Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hello! This is the Doomed Show Fundraiser October 2016

Hey there, folks! It's come to my attention that podcasts cost money. Damn it to hell. Why was I so naive? Just kidding! I was very proud that I went 5 years without spending a dime on anything other than recording equipment. So yeah, I started actually paying for bandwidth so that we could reach more people like you as well as not get podblocked by running out of storage and stuff. (I should probably coin the phrase "podblocked".)

So here is my grand idea for the first ever Doomed Show fundraiser drive. I have two albums of spooky music here for sale on the newly made Doomed Moviethon Bandcamp. First up is something I made especially for this fundraiser. It's called Alex & The Haunted Ice Cream Factory. It's an album of synthesizer and guitar weirdness that sets the mood for the bizarre plot (yes, the album comes with a plot). The other album for sale is Terror. This was previously a freebee from Goblinhaus if you bought the Fauxrror album. It's my tribute to films like Symptoms, Tomie, Fury of the Wolfman, etc. and features some rad dialog from the films mixed in with some bonkers soundscapes I made with synthesizers I found entirely online. I'm nothing if not resourceful.

Both albums are only $1 apiece but if you'd care to give more to support the show, we'll gladly accept it! Everything I make on these releases goes DIRECTLY to paying for the show's bandwidth and anything left over after that goes to pay for hosting Doomed Moviethon. The next Doomed Show fundraiser will be for some exclusive episodes of the show that'll be for sale and not in the normal feed. More about those later.

Here's the link to the albums!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Ramble - Too Little But Not Too Late: Revisiting Dracula (1931)

For Halloween this year, I really wanted to get my old school horror movie mojo going by looking at as many of the Universal monster movies as I could. What better way to start then by watching a film that I haven't seen since I was in my early teens. I've spent more time reading about Dracula (1931) than I have watching it. So yeah, 25 (or more) years ago, I thought the original Dracula was boring and awkward. Kids. What can ya do? I do remember thinking that it was really important to watch this and other classics as a burgeoning horror kid.

The first thing that blows my mind are things that I definitely was never consciously aware of as a kid like the production design. Man oh man, the matte paintings are fantastic. They give everything the feel of an alien landscape especially now that everything these days is done with CGI. Will people in the future look back on our cinema and find our bad techno-trickery all charming and shit? As for the sets, wow just wow. Obviously, camera tricks were the CGI of their day and of course, filmmakers from then would have used computers to make their vision end up on the screen. But these quaint and obviously hand-crafted touches make me so happy and I don't mean that in a condescending way (at least I don't think I do).

Okay, what is with the bug? So when Dracula and his lady Draculas are getting out of their coffins, there's some crazy shit going on. First of all, there's a possum. I found this very amusing because I live in Florida and the dang things are everywhere. Then I remember that Todd Browning was from Kentucky so that means he knew that they will appear exotic to the rest of the world. Maybe. I don't know where I was going with that. Anyway, the bug. So we see everyone getting out of their coffins and then there's a shot of a bug climbing out of his/her coffin -a tiny coffin? Or was that supposed to be a human sized coffin with a giant bug in it? My pal Nafa just suggested that the bug may be one of the wives other forms. I like that idea. There's also some armadillos which made me shake my head when they were chillin' in the crypt. They're pretty friggin' adorable.

The next thing that I really adore now -more than I could have ever anticipated as a young lad- are the smoke machines pumping a metric ton of atmosphere into this bad-boy. They give all the mist, fog, smoke, smog, haze, etc. that just makes me giddy in my current state of fandom. When Renfield shows up to switch carriages, the smoke looks like it was absolutely choking everyone on the set. Even though this scene is supposed to be outdoors, it's so claustrophobic that it made me frickin' nervous.

The vampire wives skulking around in the aforementioned mist is something I remember VERY DISTINCTLY. In fact, when they leave the movie (???), I remember just checking out for the most part. I thought they were so slinky and sexy that my brain never made the connection as to how dangerous these characters are. Has that attitude changed for me? Hell no, it hasn't. I'm still like "Ladies, I know I'm not Bela but hey I'm kinda pale. What are my chances?" Come to think of it, all of the women in this movie are just stunning. The ones that are stricken with ye olde vampire syndrome are just made up and photographed so perfectly that I just can't them out of my head.

This will come as a surprise to very few people (or no one at all) but my old complaining for years at how slow and silly this film is have melted away. While it's true that a few lines of dialogue and especially some of the over-the-top delivery still make me chuckle, I adore this cast. Whenever Dwight Frye as Renfield comes cackling into frame, I just want to high five whoever is sitting closest to me (which is my wife LeEtta, naturally). If I try to imagine audiences in 1931 seeing this film for the first time, I have to assume that his scuttling across the floor to go after the exposed neck of the maid must have scared the living shit out of people.

As for the pacing, I was never bored for a second during this viewing. There's just so much going on here that I have to wonder why the hell I don't watch this more often. I thought my attention span was getting worse not better! One of the big blind-spots in my horror fandom is for the 1930s. I swear I'm getting better about this era.

