Saturday, December 29, 2007

"The Devil Made This Picture."

Let's say goodbye to Mailer one more time before '07 ends - Happy New Year everyone!

Just Jaeckin You Around

Trailer for Just Jaeckin's Madame Claude (title theme by Gainsbourg and warbled by Jane B!) Proof that Letraset titles can be sexy if deployed properly...

Suds 'n Gould

They could have been the Hope and Crosby of the seventies... I'm actually surprised they didn't make a Canadian Tax Shelter era comedy together. That would have been perfect, considering how Canadian Sutherland seems in this trailer.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Doctor- Patient relations

I know its TV, but remember, there were 2 theatrical movies... Anyways, catching up with season 3 of Doctor Who and missing the spark of Billie Pier as Rose.

We'll just have to see if the appearance of Kylie Minogue in the Christmas special that aired today changes anything. However, it can't be anything as good as this:

Pervy Dalek shots thanks to Cosmobells who have some special Doctor Who audio treats over at their fun little blog.

but where do they really come from?

BIG Xmas thanks to Kata for sending me these.

Part One

Part Two - for licensed importers only!

sharing the lumps of coal with the audience

Thought we might share some of the lumps of coal that we found in the bottom of our stocking this morning. After I mentionned THE SILENT PARTNER in my last post, I must of course bring up that other yuletime Canadian classic BLACK CHRISTMAS - although it turns out that David Cronenberg's EASTERN PROMISES is a new Canadian Christmas themed cinema offering. Head over to the download page at Canuxploitation! to listen to this radio spot for the film. Certianly can't make gags about obscene phone calls in ad copy these days... Also explore Canuxploitation for more radio ads, theme songs from films including THE BIG MEAT EATER, STARSHIP INVASIONS and PINBALL SUMMER, plus some wallpaper for other fine tax shelter productions.

While searching YouTube for "Santa" and "horror", I came across this tightly edited little gem - kill scenes from bad Santa films – and by "bad" we mean bloody and bad, not mind-numbing Billy Bob Thornton bad. With a heavy metal yuletide score, it contains some violence and nudity that is surprising for YouTube (particularly the deer antlers through the chest of the damsel in destress).

If you need a break from the loops of holiday muzak, listen to the Ken Freedman's Krampus Christmas show over at WFMU, an aural antidote for constant cheery carols with reverence paid to our dark bodyguard of Saint Nick. I have pulled a favourite Christmas country song of mine that he broadcast for your enjoyment. Go here to download it or check out the pop-up player for the song here or the real player link.Or just head over here to listen to the full 3 hour show on MP3 or with RealAudio.

Oh the horror! Santa has been really bad over in Italy! The fine folks at The Groovy Age of Horror share the secrets behind the pages of this nasty fumetti in two parts (one + two) as it is quite the cliffhanger.

And to conclude, look what we have to look forward to:

Krampus loves us cause we are bad

We knew what to expect for being "bad" all year as on December 5th we were visited by Krampus and got a good thrashing with his broom for being such little deviants. He seemed to take great delight in lashing the girls who work behind the snack bar who shrieked and threw Nibs at him in an attempt to appease Saint Nick's demonic helper.

All these pics come from a tasty new blog that I stumbled on, Monster Brains, a fantabulous bestiary of things furred and finned, with a special seasonal interest in all art that is Krampus-worthy. For more info on Krampus, read the wikipedia entry or this eye-witness account of the pre-Christian Alpine demon's wrath.

Here is a quick lesson on Krampus:

Some footage of the Krampus in spreading Xmas pain:

And his recent TV appearance in the US:

tidings and passings

Earlier this year I was trying to track down a 35mm or 16mm print of the underrated Canadian seasonal crime caper THE SILENT PARTNER starring Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer to show in our cinema with no luck. Or at least no luck in Canada. I located a print in the vaults of The Alamo Drafthouse, but the cost of shipping it up worked against us. Maybe next year. In March Jesse posted about the release of the film on DVD with the lackluster cover art that has in commonwith the wave of RESERVOIR DOGS fashioned criminal buddy flicks than a gun and old Saint Nick.

