Friday, October 28, 2005

Goblin - Suspiria

For a long time the only films I had seen that had any connection to legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento were Demons and Demons 2, two films that Argento wrote and produced during the mid 80's for director Lamberto Bava (son of Mario). Both films are grade-Z terrible. Usually, when a popular director is listed as "producer" on an unknown director's film (from Poltergeist to A.I.), it really just means "ghost-director". I figured the Demons films were probably a good indication of the gist of Dario. I made a point of scratching "See more Argento films" off my mental list of things to do right away.

Then I saw Suspiria.

This is where I'm supposed to talk about what a brilliant piece of horror it is and what a genius Argento is and how it totally changed my mind about him (blah blah blah), but not quite. It too is obviously the kind of film for which the classification of "B-movie" is just a lofty aspiration. The dialogue/dubbing/ is so atrocious that it makes the average anime dub job sound like the Mercury Theatre players in comparison. The gore, while nice and theatrical, is way too fake to be shocking and the ending is just laughable.

What it does have, though, is a gorgeous dream-like look, brilliant sound design and a genuinely scary sense of dread throughout (at least until the end). Suspiria is a wonderfully sensual experience. During those long sequences where no one is speaking and everything is bathed in some inexplicable green or red light, the only sound being far off whispers and moans... it all makes sense.

And then there's the score by italian prog-rock band Goblin, who have made a career out of scoring horror films, most with Argento. Suspiria wouldn't be half as effective without it.

This Halloween you should do yourself a favor and get ahold of a copy of Suspria if you've never seen it. If that's not an option then invite some friends over, break out the ouija board, light some candles and play "Sighs"... loud.

Goblin - Suspiria [MP3, 5.6MB, 128kbps]
Goblin - Sighs [MP3, 4.9MB, 128kbps]

Country covers of The Clash, The Stooges and VU

The Country Cousins are a former side project of a guy who is a former member of a band called Lovecanal (...) and is now a recording engineer. These are hosted on his studio website and were posted on Hipinion a few days ago.

"there was a lot of drinking involved in these sessions. we basically jsut(sic) got ripped and did a bunch of country covers of punk and proto punk stuff."

The Country Cousins - "London Calling" [MP3, 4MB, 192kbps]
The Country Cousins - "I Wanna Be Your Dog" [MP3, 2.9MB, 192kbps]
The Country Cousins - "Femme Fatale" [MP3, 4.7MB, 192kbps]

Thursday, October 27, 2005

1953 "The Tell Tale Heart" animated short


Charles Burns - Black Hole

Last Spring, Cartoonist Charles Burns wrapped up his 12 issue Fantagraphics series Black Hole after more than a decade of work. It takes place in the Pacific Northwest in the 70's and involves a mysterious sexually transmitted disease that slowly mutates the teenagers it infects. The series showed up in the Comics Journal's list of "The 100 Comics of the Century" years ago when it was only at about the midway point. Now the whole thing has been collected in a big fancy hardcover from Pantheon. Cue press tour...

There's a nice feature on Burns and the book at The Baltimore City Paper.

There's also an interview with Burns at Book Standard.

Finally, Burns can be heard along with cartoonist Chris Ware discussing their work and comics in general on Open Source Radio.