The almost total lack of a music score is certainly something. I really don't know how I feel about it. The opening music is perfect and the bit at the opera house works great. I'm not saying there should have been wall to wall music but yeah, I think the minimal score might be something that alienates people from this version. I like it because it does something funny to my brain that probably wasn't intentional at all. Has anyone taken the score from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. and used it on Dracula? I think that should be a thing. Did Philip Glass do the score for any of the Ace Ventura movies? Speaking of blind-spots, I absolutely have a block about the silent era of horror. I'll probably need more time for that. Don't give up on me just yet.

The darkness of the shadows and the suffocating nature of the nighttime scenes are almost too much for my tiny mind to take. So much mood is communicated with the simplest of things. When Dracula attacks the flower girl, holy crap! While I should probably be ashamed that I had such a low opinion of this film for so long, I'm very happy to have finally come around to it. Ladies and gentlemen, I love Todd Browning's Dracula! I can practically hear your eyes rolling but this is a big deal for me. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble again. It's been a while. The shadows are where I'll be if you need me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Films I Watched: August 2016

* means first time watch

City of the Living Dead
Only Yesterday*
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Witch*
Star Trek Beyond*
Blood Rage*
Female Prisoner Scorpion #701*
Female Prisoner Scorpion Grudge Song*
The Dead are Alive
Fright House*
Hail Caesar!*
Bay of Blood
Shadow of the Wraith
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
In the Heart of the Sea*
Suicide Squad*
Guardians of the Galaxy
Gamera: The Giant Monster
Gamera Vs. Barugon*
The Boy and the Beast*
Amazing Spiderman
Argoman: The Fantastic Superman*
Tomie: Forbidden Fruit
Easy A
The Visit*
Kick Ass
St. Trinians
Horror Rises from the Tomb

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Films I Watched: July 2016

* means "First Time Viewing"

A Black Veil for Lisa
Parasite Eve*
Let Us Prey*
Rider of the Skulls*
Miami Golem*
The Women (1939)*
Real Genius
The Boy*
Kiss Me Deadly
Sin City
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf*
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
The Dark Knight Returns*
Escape from New York
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice*
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Seven Notes in Black
Watch Me When I Kill
White Christmas
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
The Shining
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41*
Blood and Black Lace
Blade Runner

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Ramble: Movie Memory Mining

While I continue to mine the depths of my memory (without leaving any reliable support beams or adhere to any safety regulations as I go), it dawned on me to try and recall what my very first memories of watching movies are. The first film that I have a very tenuous memory of catching in theater is The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Since I was only four when that film was first released, it was likely during its 1981 or 1982 re-release. This sticks out for me because I remember being really confused how the empire was able to reattach Darth Vader's head after Luke cut it off. This plot confusion didn't get cleared up for many more years than I'd like to admit. I asked my mom if she remembers taking me to this film. All she recalls is something loud and scary happening. I was much too young to have seen Star Wars (1977) in the theater but my parents got me The Story of Star Wars record which I listened to constantly.

Now I can't confirm the following but I believe that my family enjoyed cable television while I was little lad in Montana. The first movies I remember watching were Popeye (1980) and Clash of the Titans (1981). I don't know if HBO (or whatever channel or channels we had) still does this but when they had a new movie, they would play it all day long. So if memory serves (unlikely), I watched Popeye and Clash of the Titans over and over again all weekend long. I also remember that they played Hardware Wars (1978) and I laughed my head off at it after my dad explained to me why it was funny.

In the vein of things cinematically tragic, I was utterly freaked out by another short film called Recorded Live (1975) which is about film reels that come to life and devour a guy. This poor bastard shows up to a movie or TV studio looking for a job and dies horribly. This could be a metaphor for my social life and how it has been utterly decimated by my love of movies. Or it's about how I feel about showing up for work.

Robert Altman's Popeye is just grotesque and weird. I tried to sit through it once many years later but I was struck by how wrongheaded it seems to be. Maybe it captures the spirit of the original cartoon too well. What is the spirit of the old cartoon, you ask? Imagine if you cut open the rotting carcass of a bull, climbed inside, and did push-ups on your knuckles while listening to the 1812 Overture on 78rpm. That's how I feel about it. So anyway, I have a feeling that if I put the 1980 film on right now, I might actually enjoy it just because it's so goddamned weird. Chances of me actually doing that are around 12%.

Leave it to something as silly as Clash of the Titans to introduce me to the magic of Ray Harryhausen. Later, I'd have my mind blown by his work on the Sinbad movies but this epic 1981 um... epic was just what the doctor (I assume a pediatrician) ordered. My fondest memory of this film is the nighttime scene where Calibos sneaks into Perseus and his crew's camp in order to kill them. This sequence haunted me in the best way and is the closest thing to that European horror vibe that I love coming from a fantasy movie. I recently bought Clash on Blu-ray and haven't revisited it as of yet. However, I have been listening to Laurence Rosenthal's score while writing this. I've seen the 2010 remake but all I remember is that it wasn't terrible. Oh and Medusa was truly lame.

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*
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Spirited Away
10 Cloverfield Lane*
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
The Dark Knight Rises
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.