Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Clip of the Week - I'm On A Boat

The video for the first single off the Lonely Island debut album "Incredibad".
The Lonely Island feat. T-Pain - I'm On A Boat

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rock Band Tracks This Week

Old 97's On RB

I don't usually get excited enough about DLC (aside from the Pearl Jam pack, obviously) to make a post about it, but tomorrow's pack is going to be different. Tomorrow's pack is an alt-country pack that includes Steve Earle and Drive-By Truckers. But, most importantly, Old 97's Timebomb (Live) is coming to Rock Band. How cool is that? Very. I am a big Old 97's fan, and that is one of their most rocking, fun songs. Looking forward to it. Here is all the other DLC that will be available on the 24th:

JIMMY EAT WORLD PACK - three-pack for $5.49 (440 MSP) or $1.99 (160 MSP
Jimmy Eat World - Futures
Jimmy Eat World - Sweetness
Jimmy Eat World - Lucky Denver Mint

ALT COUNTRY PACK 1 - $8.49 (680 MSP) or $1.99 (160 MSP) per track.
Neko Case - People Got a Lotta Nerve
Steve Earle - Satellite Radio
Lucinda Williams - Can't Let Go
Drive-By Truckers - Three Dimes Down
Old 97's - Timebomb (Live)

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inglorious One Sheet

Basterds Get New Poster

So, check out the new one sheet for Tarantino's latest effort. It's pretty spiffy. Personally, I prefer the artwork from THIS POST, but this one still looks pretty good. Really excited about the movie. Cast includes Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, BJ Novak, Mike Meyers, Cloris Leachman, and Sam Jackson. And, if you missed the trailer, here it IS.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Danzig on TV

courtesy of
The punk/metal/goth five foot midget icon has his own dating show. Well, it's about time.

Yes, you read that correctly. Glenn Danzig will be walking tall in the glam boots of Bret Michaels for a new Rock Of Love show aimed at finding him someone to bring home to “Mother”.

The show will be called “Rock of Love: Bride of Satan with Glenn Danzig” and will make it’s premiere on VH1 in July.

At least they’re getting a metal god to do the show now. I just have to wonder what he’s going to put those girls through, to win his affections.

Vh1 details some of the challenges, which include: “goat entrail soup and chili cook-off blindfolded nun deflowering contest sexy seance strip-a-thon virgin or family member: the sacrifice challenge name that heretic.”

The only redeeming quality of this idea is the name they came up with. Other than that, what the hell are you thinking, Glen??

Thursday, February 19, 2009

[rec] 2 Teaser Trailer Out Now

Sequel to [rec] coming soon

I wasn't even aware they were making this, but it seems that the teaser trailer for [rec] 2 has recently hit the airwaves. This is the sequel to 2007's [rec] which is one of the best horror movies I have seen in years. It's also the inspiriation for the American remake known as Quarantine. Luckily, it looks like the same writers and directors have signed on, so I have high hopes for this sequel.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Epic Baseball Uniform FAIL

Greetings O-Chokers!
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post, but I’m back for more! I’ve got quite a few things I’ve been working on lately, so this should be the start of many more posts to come.

With the 2009 baseball season quickly approaching, I thought I’d start off with a baseball-related post.

With the recent news of Jordan’s beloved Texas Rangers new uniforms for this season, I thought an appropriate topic would be the all-time most ill-advised uniform decisions in baseball history. One look at those new helmet designs, and you’ll know exactly why I was inspired for this list. I’ve notably omitted all the “Turn Ahead The Clock” designs worn in the late ‘90s because one could make a list entirely consisting of those tragic threads. Also, there were a handful from the 70’s and 80’s that were SO bad, they actually became awesome over time (i.e. Houston Astros’ pre-’93 rainbows, San Diego Padres mustard/brown digs from ’72-’84, the Indians & Phillies all-red “pajamas” from the 70’s, etc.)

