Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cult Cinema #8: Safe (1995)

Every so often you get a film that starts out as one thing and at then end turns into quite another, and while I genuinely don't care about spoilers, there is something to be said for not knowing how a film will end, or what course it will take. Sometimes even including a film in a list of thematically similar movies ruins the surprise of first viewing. Todd Haynes's 1995 film Safe, is perhaps old enough for it not to matter. So. Safe starts out one way, and goes to an unexpected place.

Monday, 26 June 2017

We Don't Go Back #50: The Blood on Satan's Claw, a reappraisal

When I first wrote about The Blood on Satan's Claw, it's fair to say that I didn't take the film at all seriously. I sort of regret that review.

My previous review of The Blood on Satan's Claw is one of the most negative posts on this blog. That's not the problem, though. The problem is that it's basically a dismissal of the film. And the fact is, if you're properly looking at folk horror films, the three films you have to take seriously are The Wicker Man, Witchfinder General and The Blood on Satan's Claw. People I like and respect consider it one of the Towering Classics of the genre; every time someone's talked about how great it was, how fantastic, I started to begin to doubt my judgement.

I began to to wonder if I'd seen the same film as these people.

So, here's the thing. I'm going to launch a Kickstarter for a We Don't Go Back book this week, and that means it's time to return to The Blood on Satan's Claw and give it a reappraisal (I'm going to rewatch The Witch as well, since I didn't really give that one enough depth either, first time round). This post retreads some of the ground of the first post, and supersedes it.

Yes, yes, all right. I went back.

(Before I go further, it's content warning time. If discussions of rape and rape culture upset you or bring back things you wish they wouldn't, please don't read on. An essay about an old horror film is not a good reason to experience real distress.)

Friday, 23 June 2017

We Don't Go Back: the Book

Alternative Titles For This Blog #207
So ever since I got past the original dozen or so posts I planned, I thought that there might be mileage in compiling and re-editing We Don't Go Back into book form.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

We Don't Go Back #49: Walkabout

I confess, I'd never seen Walkabout until this week. I knew about it, sure; I remember my brother saw it at school in an English class (really) and the controversy that arose from that. I recorded it off the TV some years ago on a PVR that broke before I could watch it. Finally, a few months ago I bought the Blu Ray.

And it sat on the shelf and I've watched literally everything else I haven't watched before and a raft of things I have.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Shivering Circle: Beta Playtest, part 1

It's been a while since I had a think about RPG design. In fact, I'd more or less decided a few months ago that I'd given up on it forever, but you know how it is.

Before That Hasty Decision, I'd started writing a folk horror themed game, and years before that I'd gotten maybe 10% of the way into making a horror game where player characters were almost certain to die.

When I thought, I know, I'll resurrect that horror game, I looked for my notes.