Horror Scenes I Love: A Man Chooses… A Slave Obeys

Video games have scenes to love, too! And I’ll be your guide through some of the finest in this space.

If you have never played BioShock, stop right now, go buy the game, and play it. Wait, it came out six years ago and you can’t be bothered? Oh well. If you’re even considering playing Bioshock, you may not want to spoil this clip for yourself. On the other hand, it might inspire you to actually play the game – something I readily encourage. In either case, would you kindly join me in enjoying what earnestly could be the greatest scene in any video game ever made?

Would you kindly. A powerful phrase.

Horror Trailer: The Evil Dead (Red Band)

Horror remakes is almost as old as the history of film. I’ve tried to educate those who complain that another horror classic was being remade and it will suck. Guess what horror classics have always been remade and they don’t always suck. So, instead of telling these snobs to go in their rooms and drool and jerk one off to their classics they don’t want tarnished by a remake I just shake my head and try to see if the remake holds up to the original or, better yet, judge the remake on it’s own creative merits and see if it brings something new to the “classic” original.

In 2013 we see one such horror remake arriving on the big-screen with Fede Alvarez’s new take on a true horror and grindhouse classic horror, The Evil Dead.

The film will be produced by two of the same people who made the original film in Sam Raimi and Bruce “God when walking amongst the humans he created” Campbell. There will not be a character named Ash, but the role of Mia (played by Jane Levy) will take on a similar role in the film. This trailer first premiered for a select audience during this year’s New York Comic-Con and the response was loud, louder and even louder. One thing which everyone who saw the trailer seemed to agree was that the remake looks to honor the original film (rushing POV tracking shots to the oppressive atmosphere throughout the film) while also giving director Fede Alvarez a chance to add his own visual and narrative style to the production.

It is going to be a gory remake and very oppressive and nihilistic. What the trailer doesn’t seem to hint at is any sign of dark humor that fans of the original film are now nitpicking about. Guess what…the original was straight up grindhouse horror that had nothing humorous about (well unless you consider a possessed tree raping a woman as being hilarious). So, it’s going to be interesting to see if this remake will get a chance to impress the fans of the original while at the same time show those new to the horror genre a glimpse at what 70’s horror was really all about.

The Evil Dead is set for a 2013 release date.

October Music Series: Plethyn – Lawr y Lôn

Plethyn are a Welsh band that formed some time back in the 1970s. Lawr y Lôn is the opening track from their 1995 release, Seidir Ddoe. They’re perhaps the only band I’ve stumbled upon that sing in Welsh, and it’s absolutely beautiful. As is the case for a lot of obscure older folk bands that pre-date popular interest in ethnic music, information on them is pretty slight. Here is a copy of an English translation of the lyrics that I found:

They do need men of fifteen stone, down the road, down the road
Of muscle flexed and good strong bone, down the road, down the road
If you’ve the guts and what it takes
They promise you, you’ll get your stakes
Gold is what the leprechaun makes, down the road

I’ve given all my life and worked, down the road, down the road
I’ve slaved long hours and never shirked, down the road, down the road
I’ve lived in dark and dreary huts
Collected scars like dustroad ruts
And suffered many jibes and butts, down the road

I must go now and give my all, down the road, down the road
There’s more to life than mere dole, down the road, down the road
I have no hope of a job nearby
So I’ll pack my bags and say goodbye
I need the brass, I’m not work-shy, down the road

I’ve always given all I had, down the road, down the road
But hardship tends to make one sad, down the road, down the road
Today the time has come, ’tis true
To think dark thoughts ’bout what to do
I’ve lived my life away from you, down the road

I must go back to my home and wife, up the road, up the road
I know full well there’s a better life, up the road, up the road
From oil-rig or from motorway
I’d give more than my double pay
To see that morning sun and stay, up the road

Alright. Today is the 24th, which means Halloween is a week away. I’m going to get a little more on focus from here on out. Plethyn serves as a pretty little conclusion to my general “if it’s folk it flies” approach. My next seven posts are going to hone in on the really bizarre, haunting, spooky stuff.

James Bond Review: Diamonds Are Forever (dir. by Guy Hamilton)

I think it’s a well-known fact that the Austin Powers series was spoofing the spy film of the 60’s and 70’s with it’s main target for laughs being the iconic James Bond character and his international adventures of action and intrigue. The James Bond films with each successive entry became more and more fantastic as the megalomania of each new villain became more and more cartoonish and over-the-top and the gadgets themselves started entering the realm of science-fiction (for that time and era, at least) and back-of-the-comic-book ingenuity. I think the tipping point for the series that took James Bond from action thriller to spoofing it’s own past was with Sean Connery’s last official film as James Bond with Diamonds Are Forever.

To say that Sean Connery was truly getting tired and bored with playing the character James Bond on the big screen would be an understatement. His previous Bond entry with You Only Live Twice showed him pretty much disinterested with the role and one would almost think he was phoning in his performance. After that film Connery had announced his retirement from playing Bond, but after George Lazenby also retired from the role after just one film Connery was soon back for one more ride on the James Bond train.

Diamonds Are Forever once again pits James Bond against his arch-nemesis, the leader of SPECTRE and feline connoisseur, Ernst Blofeld. This time around the role of Blofeld was played by the actor Charles Gray and the film does a good job in explaining why the character has been played by so many different actors in each entry he appeared in. It is in this early sequence in the film that we begin to see that this latest James Bond entry had jumped the shark when it came to trying to keep things even remotely believable. It’s the film’s biggest flaw an, at the same time, what made it such an interesting, fun ride.

Even the plot of the film owes more to the spoofs of the Blofeld character by way of the Austin Powers films as Bond must try to stop SPECTRE from using smuggled South African diamonds from being used to create  weaponized satellite with a massive “laser” that SPECTRE will use to destroy the nuclear arsenal of every superpower then auction off the rights to be the only nuclear power to the highest bidding country. It’s pretty much the the basic foundation of what would be the plot for the first Austin Powers, but with this film filmmaker Guy Hamilton still tried to treat the script as something that was of the serious Bond when it was more 60’s camp through and through.

Diamonds Are Forever may be the weakest of all the Connery Bond films, but it’s groovy sensibilities that celebrated the 60’s (despite the film having been made in 1971) psychedelic, swinging lifestyle poked fun at Bond’s predilection as a suave and charismatic womanizer that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a 60’s love-in. Even the action sequences was something that looked more humorous than thrilling whether it was Bond escaping SPECTRE henchmen on a moon buggy to the inept duo assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd looked more at home in an action comedy than a series that was known for serious action.

I would be remiss to not mention that this was the only time the Bond series had a redhead as a Bond Girl in the vivacious form of Jill St. John as Tiffany Case. I would also like to think that the other Bond Girl in the film, played by Lana Wood (Natalie Wood’s younger sister), was also a redhead but I’m not entirely sure since most audiences probably didn’t pay too close attention to Plenty O’Toole’s hair color. Either way this would be the only Bond film that would cast what fellow writer Lisa Marie calls the 2%.

Diamonds Are Forever might not have been the sort of return Sean Connery envisioned for himself when he agreed to return as James Bond after taking a film off, but then again this wouldn’t be the first time he would retire from the role only to come back again. Yet, despite all it’s flaws (there were many of them) the film does entertain though probably not in the way it’s filmmakers hoped it would. I do believe that it was this film that finally brought in Roger Moore as the next Bond, but also convinced the film’s producers to tailor the Bond films using some of the humorous aspect of Diamonds Are Forever but tempered to accompany the action in the story.

James Bond will soon return in Live And Let Die….