So, without further ado…


5. (tie) 1916 Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) & 1916 New York Giants – two of the best clubs in baseball at the time (Brooklyn won the NL pennant in ’16; NY won the NL pennant in ’17) unfortunately trotted out on game day that season in two of the worst unis ever imagined. Brooklyn sported a blue checkered number that would barely be considered acceptable to wear on a golf course, let alone on the diamond at Ebbets Field. This might have contributed to their losing to Boston in the World Series that year…or, it might have had something to do with a guy named “Ruth” suiting up for the other team. Either way, their unis certainly didn’t help opponents take them seriously. Meanwhile, the Baseball G-Men were sporting a…wait for it…purple plaid design! Wow. They had the greatest athlete in the known world at the time, the legendary Jim Thorpe, and felt it suitable to dress the man in purple plaid. Unforgivable.

4. 1982-1986 Chicago White Sox - After spending the first 70 years of their existence sporting sleek pinstripes and a cool logo, Sox ownership decided that the team needed a new look. Black and white became red and white. Then they ditched and pinstripes altogether and went blue and white (I’ll get to these later). Finally, in ‘82, the ChiSox showed up for opening day in this terrible, half-assed attempt at being fashion-forward. After all, it was the 80’s! Everyone else was trying to look as ridiculous as possible; why not join in the shenanigans? It’s as if the designers thought to themselves, “Three big block letters on front, with bland stripes and colors…what else could you possibly need!?” Fortunately, by 1990, the team had come to their senses. Back were the pinstripes, and with it came the classic black and white colorway. Just like the Baseball Gods intended.

3. 1977-1984 Pittsburg Pirates – Of all the truly awful uniform color combinations over the years, the Bucs take the cake with these. It’d be one thing if the yellow was more subtle like they’ve moved toward in recent years (although *these* are definitely honorable mention for this list). But, oh no. Let’s let the yellow totally dominate the black so far as to also wear yellow pants that can most aptly be described as “hideous”. Top it all off with those nasty “pill box” hats with the horizontal yellow piping, and you’ve got a recipe for a historically bad idea in athletic wear.

2. 1998-2000 Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays – Tampa jumps up this list for starting off on such a bad note. Your franchise is probably not going to get off to a good start if the first image opposing teams have of you is a tacky multi-colored logo, and a cartilaginous fish on your team cap (luckily, the team abandoned the “fish caps” after only one season…to switch to an almost-as-bad multi-colored “TB” logo). From what I gather, the color fade on the jersey logo was supposed to represent the sun reflecting off the bay. What it actually looked like was a bad practical joke. I should also mention that I think it's no coincidence that the year Tampa changed to a nice, newer, cleaner look, the team had their first ever winning season and advanced to the World Series…I’m just sayin’…

1.1976-1981 Chicago White Sox – Oh my dear God. What the hell were they thinking!? A collared baseball jersey? And not just a normal little collar either. I’m talking a “1976-leisure-suit-with-a-big-pointy-butterfly-collar” collar. And, if you thought for a second, “Well, there’s no way to get worse than that”, it does. For one game during the ’76 season, the team actually wore shorts! Not regular knee-length shorts. I mean tiny little 1976 shorts. In a regular season baseball game. On the field. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it must have been for Goose Gossage and the boys to even suit up that day. Pair those appalling little shorts with some granny socks, the cheapest looking cap ever made, the aforementioned collars, and you’ve got, without question, the single worst uniform EVER.

So all you Rangers fans out there, keep your head up. A) The unsightly powder blues Texas wore ’76-’82 didn’t make this list, and B) your team’s new attire doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clip of the Week, Part Deux

Here is a clip of Shaq's big introduction at Sunday night's NBA All-Star game featuring dance crew Jabbawockeez. I can't stop laughing at this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Clip of the Week

Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman 2/11/09

Wow. I'm not sure if this new "character" that Joaquin is playing is a hoax or a gag or what, but I do know that it is funny no matter what. This is probably now my second favorite Letterman interview,afer THIS ONE with Crispin Glover.

-Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft

Written July 1917
Published November 1919 in The Vagrant, No. 11, 23-29

I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more. Penniless, and at the end of my supply of the drug which alone, makes life endurable, I can bear the torture no longer; and shall cast myself from this garret window into the squalid street below. Do not think from my slavery to morphine that I am a weakling or a degenerate. When you have read these hastily scrawled pages you may guess, though never fully realise, why it is that I must have forgetfulness or death.