Sadly, the reason for mentioning the film on our blog serves as an epitaph for the legendary Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, who composed the score for the film and sadly passed away on Sunday night. THE SILENT PARTNER was the only feature film that he did a score for, even though his muic had been used in the soundtracks of several films including Woody Allen's PLAY IT AGAIN SAM.

We are open

Enjoy your break to the fullest.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Pure arthouse goodness! Greatness, even. The trailer is gorgeous! I've got this mother here n disc and ready for re-viewing, so, come on winter break! I got so overly into Peter Greenaway after seeing 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' in the theatre that I often get blurry on the highs and lows of the specific films (I don't think I've been further than a few of the major films up until 'Pillow Book' and I didn't like 'Prospero's Books' at all) as they tend to blend together now and then just like all that Vonnegut I read in a mid-high school frenzy. Oh well. I always loved them even if it became a little much at times so I'm really looking forward to this one which was my pet apart from 'The Cook...'. I wish I could think of an appropriate anagram.

The oh-so-stylish British quad and Michael Nyman to boot. What more do you need?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Going To The Movies In Buenos Aires

The best part about seeing a film when you're travelling is if you luck out and pick a good one to go see, you get sucked into it and when it's over, you walk out of the lobby and are suddenly reminded that you are in another city, not your own.

I saw two films when I was in Buenos Aires. My friend Matias and I had to arrange to get a cab to take us all the way out to a shopping centre in the Bs. As. 'burbs to see Beowulf: La Leyenda (in 3-D IMAX! With IMAX-sized Spanish subtitles!) The tickets cost 14 pesos - or about $4.75 Canadian. You could bring beer into the theatre as and IMAX goggles, plus the trailer for Soy Leyenda!

On my last weekend in town I went to the Palermo multiplex down the street from the massive Alto Palermo shopping centre to take in a trasnoche screening of Gone Baby Gone. A trasnoche, film-lovers, is a movie-going tradition on the weekends in Buenos Aires - shows start between 1 and 1:30 a.m and are PACKED! You have dinner at 10, maybe an ice cream afterwards, then you roll over to the trasnoche, and THEN you go out clubbing. You can get popcorn either sugared (the local preference) or salted (no such thing as buttered popcorn in this town either way). And no Diet Coke - round here it's called Coke Light. Got to see some amazing Argentine commercials plus the trailer for P.T. Anderson's upcoming Habrá Sangre. Except for kids films, all international movies are in their original language with subtitles en Castellano. Argentinian films for the most part play in their own cinemas.

I couldn't find any of the massive theatres that used to exist in Buenos Aires in their original state; the Monumental, right down on Lavalle (the pedestrian tourist trap) used to have 3,000 seats (you can get a glimpse of it in its former glory in my previous post, at the start of one of the 60's Sandro trailers I linked to) but is now a run-down movie pit - they were playing Supercool, Michael Clayton and El Asesinato De Jesse James Por El Cobarde Robert Ford, plus two films that haven't even come out in North America, a thriller by Andrew Lau starring Richard Gere and some John Travolta / Salma Hayek period piece...

I learned something about Toronto while I was travelling as well, a lesson that left my city in the general deficit column. A small Romanian film like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days wins the Palme D'Or, and that fall it quietly pops up in Toronto and plays at the Cumberland for a couple of weeks, before winding up at the back of the Carlton for a couple more weeks. Meanwhile in Buenos Aires, the very same film plays at every multiplex downtown, often with giant ads for the engagement in the lobby, and when I went over to the Palermo on a Saturday night at midnight, the 1:30 a.m. show was already sold out. What are we to make of this?

(See my modest set of Buenos Aires movie theatre pictures here...)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bava on Broadway!?!?

How on earth did we miss this? A UK stage production mixing a 1641 opera score with Mario Bava’s 1965 sci-fi/horror film PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES?

