Movies

VHS Zombie Anxiety – How George A. Romero Nearly Ruined My Life (But It’s Not His Fault)

George A. Romero died last week. He was 77 years old.

Obits and tributes around the web have said more about him than I ever could. He’s being lauded as a true innovator, a man who changed cinema and pop culture forever, a renegade film icon that played by his own rules to make the movies he wanted to make, making some of the most beloved and acclaimed horror movies by doing so.

But to me he’ll always be remembered as the man who gave me a near-debilitating anxiety disorder that lasted a better part of my life. This is through no direct fault of his own – I don’t hold him personally responsible.

It was really my dad’s fault, if I’m honest. Continue reading

The Second Version of The Mummy You Should See (After The 1932 One)

 

I’ve been reading a lot about the new Mummy film and how it’s a complete shitshow trainwreck that somehow shows simultaneously everything that’s wrong with Hollywood blockbusters, reboots, and Tom Cruise (which if you think about it, is kind of impressive in its own right.)

One thing I repeatedly see, in both the articles about the new film and in the comments that reply to it, is that the film doesn’t hold a candle to the 1999 Mummy film starring Brendan Fraser. I even saw an article that said, more or less, “if you only see one Mummy movie, make it the 1999 version.”

Fuck. That. Continue reading

Tales Of Woe And Analog-To-Digital Conversion

It’s eight o’clock on a beautiful Sunday evening. I worked a long day, time to relax.

And by “relax” I mean “work on dubbing a VHS tape to a DVD via a VCR/HDD/DVD combo unit I bought last week, while copying a new record to my hard drive via a USB phono-preamp, followed by copying an obscure ambient audio tape to my computer via the same device. I’m also ripping a concert DVD to my hard drive so I can convert it to audio and then into individual MP3s.

Sometimes I wonder why I can’t just stream shit like everyone else. Continue reading

Surviving Horror With Horror

How is everyone? Yinz doing okay?

Yeah. Me neither.

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The Ghostbusters Trailer Is Horrible

Have you seen the trailer for Ghostbusters? It’s exceptionally bad in nearly every way imaginable. The jokes fall flat, the pacing is strange, and it feels like that it spoils large portions of the film all for the sake of fitting as many flashy things as possible into a two minute sizzle reel! It’s a real shitshow.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a look.

 

Yeah, I’m really clever, I know. Continue reading

The Wonders of Japanese Movie Programs

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There are a lot of differences between going to the movies in Japan and going in the United States. For starters, tickets cost a heck of a lot more, usually upwards of $20, and the seats are assigned. Many theaters also have deluxe seats that offer anything from increased leg room to full-on private suites. The theater near me even has a private waiting area for premium members where champagne and chocolate are served. It all combines to create a feeling that turns going to the movies into more of an event, much like going to a live stage show or a concert.

And just like a live event, in Japan, movies often get their own specially made programs.

And they’re dope. Continue reading

An S.O.S. from a Portishead fan

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Hey, did you hear there’s a new Portishead track out? It’s for that new flick High Rise and is a cover of Abba’s classic “S.O.S.” I bet you want to hear that, right? I bet you’re curious as to what a Portishead cover of an Abba song is like, considering it’s one of the strangest, most unlikely cover choices since Sonic Youth gave the world their take on The Carpenters. I bet you can’t wait to give it a listen on YouTube or even shell out the 99 cents to $1.29 on your favorite digital music storefront to buy it. Maybe you might even go to a physical location and hand a real person actual money in exchange for a physical good with the song on it either digitally or analog.

Well, too bad. You can’t. Continue reading

Targets: When Reality Eclipses Fantasy

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When people talk about movies that predict the future, they often turn to sci-fi. Back To the Future II was recently focused in many articles, with it being the year in which the film took place. And many a clickbait has been published showing how a few of the predictions made in Back To The Future II hit the mark, while countless more were off by a mile. Other movies I see mentioned when talking about celluloid-based crystal balls include Escape From New York, Demolition Man, The Terminator and Mad Max. But no sci-fi film has come as close to predicting the dystopic future we find ourselves trapped in now as Targets, a little-known low-budget drama/thriller from 1968.

It foresees the sad future we live in so much that when I recently watched it for the first time it literally gave me chills. Continue reading

I Don’t Want To Be Shocked Anymore


For me, Halloween has always meant one thing: scary movies. And not just Halloween proper, but the entire month of October. Back when I lived in America my friends and I would make it a point to watch non-stop horror and gore during the month of October, sometimes going through as many as four horror flicks a week.

Of course, this wasn’t all that different to our regular movie watching schedule. Between our Netflix accounts, the remaining local video stores, and a healthy supply of illegally downloaded rarities, we would routinely awash ourselves in depravity, spending hours on end watching some of the sickest, most violent and deplorable acts of horror ever put on film. Continue reading

Limited Editions Unlimited Bullshit: Twilight Time Edition

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I have about 4,000 records. Give or take. It’s hard to keep track with a collection that spans two continents. A lot of time people ask me what the “most valuable” record in my collection is, and to be honest, I rarely know of the top of my head. That’s the kind of thing that changes on a regular basis. Skimming my Discogs page right now, it would appear that the most valuable record in my stacks is my copy of Velvet Underground & Nico, complete with in-tact banana and Verve sticker on the back. On a good day my copy can probably go for about $300 – $400. Most of the other very valuable records in my collection go for around $100 – $200, and include hard-to-find vintage soundtracks, a ton of rare Pearl Jam and Nirvana LPs, and a few old Krautrock first pressings.

Most of these have one thing in common: they weren’t designed to be collectibles, it just kind of worked out that way. The Nirvana and Pearl Jam LPs were pressed at a time when no one was buying vinyl, so they were made to fit a very low demand. Ditto for the soundtracks. The Krautrock records are valuable because demand for them has grown tremendously over the years, and mine happen to be in very good condition – which in itself is a rarity.

My point is that I have nothing against collectibles. I’m a collector after all. I get that people want rare shit. That the act of it being rare makes it a commodity. And that the “thrill of the hunt” is part of what makes collecting records, games, or anything for that matter, so fun.

But while I love rare items, genuine scarcities whose value has increased due to unforeseen circumstances, “collectible” materials, items made scarce on purpose for no other reason than to limit supply versus demand, piss me the fuck off.

Continue reading

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