vernon, Antonio Mayans, Rocío Freixas, Antonio Rebollo, Rafael Cayetano
77 minutes

Dr. Orloff’s son Alfred (Antonio Mayans) is pining over his lost love who also happens to be his dead mother Melissa. He keeps her body preserved so that he can revive her someday. Alfred needs the bodies of young and sexy women to make this terrible dream come to life so he sends his blind assistant Andros out to kidnap him some raw materials. Meanwhile, Inspector Tanner (Antonio Rebollo) is feeling the pressure as he hasn’t been able to crack the case yet. His lovely wife Muriel (Rocío Freixas) wants to help so she gets mixed up in all this craziness too. This should turn out great for all parties involved.

As I was watching The Sinister Dr. Orloff (not to be confused with one of my favorites, The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff), I thought to myself, "Could this be a nice throwback to his early 70s goodness?" The answer is yes. This kind of meandering pervy crap is exactly what I was hoping it would be. Not only are characters recycled from this storyline that Franco remade over and over again, the plot as well will be very familiar to fans of this disjointed series.

Antonio Mayans fans, rejoice! He is pretty frickin' great in this film. Alfred is a really, really pathetic male chauvinist psycho dickhead and his narration while he’s cruising the streets with his robotic manservant is as lame as it is hilarious. Howard Vernon is back as the original Dr. Orloff and he looks truly insane in this. His hair was styled during a nuclear bomb test and his character spends the movie in a wheelchair trying to talk Alfred out of his insane plans. Jess Franco himself plays a ridiculous gay stereotype who witnesses one of the abductions. Lina Romay does some voice work but unfortunately doesn’t play a character onscreen in this one. Rocío Freixas is very cute and all but she's clearly standing in for Romay. She even looks like she's borrowing Lina's blonde wig!

The Spanish seaside locale is beyond beautiful and there’s some very familiar looking architecture on display (see Countess Perverse). This gets predictably trashy as there’s plenty of utterly gorgeous female flesh on display but it only goes for extended onscreen sex once. Color me relieved. The real sleaziness happens when Alfred strangles one of his victims -who is EXTREMELY nude- to death and he seems to be really, really enjoying it.

The Sinister Dr. Orloff is a wonderful overdose of mad science, off kilter dialog, and jiggling boobies (and other body parts). It’s good but definitely not essential for Franco fans but there’s a whipping scene if you’re into that kind of thing. There's also endless shots of Andros carrying naked women over his shoulder which I think is a fetish as well. The synthesizer music at the beginning is very subtle like a supernova smoking crack. Come to think of it, all of the music in this film is pretty deranged; and surprise (not really), it’s all done by Franco under a pseudonym! My only major complaint about this one is that I really wish it was dubbed into English but I highly doubt this film got very much distribution beyond Spain.

“You can’t atomize the soul of a human being.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Episode 100?

Wait what? How did this happen? Somehow we made it all this way and it is kinda blowing my mind. Have a listen!

Podomatic link