It was in one of the most open and least frequented parts of the broad Pacific that the packet of which I was supercargo fell a victim to the German sea-raider. The great war was then at its very beginning, and the ocean forces of the Hun had not completely sunk to their later degradation; so that our vessel was made a legitimate prize, whilst we of her crew were treated with all the fairness and consideration due us as naval prisoners. So liberal, indeed, was the discipline of our captors, that five days after we were taken I managed to escape alone in a small boat with water and provisions for a good length of time.

When I finally found myself adrift and free, I had but little idea of my surroundings. Never a competent navigator, I could only guess vaguely by the sun and stars that I was somewhat south of the equator. Of the longitude I knew nothing, and no island or coastline was in sight. The weather kept fair, and for uncounted days I drifted aimlessly beneath the scorching sun; waiting either for some passing ship, or to be cast on the shores of some habitable land. But neither ship nor land appeared, and I began to despair in my solitude upon the heaving vastness of unbroken blue.

The change happened whilst I slept. Its details I shall never know; for my slumber, though troubled and dream-infested, was continuous. When at last I awakened, it was to discover myself half sucked into a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about me in monotonous undulations as far as I could see, and in which my boat lay grounded some distance away.

Though one might well imagine that my first sensation would be of wonder at so prodigious and unexpected a transformation of scenery, I was in reality more horrified than astonished; for there was in the air and in the rotting soil a sinister quality which chilled me to the very core. The region was putrid with the carcasses of decaying fish, and of other less describable things which I saw protruding from the nasty mud of the unending plain. Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. There was nothing within hearing, and nothing in sight save a vast reach of black slime; yet the very completeness of the stillness and the homogeneity of the landscape oppressed me with a nauseating fear.

The sun was blazing down from a sky which seemed to me almost black in its cloudless cruelty; as though reflecting the inky marsh beneath my feet. As I crawled into the stranded boat I realised that only one theory could explain my position. Through some unprecedented volcanic upheaval, a portion of the ocean floor must have been thrown to the surface, exposing regions which for innumerable millions of years had lain hidden under unfathomable watery depths. So great was the extent of the new land which had risen beneath me, that I could not detect the faintest noise of the surging ocean, strain my ears as I might. Nor were there any sea-fowl to prey upon the dead things.

For several hours I sat thinking or brooding in the boat, which lay upon its side and afforded a slight shade as the sun moved across the heavens. As the day progressed, the ground lost some of its stickiness, and seemed likely to dry sufficiently for travelling purposes in a short time. That night I slept but little, and the next day I made for myself a pack containing food and water, preparatory to an overland journey in search of the vanished sea and possible rescue.

On the third morning I found the soil dry enough to walk upon with ease. The odour of the fish was maddening; but I was too much concerned with graver things to mind so slight an evil, and set out boldly for an unknown goal. All day I forged steadily westward, guided by a far-away hummock which rose higher than any other elevation on the rolling desert. That night I encamped, and on the following day still travelled toward the hummock, though that object seemed scarcely nearer than when I had first espied it. By the fourth evening I attained the base of the mound, which turned out to be much higher than it had appeared from a distance, an intervening valley setting it out in sharper relief from the general surface. Too weary to ascend, I slept in the shadow of the hill.

I know not why my dreams were so wild that night; but ere the waning and fantastically gibbous moon had risen far above the eastern plain, I was awake in a cold perspiration, determined to sleep no more. Such visions as I had experienced were too much for me to endure again. And in the glow of the moon I saw how unwise I had been to travel by day. Without the glare of the parching sun, my journey would have cost me less energy; indeed, I now felt quite able to perform the ascent which had deterred me at sunset. Picking up my pack, I started for the crest of the eminence.

I have said that the unbroken monotony of the rolling plain was a source of vague horror to me; but I think my horror was greater when I gained the summit of the mound and looked down the other side into an immeasurable pit or canyon, whose black recesses the moon had not yet soared high enough to illumine. I felt myself on the edge of the world, peering over the rim into a fathomless chaos of eternal night. Through my terror ran curious reminiscences of Paradise Lost, and Satan's hideous climb through the unfashioned realms of darkness.

