Tuesday, August 24, 2010
When you were a child of the 60's, 70's, or 80's, and you grew up staring at the covers of albums while blasting the tunes through humongous headphones, a tiny CD image does not suffice. When I stared into those covers long enough it seemed I was teleported to some Rock N' Roll dimension, that only I understood. There just isn't enough time or effort put into the packaging of music these days. These are some of my favorites, doesn't always mean that I love the record, just the image. You can tell by these choices I that tend to gravitate to the design aspect of artwork, not just a fantastical drawing.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Now that Horror films are no longer a "big" thing, and you must have a major studio's name attached to your film, if you want to get it in theatre's, the poster is almost a thing of the past. When I was a kid I would stand in front of the theatre for what seemed like hours, just staring at the awesome artwork, and wondered what terror's the films would unleash. These days we have to stare at DVD sized art, and that is usually some Photoshopped job, that looks like an 8th grader with a nice computer designed it. For us children of the 70's and 80's that just doesn't do it! Here are a few examples of how cool posters can be, and here's to hoping they make a triumphant return!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Dario Argento has made a career out of making confusing and confounding films. Most of these films I absolutely love, and there are a few that I hate(the later films), and then there is Inferno. This is the film that he created as the follow up to Suspiria, and the second in the Three Mothers Trilogy. It is one of the films that actually get better with repeated viewings. It is very Gothic and surreal and it's hard to follow what's going on, but the murders are so visceral, that it's a lot of fun all the while.
The premise of the Three Mothers is that there are 3 witches located across the world in 3 different houses, and they plan to take over the world. The house in Inferno is in New York, and a poet named Rose Elliot lives there. She finds a copy of the Three Mothers book and reads it, and then some very strange things start to happen. She finds a room in the cellar that is submerged in water, and she swims to the bottom to retrieve the keys. This is the films most atmospheric scene. When Rose disappears, her brother Mark comes to look for her, and finds out about the mystery of the witches. There are some serious "WTF" moments that happen like a scene where the book shop owner dies. He is attacked by rats in a swampy park, and he screams for help, a hot dog vendor hears his cries and appears to come and help. When he reaches the man, he attacks him with a knife and a cleaver, in a very brutal murder.
There is not alot else to say about the film, if you are a fan of Argento's other films, and don't mind that this one is a bit more "obtuse". It stars 80's heartthrob Leigh McCloskey(Hamburger:The Motion Picture, Fraternity Vacation, Just One Of The Guys) in probably his most strangest role. If you like surreal horror with startling gore, this one is for you. Check it out.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The Prowler is a prime example of the term "sleeper-slasher". It's a slow moving, brooding, atmospheric slasher film, that I have a love/hate relationship with. Upon first seeing it, back in the early 80's as a child, I loved it. I revisited it again about ten years ago, and I absolutely hated it, it didn't hold my attention at all! Now, I watched it again yesterday, after a long while, and I felt somewhere in the middle. I didn't hate the film, and I feel that with some script work, and some character development, The Prowler would have been mentioned in the same hallowed breath as Friday The 13th and Halloween. In my opinion, the slasher formula is to introduce and then destroy the characters in these films. If you don't give the audience something to love about the characters, they won't care when they are slaughtered. That is the biggest problem with The Prowler, I can't recall any of the characters names, and definitely didn't care when they bought the farm. I still think that the main reason that this film is still revered to this day, is because of the fantastic special effects by Tom Savini. Joe Zito(Friday The 13th 4:The Final Chapter), does well enough directing and establishes a fair amount of atmosphere. These factors make it fairly easy to watch, but they are not enough to elevate it to a "slasher classic".
Back in 1945,a manwhois away at war, receives a "Dear John" letter from his girlfriend Rosemary. She explains that she cannot wait for him anymore, and breaks off their relationship. Upon his arrival home, he sees Rosemary and her new beau at a dance, and murders them in a gazebo during a make out session. Cue to the future, and the town is having it's first dance, since that ill-fated event. The local college girls and their boyfriends start meeting grizzly deaths by a masked killer in military garb. There is a deputy who is dating the "final girl", and they get the most screen time, but I can't recall either one of their names. That dreaded character development problem rears it's ugly head all over this film. Red herrings are introduced left and right, but not always discounted, it becomes quite a mess. Since the killings are the highlight here, we get to see a vicious throat slashing in a pool, a blade through the top of the head and out the chin. We get a few pitchfork deaths, and the best is a shotgun blast to the head that rivals the ones in Dawn Of The Dead(also supplied by Savini). Not very much else I can say about the film, because not much happens.
I wouldn't discourage you from seeking out and watching The Prowler, it's definitely one you should see at least once. Especially for the special effects, and the atmosphere. Friday fans might want to check out some of Zito's earlier work, and this is the best place to start. Maybe I shouldn't complain so much about the character problems, we are talking about a slasher film. But when you compare it to the slasher films that were coming out at the same time(F13 Part 2/The Burning) those films definitely have characters that stick with me to this day. Savini completest should definitely see this as he claims that this is some of his best work. Me, I will watch again in 5 years and see if my opinion has changed again?
Friday, August 6, 2010
In just a few short hours, Vitamin Burger will be one year old! I guess time flies when your are having fun? I really want to thank the few loyal readers that I have, it means the world to me. Posts have been slow, as I have been dealing with some medical issues, but I promise that I will pick up the pace soon. Thanks Guys.....Mitch!!