Following the devastation of Europe in the post-World War 2 years, it become apparent that the USA had developed a large interest in the way cinema from Europe was to be regulated. As Forbes and Street’s 2000 work Protectionism and Subsidy from European Cinema states, “there is ample evidence that the Americans wished to dump films into the European markets”. This was no doubt due to the potential of film on national and popular culture, and the Americans were not eager to see films such as Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will appear on European (particularly German) screens again, obviously due to the potential pro-national incitement they might cause.
As a result, European cinema often struggled to find a voice after the war years, but of course did so due to film makers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Werner Herzog to name just a very small few. Ironically, the mass privatisation efforts and deregulation of the 1980’s under the Thatcher and Reagan governments in the UK and the US respectively, saw an increase in merger/takeover operations of media corporations and combined with speedy electronic and technological changes, much of the media industry in Europe became firmly dominated by the United States anyway. This included cinema.
Sometimes, you just want to look at some creepy, scary shit. Some people want to look at it every day, or watch hours and hours of horror films. In North America, there’s only one day out of the year that celebrates horror and fear (I’m not counting Day of the Dead because there’s so much more to it than that) – Halloween, but for some of us, it’s not enough. So if you need a daily injection of gore and horror, check out CVLT Nation’s favorite Tumblr this moment – 365 Days of Horror! You’ll find gifs from some of your favorite horror flicks, as well as old movie posters, creepy art and photos and whatever fucked up inspiration you need to get through your day. Check out a selection of images from 365 Days of Horror below!
COOKIE: The other night RedEye asked me if I was an android.
REDEYE: Only because you were being really nice to me.
COOKIE: I was probably drunk or high on NeoCitran or something.
REDEYE: At first I was freaked out. But then I was like, this isn’t so bad.
COOKIE: Maybe that was the REAL me, and this version is the android.
REDEYE: Right. Kinda like how in Halloween 3, the doctor’s girlfriend gets replaced by an android who tries to murder him. That’s definitely a more accurate representation of you.
COOKIE: Men love crazy bitches. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get so many dates.
DIRECTOR: Jörg Buttgerit
Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Festival (October 24-27 Austin Texas) will host esteemed director Jörg Buttgerit, screening several of his most famous films and offering a Q&A session. While Buttgereit’s masterpiece is often considered, ‘Nekromantik,’ a regular upon ‘most disturbing films’ lists, ‘Schramm,’ is a minor work, but rich with atmosphere and cinematic artistry. Both ‘Nekromantik,’ and ‘Schramm,’ will be screened at the Housecore Horror Festival, introducing new viewers to a thoroughly gross, though highly tasteful genre of cinema, as seen through its founding member. Buttgereit’s films skillfully weave horror with elements of classical art-house cinema, creating a wholly unique experience.
Lamberto Bava’s 1985 classic horror film, ‘Demons,’ is essential in every Halloween series. Not only is it one of the finer 80s horror pictures, ‘Demons’ is also a high point in Bava’s directorial career. It possesses a great synth soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti, striking visuals and the periodic homages to horror as a genre, all blending into a film that has nobly weathered the decades since its release. Several key moments define ‘Demons’ as a great horror film, whether that is a creature bursting through someone’s abdomen, oozing green slime, the ever-present imminent doom, or the essential 80′s punks that seem to find their way into every horror movie of that decade. While these aspects might sound like cliches, they are ones that horror audiences love, and in ‘Demons’ they are executed skillfully.
COOKIE: The late 60s/early 70s were so wild, weren’t they? All that balling and grass. All those “dirty” Mad Libs games. Not to mention the rampant witchcraft so prevalent among naughty housewives! I mean, I get it. I really do. The original title of this Romero flick was Hungry Wives – and boy are they starved! Hungry for youth and kicks and good sex and power and CONTROL. At the same time, deeply disturbed by aging, Catholicism and rampant, raging rape fantasies.
Have things really changed that much?