As the moon climbed higher in the sky, I began to see that the slopes of the valley were not quite so perpendicular as I had imagined. Ledges and outcroppings of rock afforded fairly easy footholds for a descent, whilst after a drop of a few hundred feet, the declivity became very gradual. Urged on by an impulse which I cannot definitely analyse, I scrambled with difficulty down the rocks and stood on the gentler slope beneath, gazing into the Stygian deeps where no light had yet penetrated.

All at once my attention was captured by a vast and singular object on the opposite slope, which rose steeply about a hundred yards ahead of me; an object that gleamed whitely in the newly bestowed rays of the ascending moon. That it was merely a gigantic piece of stone, I soon assured myself; but I was conscious of a distinct impression that its contour and position were not altogether the work of Nature. A closer scrutiny filled me with sensations I cannot express; for despite its enormous magnitude, and its position in an abyss which had yawned at the bottom of the sea since the world was young, I perceived beyond a doubt that the strange object was a well-shaped monolith whose massive bulk had known the workmanship and perhaps the worship of living and thinking creatures.

Dazed and frightened, yet not without a certain thrill of the scientist's or archaeologist's delight, I examined my surroundings more closely. The moon, now near the zenith, shone weirdly and vividly above the towering steeps that hemmed in the chasm, and revealed the fact that a far-flung body of water flowed at the bottom, winding out of sight in both directions, and almost lapping my feet as I stood on the slope. Across the chasm, the wavelets washed the base of the Cyclopean monolith, on whose surface I could now trace both inscriptions and crude sculptures. The writing was in a system of hieroglyphics unknown to me, and unlike anything I had ever seen in books, consisting for the most part of conventionalised aquatic symbols such as fishes, eels, octopi, crustaceans, molluscs, whales and the like. Several characters obviously represented marine things which are unknown to the modern world, but whose decomposing forms I had observed on the ocean-risen plain.

It was the pictorial carving, however, that did most to hold me spellbound. Plainly visible across the intervening water on account of their enormous size was an array of bas-reliefs whose subjects would have excited the envy of a Dore. I think that these things were supposed to depict men -- at least, a certain sort of men; though the creatures were shown disporting like fishes in the waters of some marine grotto, or paying homage at some monolithic shrine which appeared to be under the waves as well. Of their faces and forms I dare not speak in detail, for the mere remembrance makes me grow faint. Grotesque beyond the imagination of a Poe or a Bulwer, they were damnably human in general outline despite webbed hands and feet, shockingly wide and flabby lips, glassy, bulging eyes, and other features less pleasant to recall. Curiously enough, they seemed to have been chiselled badly out of proportion with their scenic background; for one of the creatures was shown in the act of killing a whale represented as but little larger than himself. I remarked, as I say, their grotesqueness and strange size; but in a moment decided that they were merely the imaginary gods of some primitive fishing or seafaring tribe; some tribe whose last descendant had perished eras before the first ancestor of the Piltdown or Neanderthal Man was born. Awestruck at this unexpected glimpse into a past beyond the conception of the most daring anthropologist, I stood musing whilst the moon cast queer reflections on the silent channel before me.

Then suddenly I saw it. With only a slight churning to mark its rise to the surface, the thing slid into view above the dark waters. Vast, Polyphemus-like, and loathsome, it darted like a stupendous monster of nightmares to the monolith, about which it flung its gigantic scaly arms, the while it bowed its hideous head and gave vent to certain measured sounds. I think I went mad then.

Of my frantic ascent of the slope and cliff, and of my delirious journey back to the stranded boat, I remember little. I believe I sang a great deal, and laughed oddly when I was unable to sing. I have indistinct recollections of a great storm some time after I reached the boat; at any rate, I knew that I heard peals of thunder and other tones which Nature utters only in her wildest moods.

When I came out of the shadows I was in a San Francisco hospital; brought thither by the captain of the American ship which had picked up my boat in mid-ocean. In my delirium I had said much, but found that my words had been given scant attention. Of any land upheaval in the Pacific, my rescuers knew nothing; nor did I deem it necessary to insist upon a thing which I knew they could not believe. Once I sought out a celebrated ethnologist, and amused him with peculiar questions regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon, the Fish-God; but soon perceiving that he was hopelessly conventional, I did not press my inquiries.