Taken from the Off-Off Blogway:
The Wooster Group’s production of Francesco Cavalli’s opera La Didone takes up a work from the days when opera was an emerging art form, and sets it down in a new world splintered by video imagery and made brazen by the electric guitar. Stirring another Italian cultural work of art into the mix, the Group brings into collision the ancient shipwreck tale of Aeneas and his Dido with the crashed spaceships of Mario Bava’s 1965 Sci-fi B-movie horror film Planet of the Vampires. Identical leather spacesuits, forbidding planetary landscapes and battles with the walking dead meet with the baroque qualities of Cavalli’s score.
And an article about it from The List
It means opera fans shouldn’t expect a simple telling of the legend of Aeneas as he ventures from the smouldering ruins of a defeated Troy into the alien land of Carthage and the arms of Dido. Nor should trash culture buffs expect only the tale of Captain Mark Markary whose spaceship is lured to the planet of Aura where a dying race of aliens inhabits his zombie-like crew. Rather they should expect both at once: a cross-cultural cocktail of mind-boggling oddness.

On one hand, you’ve got Dido, played by mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, wearing a cape of sci-fi silver. On the other, you’ve got space cadet Sanya, played by Valk, who joins in with the operatic choruses. There are ray guns and baroque strings, punch-ups and arias, helmets and wigs. It’s as unconventional as the electric guitar in the four-strong orchestra and is certain to blow up a storm of outraged critical sensibilities when it opens at the Royal Lyceum.
And to refresh out memory, here is a scene that recalls a certain extraterrestrial terror franchise, followed by a piece of cut an paste experimental animation to round this post off...

Monday, December 10, 2007

This One's For Las Chicas

This report is filed from a locutorio in Buenos Aires. Locutorios are internet spots that are all over this city - in Buenos Aires, even the act of surfing the net all day can be part of your active social life.

I'm here because my vacation ends tomorrow and I'm on my way into a Musimundo store (there are no HMVs in Buenos Aires) to grab a couple of DVDs of Sandro, a living legend, a man I had never heard of before until I arrived here. He was all over the papers because he had recently turned 60 and was on yet another comeback trail (his last comeback apparently had him hooked up to an oxygen tank on stage but that wasn't enough to keep him from being snowed under by women's underwear).

But sometimes you achieve something that gets you buried in women's underwear for the rest of your life.

Sandro, the Argentine Elvis Presley (or is he the Argentine Amitabh Bachchan?) was a pop singer who made a dozen or so musicals in the sixties and seventies that were massively popular in Latin America... like Presley's films, they seemed to exist as pure vehicles to deliver the man candy to the's a trailer or two of the goods.

If you want your own Sandro DVDs but can't hike it to Buenos Aires, you are in luck.

Monday, December 03, 2007

If we make it through December

I feel no shame in appropriating a Merle Haggard lyric for a title. None whatsoever. It's been on my lips and mind for the past week or more. This month has come screaming in and promises to beat us into submission and lead us into one bitter and cold season. Hold tight!

One good reason to live through winter this year is the (promised and speculated) 2008 release of the documentary on the late and wonderful Arthur Russell. I wasn't totally thrilled with the Scott Walker documentary that made me put away the noose last year and foolishly push into 2007 but I am keeping high hopes for this one whether wise or not. I think when you choose to profile an artist that isn't so common, you are forced (through financiers?) to use some hip and cool, known artists in there to draw the crowds and get some tickets sold. I was suspect of that when I watched the Scott Walker film and seeing Jens Lekman here makes me feel the same. Still, I am going to keep drawing frozen breaths into the next year so that I can see anything at all to do with Arthur Russell, so deep is my love for the man.