It’s difficult to recall when, upon first listening to Enharmonic Intervals, I was reminded of William Friedkin’s classic horror film, The Exorcist*, but the title of the album may well have been my point of departure: in layman’s terms, a musical interval is the difference between two notes, measured in steps; and an enharmonic interval is so called because its two notes are actually identical in pitch – they only have the appearance of being distinct notes because of the way they’re written – which makes it something of an illusion, like one of M.C. Escher’s paradoxical staircases, that appear to simultaneously ascend and descend without ever reaching an end point. (One might be tempted to view this unique collaboration between Seattle’s Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia, Aaron Turner) and Finnish outfit Circle (Jussi Lehtisalo, Mika Rättö) as an interval in its own right, as each act explores similar sounds that give one the impression of cold, hard light, vast distances, punishing conditions and, perhaps most importantly, the sense of ascent and descent.) Arguably, the morality play that is The Exorcist presents a literal and figurative trip up and down the staircase of good and evil, and Enharmonic Intervals – ironically, recorded in an old church – offers some interesting parallel steps, particularly in the context of the film’s climax.
DIRECTOR: Mick Jackson
STARRING: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale
Films made for television are widely discounted as inferior, often assumed that with heightened censorship comes childish derivatives or tawdry feel-goods. Yet Mick Jackson’s bleak apocalypse film, ‘Threads,’ was aired September 23, 1984 to an unknowing Britain, simultaneously shocking and depressing an entire country. In many ways, ‘Threads,’ can be seen as England’s response to the cinematic disaster craze, most notably the nuclear holocaust sub-genre, mainly films like ‘The Day After,’ or ‘Testament’. But where many of these other films depict the struggles of post-apocalyptic survival, ‘Threads,’ obliterates even the most meager hopes for its characters, plunging viewers into a hellish realm of eternal despair. Written by Barry Hines, who seems to have a slight proclivity towards both aviculture and the hopeless, was also behind the British classic, ‘Kes’ (1969). Jackson’s ‘Threads,’ is the dreary, toxic wind-swept, and soot stained paradigm for effective feature television, didactic, yet haunting, infecting audiences with disturbing imagery like radioactive fallout, long after the credits roll. READ MORE…
COOKIE: Parents are such a drag. Even after you peace out on them, there are these moments where you’re like FUCK why didn’t you just abort me?!!! I don’t regret having mine, but if I could go back I would have made smarter choices.
REDEYE: At least our mothers didn’t get crunked up all day and hang around in lingerie… Wait…
COOKIE: Mothers are all kinds of annoying. They don’t let you smoke or go on dates. They make you eat rotten meat and won’t let you use wire hangars EVER. They make you wear pigtails and they light your boyfriend on fire, like in Mommy’s Epitaph.
REDEYE: Mommy’s Epitaph is a Troma flick about this family that moves around a lot because the mother keeps murdering young dudes who won’t sleep with her.
COOKIE: Martha would rather eat a sandwich than fuck her husband, which sort of makes her a total ROCKSTAR.
The iconic American Western tends to be something that embodies a sense of adventure or promise of triumph. Whatever that capacity, it’s usually something along the lines of ‘everyone gets rich’ or somebody gets revenge. Walter Hill once described a Western as: “…ultimately a stripped down moral universe that is, whatever the dramatic problems are, beyond the normal avenues of social control and social alleviation of the problem.”
While American classics like Stagecoach, High Noon, Rio Bravo and True Grit all helped to mythologize and romanticise the Wild West, it was Sergio Leone and his Italian “spaghetti-Westerns” that helped shape the genre in ways that brought a real sense of epic intimacy and emotional weight to them that was often overlooked prior to monumental films like the “Dollars” trilogy.
What Leone’s films did have in common with the American Western films prior to the 1960s was that they also had a kind of operatic quality to them. There was still an underlying sense of prosperity associated with them, be it through hunting for gold or robbing banks. In many ways Leone’s main characters were more like pirates, with strange and offbeat figures weaving through opposing forces in an attempt to prosper. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is a fine example. Set in the American Civil War, the three titular characters basically adopt the attitude of “You fools can fight among yourselves, I’m in it for the money”.