It is at night, especially when the moon is gibbous and waning, that I see the thing. I tried morphine; but the drug has given only transient surcease, and has drawn me into its clutches as a hopeless slave. So now I am to end it all, having written a full account for the information or the contemptuous amusement of my fellow-men. Often I ask myself if it could not all have been a pure phantasm -- a mere freak of fever as I lay sun-stricken and raving in the open boat after my escape from the German man-of-war. This I ask myself, but ever does there come before me a hideously vivid vision in reply. I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this very moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed, worshipping their ancient stone idols and carving their own detestable likenesses on submarine obelisks of water-soaked granite. I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind -- of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium.

The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!


Well, gang, it's Friday the 13th. And we all know what comes out today. Yes, that Michael Bay produced remake of our beloved Friday the 13th. But, I'll tell you this, it actually looks pretty good and I've already broken my boycott of remakes (see THIS POST) so I want to see it. Unfortunately, I will be working tonight. But, anyway, a merry F13 to you all!

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pearl Jam: Ten - Deluxe/Rock Band

Pearl Jam Re-Releases Ten

Pearl Jam will be re-releasing their debut album, Ten, on March 24th of this year. It seems that there will be a few different sets to choose from. All of them will feature remixed tracks by Brendan O'Brien.

One of the editions will be the "Super Deluxe Edition" (pictured), that features 2 CDs, 1 DVD, 4 LPs. 1 Cassette (Mamason) and more. Included with the LPs is a rare, unplugged recording. That one carries a hefty price tag right around the $200 mark. Yikes. The "Deluxe Edition" features the 2-CD set plus the unplugged DVD and sells on the Pearl Jam site for $31.99. The "Legacy Edition" features just the 2-CD set for $15.99. There is also the 2-LP vinyl set that retails for $18.99 on the site. Wow. That's a lot of editions.

I haven't even mentioned what may be just as exciting, on the same date, Rock Band will be releasing the entire album of Ten as DLC. It's about time. One last thing, reports that if you pick up any of the re-release CD editions of Ten at Best Buy you'll also receive a code to download three Rock Band bonus tracks for PS3 or Xbox 360. "Brother," "Alive (live version)," and "State of Love & Trust (live version)"?? EXCELLENT!

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Why a Slasher? - The Devin's Advocate

From's Devin Faraci


Slashers are back in a big way. My Bloody Valentine 3D is going to sail past 50 million, a huge number considering it cost about 15 to make. Friday the 13th opens this weekend and something tells me that film will make a whole bunch of money as well. Halloween 2 is on its way, and I'm sure that there's a whole passle of other slasher movies in various stages of production and more waiting to get greenlit. Horror is cyclical, and we've hit the maniac mass murderer phase of that cycle.

I suppose it was inevitable, but I have to admit that I thought the slasher was done for good. I thought that Scream and a whole endless series of terrible slasher movies had done the sub-genre in. But just like the slasher himself at the end of the movie, the genre has proven to be quite tough to kill and has come back for a sequel. And just like with any slasher sequel, many people stand on the sidelines and wonder 'Why?'

That's a tough question to answer. Slasher films might be the lowest form of film making next to the various sorts of porns (hard and softcore*), and they're tough to defend. With very rare exceptions, slasher films are cheap, are created by people who probably have little business making movies, are stupid and are exceptionally repetitive - both in the genre and within the movies themselves. Variations on established themes are what tends to pass for innovation for these movies. I feel like any attempt to explain the appeal of the slasher film must begin by acknowledging these facts, especially as so many of them are integral to why the genre is beloved.

Before all of the defending of the genre, maybe I should try to define it (as loosely as possible). The slasher film is at its core about a killer - whether that killer be mysterious and unmasked only at the end, or completely iconic in stature and public in nature - who is methodically murdering a number of people in gruesome ways. These killings must be the primary focus of the narrative and must take place over a collapsed time frame (usually a night or two), which means movies that are just about serial killers - Dahmer or Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer for instance - are not automatically slasher films. Everything else is up for grabs, including who the victims are, what the location is and what method of murder is utilized. If you're saying to yourself, 'Hey, Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians (aka And Then There Were None) fits into that definition,' you're totally correct. Christie is Jason Voorhees' grandmother.