I first read about him in that stuffy British music-snob magazine, The Wire, back when they were starting to compile compilations and re-release his music and go through the archives of his huge, self-recorded output. I actually found a few cool bands through that rag but I haven't seen a copy in ages. Anyway, nothing I've listened to since falling for Mr Walker all those years ago has affected me quite like Mr Russell. There's this absolute beauty that is infused in everything from the solo, voice and cello stuff through the disco music and there is a healthy dose of melancholy as well and his voice is so perfect that it's nearly unreal. There are a million magical variables, actually. It's too tough to pinpoint but it is absolutely attracting to me and I am always stilled by listening to him, as corny as that sounds. If you're new to him, you should definitely seek him out any way that you can and I suggest you get it all. Then you can be obsessed and have a reason to smile through this bleak season without resorting to superabundant bourbon, like Haggard would.

All the info on the documentary can be found here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

"and my death – IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!"

Rest in Peace Evel. And it was only this week that you made headlines after you graciously settled a lawsuit with Kayne West. Lets all look for copies of the made for TV movie where the legendary stuntman was played by George Hamilton.

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boo-lated trick or treat with GOBLINA

I don't think I have posted anything about the fabulous job that Rue Morgue magazine does. If you haven't heard of it, Rue Morgue is a mag published up here in the Great White North (by that I mean Toronto) that specializes in all aspects of horror: movies, books, comics, music; art, games, toys and more. Each year they hold the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear, part of FanExpo, offering horror fans a wide selection of vendors and guests, providing much relief from the over catering to the likes of anime and comic fans. Past guests haveincluded Alexandro Jodorowsky (!?), Crispin Glover, Alice Cooper, Kane Hodder (Jason from FRIDAY THE 13TH, Dough Bradley (Pinhead from HELLRAISER), Larry Fessenden (HABIT, THE LAST WINTER), Tom Savini, and Karen Black. This year's guests included Dario Argento (the guest of honour), George Romero, Malcolm McDowell, Adam West, Dave Prowse (FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL), H.G. Lewis (BLOOD FEAST), Michael Biehn (TERMINATOR), Adrienne Barbeau (mmmmmmmmm), Greg Nicotero (make-up and effects guy on KILL BILL, NARNIA, ARMY OF DARKNESS and countless other hits), member of Argento's "house" band Goblin, Maurizio Guarini (who lives in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto!), and the lovely actress Coralina Cataldi Tassoni (OPERA, DEMONS 2, MOTHER OF TEARS). Dedicated fans have to haul lots of memorabilia around this convention I tell ya! Below I have included some links to vids that I posted on YouTube from this years Festival that I neglected to post here.

Rue Morgue also holds the monthly CineMacbre Movie Nights at The Bloor Cinema and the last film they showed was a pristine print of Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD. Other screenings have included NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, HATCHET, PHANTASM, Doug Buck's SISTERS, THE ABANDONED, and RITUALS. Plus they have a radio show – the last show had Liisa Ladoucer interviewing Francois-Edues Chanfrault, the composer of A L'INTERIER and HAUTE TENSION). Basically they are making Toronto a better place to live in.

However, the real reason of this post is to show off this little clip reel I made of some photos and low res footage shot at their Halloween party, the Masque of Black Death! Costumes, booze and performers galore, it is the ultimate trick or treat. This year they had the Goblin tribute band GOBLINA play, featuring above mentioned Goblin member Maurizio Guarini and Coralina Cataldi Tassoni on guest vocals!

Thanks for the great treat Rue Morgue!

Goblina at Rue Morgue's Masque of Black Death

Romero and Argento Reunion at Fest of Fear 07<

Argento on Witches at Fest of Fear 07

triple fisted smackdown of broads, blades and blood!

This in from cinema patron Marc Walkow's blog, Outcast Cinema about Synapse Films' three-disc release of the Legends of the Poisonous Seductress. After watching these trailers, I am itching to see the features, especially the first entry in scope black and white that looks absolutely delirious! Here are the trailers and an assortment of pics from the films, but for better context, visit Marc's blog.

There is such a wealth of undiscovered Japanese films out there. Everyone goes on about the Lady Snowblood films, but there are a number of other wild action film series such as Wicked Priest or Oichi The Blind Swordswoman (aka CRIMSON BAT). Seeing these projected with an audience today would be a blast!