Wednesday, 23 August 2017

M4 Death Trip, episode 3: A Cure for Wellness

Another collaboration with Jon Dear of ViewsFromaHill.com. This time, it's the 2017 film A Cure for Wellness. See if you can spot the part where a toilet break, captured for posterity with crystal clarity, was edited out. 

Theme music is by The Hare and the Moon.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

We Don't Go Back #59: The Dunwich Horror (1969)

To talk about American horror, whether it’s folk horror or not, you have to talk about Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Without Lovecraft you couldn’t have or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Alien, or Cronenberg and Carpenter and Raimi. Without Lovecraft, there’s no Stephen King, no Thomas Ligotti. It spirals backwards to him, an inexorable gravity. Even if it’s explicitly made without the influence of Lovecraft, it has to be a conscious dismissal. It has to happen in Lovecraft’s context. And there’s American horror before Lovecraft, of course there is, but Lovecraft is the bottleneck in the history of American horror.

Also I share a first name with the guy.

As surprising as it might seem, this movie is largely centred around date rape, so if you find this a difficult thing to read about, be warned.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Question in Bodies #1: Inevitable Neckbeard

The Question in Bodies

NEVER WAS A HUMAN BODY MORE OUTRAGEOUSLY INSULTED
So there’s a sort of film that interests me, that’s scary in a certain way, and because it’s hard exactly to quantify I’m going to stick a label of my own on it. It’s not science fiction, although most of these films have some sort of a science fictional element. It’s not exactly body horror, although several of the films in the category are very much, very solidly that. It’s not exactly psychological horror either, although that is also part of it. It’s sort of about the intersection between the two, about how body, mind and spirit affect and harm each other, about how the fluidity of the body affects the mind and vice versa.

I’m going to call it Identity Horror, although I am sure that someone else will come up with a better name for it.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

We Don’t Go Back #58: Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

If Valerie and her Week of Wonders and Carnival of Souls had a torrid affair and conceived an ill-behaved lovechild, it would probably look like Richard Blackburn’s only feature film, Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural. 

(Before I go on, note that the film plays fast and loose with issues of child abuse, so, as usual, I should warn you that if this is a thing that especially upsets you, be careful.)  

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I Blame Society #5: Planet of the Apes (1968)

One of the absolute top experiences of this Summer has been sitting down with the Golden-Haired Youth (at the time of writing, eight years old) and showing him, at his insistence, Planet of the Apes. It is a film I've adored since I was maybe 11, one I never get tired of. Anyway, about twenty minutes in, my son turned and said to me, "This is a really good film." I'd somehow miraculously managed to keep him unspoiled, and so when That Big Reveal happens at the end, his eyes almost popped out of his head and his mouth fell open.

It was glorious.

Monday, 7 August 2017

We Don't Go Back #57: The Green Man (1990)

The 9pm watershed was a hard limit during my childhood. And then, at a stroke, it wasn’t, and I could watch everything, and did. And I began to watch everything I could that was on the TV that was even vaguely genre, and that’s why, aged 15 and never having heard of Kingsley Amis, I taped all three episodes of The Green Man. It was a ghost story, a supernatural drama, except it wasn’t; the supernatural elements were not the heart of the thing.

It occurred to me that The Green Man was about something. I wasn’t really up on what it was about. But it was definitely about something.

But then, it was the first tip-off for me that maybe they were all about something.