With those loose boundaries in place it's important to remember that slasher films, first and foremost, are light entertainment. Anyone over the age of 9 who gets really scared by a slasher film - nightmare scared, not jumping in your seat scared or slightly spooked in a dark alley scared - is an easy mark. Filmmakers and fans will pay lip service to the idea of these being scary movies, or films that prey on fears that we all have, but the truth is that slasher films are the horror movie equivalent of a fun house; you get quick shocks, some red wetness, you laugh a bunch and you move on. As always there are exceptions, and there are a couple of slasher movies that have genuinely disturbing elements, but your average film in the genre is fun.

That fun comes from the kills. Everybody knows that the killer is the protagonist in a slasher film and not the Survivor Girl who offs him, but the real hero of the film is the FX artist. In many cases the make-up artist is the true mastermind behind the kills, not the screenwriter or the director, and the kills are what we're there to see. Slasher fans don't care if a director's mise en scene is of any value, they just care that the camera captures the kill in the best and usually bloodiest way. Quick: name your top ten slasher film performances. While you're thinking on that, rattle off your top ten slasher movie kills. I bet I know which list comes easier.

Slasher films have tension, but they're not thrillers in the more traditional sense. The long scenes leading up to the kill aren't tense because you're afraid the maniac is going to off the girl, it's because you can't wait for him to do it. It a tension not based on dread but rather a tension based on anticipation and the filmmaker denying you the release you want. There's almost a math to this - the shorter the tension before a kill, the less graphic that kill needs to be in order to satiate an audience. If the kill is a jump scare, we're okay with seeing just a slashing knife or the victim's reaction shot, but if the kill comes after a long stalking sequence the audience wants to see something extreme. But in the end what the audience wants is that victim dead.

The kills are the money shots, and just like porn theater patrons in the days before fast forward, they're why we sit through the rest of the stuff. At least that's the theory. I know that I can get impatient waiting for the masked killer to finally start slicing his way through a campground full of horny teens, but a compilation of kills wouldn't make for much of a movie; hell, it wouldn't even rate above a random entry in the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise. There's no questioning the fact that the kills are the reason we paid our money to get in the door, but there's more than squirting blood that brings us back to slasher movies.

There's certainly an element of ironic enjoyment to be gotten out of slasher films. Not even the pillars of the genre, the classics themselves, are immune to snarky comments and jokes. Most of these films are pretty shoddy, and because they are usually geared towards a Friday night date crowd they're often filled with tone deaf depictions of teens. Add to that the way so many older slasher films reflect the worst of the styles and tastes of their time period and you have bad movie nirvana. In many ways the mixture of bad movie with good kills is almost enough to explain the appeal. Almost.

Slasher films are so formalized they're almost ritualistic. But it's within that formality that the joy of slasher films hides. On the dumb side of things that formality, that ritualistic quality, is comforting. I have a theory that slasher film fans are made in childhood or adolescence; that your soft, still-forming brain is susceptible to becoming attuned to the base pleasures and rhythms of the genre. It's not nostalgia, per se, but familiarity. Law & Order reminds me of slasher movies in that after seeing enough episodes you can watch a new one and be pretty certain what's going to happen next. It's not challenging, but it works.

The rigidity of the genre is what makes me love it. There's something exciting about seeing a formula movie carried out well within its own rules, and there's something transcendent about seeing a filmmaker leave a personal mark on such a film. It's like hearing an alternate take of a song you grew up loving; all of the riffs are as you remember them, but all of a sudden the second verse is different or the solo has a totally new sound. This is the thrill all fans of rigid genres know, whether it be murder mysteries (a forefather of the slasher) or romances or traditional Westerns - getting what you expect but also something new. It's a rare thing in slasher films; I love exploitation movies because their low stature and budgets often allow them to be bizarrely personal works, while slasher films are also cheap and poorly regarded but tend to be more anonymous. Maybe it's because slasher films tend to be entry level positions while exploitation movies** attract obsessive weirdos dedicated to their creepy self-expression - whatever the case it makes a good slasher movie all the more magical.

Slasher films aren't great art; I think the genre may have the highest miss to hit ratio in all of filmmaking. The only slasher film that I might try to defend as great filmmaking is the original Halloween, the one that pretty much started it all anyway***. Slasher fans are like gold rushers sifting through river mud for specks of gold; we'll sit through hours of crap just to find one scene of genuine invention or imagination, we'll be stultified by reels upon reels of garbage just to be amazed by one unique moment. We have a taste for the macabre and a connoisseur's appreciation for trash. And in the end we really like seeing people get killed in movies.

* although there are real gems - movies with extraordinary artistic merit - hidden in the world of softcore.

** and I know that more than technically slasher films fit under the umbrella term 'exploitation film.' I'm talking about your more psychotronic stuff here.

*** if I was doing a historical overview of the genre I'd talk about giallos and about Black Christmas and other precursors, but what we know as a slasher movie today was really born with Michael Myers.

- Jordan M.

Sulphur Springs, TX

Herzog and Lynch Take On Horror!

Werner Herzog and David Lynch to Make Horror Flick

So, this interesting bit of news came about a couple of days ago, but it seems that Werner Herzog is set to direct the upcoming My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, produced by none other than David Lynch. And those are two of my favorite names in cinema. From Screen Daily we get this quote from Herzog, "I always wanted to make a horror film, but not with bloody axes and chain-saws. An anonymous fear should rather creep up at you".

But, wait, there's more. Let's take a look at the rest of the cast: Willem Dafoe, Michael Shannon, Chloe Sevigny, Michael Pena, Brad Dourif, Bill Cobbs, Udo Kier and Grace Zabriskie. That's a pretty nice set up.

This will be a good change of pace from Lynch's very odd video projects like Boat and More Things That Happened. So color me excited!

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fireball! Basketball or Die!


Found this nice piece of Thai weirdness over at CHUD, and they found it from Twitchfilm.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Stephen King

So, I am currently reading Stephen King's Just After Sunset. It's a collection of short stories, and I am usually pretty confident that King will deliver the goods in that format. But, this book has been overall pretty "meh" so far, a couple of hilights but nothing too great. Until I got to the short story N. King says it's not Lovecraft inspired, but rather inspired by Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan. That's possible, but there's still some Lovecraft in there (explain an "elder god" type creature named Cthun!). Anyway, the story is excellent and I suggest reading it.

If you don't plan on reading it, or already have, then I reccomend you watch this here series of shorts that Marvel comics made of N. Yeah. Pretty rad.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Clip of the Week

Victor Wooten Plays the Bass

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the brilliant playing of Victor Wooten. Check it out for yourself:

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Emperor of Ice Cream

The Emperor of Ice Cream
by Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Clip of the Week

Night of the Creeps - Alternate Ending

So, this is the ending from the televised version of the film.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Top 20 List of the Week

Top 20 Films of 2008

20. Henry Poole Is Here - Not necessarily a wonderful picture, Henry Poole is Here is simply a quiet, small character piece that makes you feel pretty good while watching it. While the movie tries to be probing, you probably won't be sitting around with your buddies talking about this one in a couple of years, but it's a nice fit at number twenty on the list.

19. Cloverfield - A descent, big-little creature feature done with all that shaky cam and what not, but very well, to create a sense of dread. Could have been a lot better (especially if the monster had been Cthuhulu!), but Goddard and Abrams banged out a pretty good little story that kept you wondering...

18. Be Kind Rewind - This quirky little movie almost slipped under the radar, but I didn't forget it. Be Kind Rewind is a feel good movie about a couple of knuckleheads that have to reenact all of their favorite movies. Be prepared for childlike silliness, and goofy goodheartedness

17. Leatherheads - One of the handful of really good romantic comedies to come out in 2008, Leatherheads is directed by the King of Hollywood, George Clooney. Comparing it to O Brother, Where Art Thou? isn't apt, because it's nowhere near that good, but Clooney's character is reminiscent of Everett in that film, which makes it worth a watch.

16. Transsiberian - A taut, Hitchockian thriller from Brad Anderson, Transsiberian really dishes out the suspense. No, it's not Rear Window, but it is a nice bit of film-making from a guy who has really been quietly making a name for himself. Worth a rental, at least.

15. Choke - Based on the third novel from Chuck Palhaniuk, Choke is actually kind of a touching movie. Well, it's also a kind of disgusting movie, but in a touching way. The only complaint I really have is that the film never reaches the level of perversion and indecency that the novel does. I guess that's asking a lot of from a theatrically released film, but it would have given it more bite. As it is, Choke is a quirky, funny rental.

14. Zack and Miri Make a Porn - We all know that Kevin Smith's credibility as a geniunely funny film-maker has begun to wane. To be honest, once you get passed Chasing Amy (which I think is incredible), I could care less. But, here comes Zach and Miri out to make you laugh. And they succeed. Sure, the third act is about as cliche and corny as it gets, but dammit, I enjoyed watching it.

13. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Another of the truly good romcoms to come out this year, this Jason Segal penned flick hits it on the head. From the awkward first ten minutes, to the Muppet-Dracula finale, you'll be laughing.

12. In Bruges - Two hitmen are on the lam in this Brit/American crime-dramedy. Anchored by a surprisingly strong performance by Colin Farrell, In Bruges is a wonderful little surprise of a movie that I suggest you pick up.

11. RocknRolla - Guy Ritchie is back. And, yes, he is pretty much making the same movie that turned him into the British Tarantino (is that apt, meh), but it works. This taut little bugger keeps you laughing and holding your breath throughout.

10. Redbelt - David Mamet does martial arts? Sign me up. This is actually a really good picture that didn't get much love, and it has Tim Allen with a nice turn as a scumbag leading man.

9. Revolutionary Road - The latest from Sam Mendes (American Beauty) stars wifey Kate Winslett and ultimate leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. It's a delicate picture about a suburbanite couple trying to come to grips with who they are and the tangled web they have woven. Pretty strong stuff.

8. Iron Man - What can I say, they did it right. Downey turns in a great performance (although I still think of Clooney when I think of Tony Stark) and Favreau did a nice job with the source material. This could be a very wonderful, and lucrative, franchise on Marvel's hands.

7. Burn After Reading - Full disclosure, I love the Coen brothers. That said, this ain't the best of the Coens, but it ain't the worst either. It's a fun "wrong man" story that keeps the laughs coming.

6. Pineapple Express - From the Apatow/Rogen team we get another home run. A hilarious stoner/action movie, directed by an arthouse darling? Pretty weird idea. But it works on all levels, far and away being the best comedy of the year.

5. Slumdog Millionaire - A triumph of what must have been a very difficult shoot, Slumdog Millionaire is probably my second favorite Danny Boyle movie. In case you hadn't heard of it, it's a small story in a very big picture, about a young man who wins the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and is then accused of cheating.

4. WALL-E - Definitely Pixar's best since Toy Story, it may be heavy-handed, but WALL-E tickles me in just the right spots. If a bunch of animators can make me feel like a kid again while I'm in the movie theater, they are doing something right.

3. The Dark Knight - Who woulda thunk a comic book movie could be so well made? Lightyears ahead of the previous film, this story-driven drama serves up enough octane to fool you into thinking you just watched an action movie. Sure, the action is there, but that ain't what the movie is about. And that, my friends, is what is so right about this picture.

2. Let The Right One In - Probably the single best vampire movie I've ever seen, LTROI is a wonderful little Swedish masterpiece that is hard to place in the "horror" genre. Sure, it's got a cute little vampire girl(?) in it, but do we automatically throw it in to the horror genre for that reason? Why not. And, if so, welcome to being the best horror movie of the year.

1. The Wrestler - A tour de force performance from Mickey Rourke (as he basically plays himself - substituting wrestling for acting), The Wrestler is the most solid movie I was able to see from 2008. Aronofsky direction is a touching bit of subtle film-making that I've yet to see in his previous work. While it doesn't measure up to my favorite film of last year, No Country, The Wrestler is a wonderful film. Look out Best Actor Oscar, here comes Mickey effing Rourke.

- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX
Olympic Artichoke banners designed by Whalehead

Email us: