Traumafession:: Francisco From Spain on ’70s & ’80s Album Covers

UNK SEZ: Look! We got another postcard from our Pal Francisco from Spain!

Hey ho let’s go…

More about 70’s and early 80’s lp covers, this time by one of the more interesting artistic teams I know Hipgnosis, who did covers for artists like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Electric light orchestra and these two traumafessions. First, one of the weirdest covers in the history of pop and rock, 10 cc’s “Deceptive Bends” (Image Above)

I saw that cover in a 70’s catalogue for buying lps that was in the house of a relative and although I have listened to almost nothing by 10 cc that cover is still a mystery for me. I know it is a group known for its soft ballads, so what exactly is the meaning of the cover? What’s the relation with the music on the vinyl? Is the girl dead? What happened to her? I think now that art by Hipgnosis is kind of abstract or surreal with absolutely nothing related to the music on the lps inside. In any case, although a bit creepy, a fascinating and very artistic cover. I don’t want to be cruel but it’s sure better that the music by 10 cc!!!

And what about this…Rainbow‘s Difficult to Cure.

Without comments for someone like me with fear of hospitals and doctors… just imagine yourself about to be operated on by this bunch of surgeons, it must be something really, really difficult to cure if the operation requires seven surgeons!!! At least on the back cover there is a pretty nurse but with the exception of the ultracool chief surgeon the people look worried… glubss…

Just opposite of 10 cc (sorry for the fans of this band) Rainbow is great… and this lp has as the first track one of the best heavy/pop songs I have heard…

Neon Maniacs (1986)

First off, a heart felt thanks to Josh Gregal of The Ungodly Warlocks Horror Podcast for including NEON MANIACS in his IAHTKY post and spurring me to track it down.

I don’t understand a lot of stuff so if I only liked stuff I understood, I wouldn’t like much. That’s no way to live. What are Neon Maniacs? I have not a clue but I am certain that I am fortunate that they exist at least within the boundaries of this film. From what I can gather they are terrible monsters that want to kill everybody. They all have distinct personalities and I will not be the first to describe them as a cross between cenobites and The Village People. They have one hackneyed weakness that even M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN wouldn’t try to get away with except, he did in SIGNS. Yes, water is kryptonite to the Neon Maniacs, which is a dumb idea until you realize they can be fought with squirt guns which is kind of cool. You might want to squirt them fast though because some of them have machine guns. From what I witnessed humans are still way more allergic to bullets than Neon Maniacs are to water so keep that in mind.

Eighties Movies! What is it about them? I refuse to believe their marvelous nature is due to nostalgia and the joy of snickering at past fashion and music tastes alone. That can’t be all there is to it! I’m going to loosely claim that eighties movies tend to hit the perfect note of not taking themselves too seriously while still taking themselves seriously enough not to resort to cynicism and condescension. I love that NEON MANIACS has a near GOONIES fuzzy-adventure spirit and yet still wants to decapitate a lady while she’s going down on a guy in a park. I guess that’s what you’d call an uneven tone but what a way to keep the viewer on their toes. The only consistency is the consistency of inconsistency and if you don’t dig what’s going down, just wait five minutes and the entire framework of this universe will change. There’s plenty of inexplicable ineptitude but that doesn’t stop a subway chase scene from being surprisingly energetic and that doesn’t stop a phone call from a frantic parent whose child has gone missing from being LYNCH-level eerie.

A hefty reason this movie can get away with shrugging off the concept of communicating something you might understand is that it has a highly likable cast. Their acting skills are a moot point because there is no way anyone can authentically respond to the situations this movie dishes out. LEILANI SARELLE (BASIC INSTINCT) as Natalie, has the steepest hill to climb because she must act like someone who watches all her friends get murdered and then goes to school the next day but only after relaxing in a pool. CLYDE HAYES (Who may be one of the most boring FRIDAY THE 13TH victims ever, see PART 4) mutates from slobbering dork to chivalrous love interest to primping rock star within the space of an hour and somehow makes it work. Speaking of FRIDAY THE 13TH, keep your eyes out for MARTA KOBER who you may remember getting skewered while doing the nasty in F13 PART 2. She’s not around nearly enough but her presence is a little extra eighties gravy.

Nobody but nobody steals the show quite like the charming DONNA LOCKE, who portrays confounding uber-scamp Paula. Paula is an amateur filmmaker whose bedroom is decked in horror memorabilia. She enjoys riding her bike through graveyards (causing PHANTASM flashbacks) and sleuthing about like Harriet the Spy. Perhaps her most amazing trait is that she is meant to be around the age of twelve or fourteen while LOCKE the actress is clearly a good decade older than that. Her stunning age reversal is accomplished by wearing a baseball cap jauntily to the side of her head (a Nostromo ALIEN hat no less!). I’m only sad that the director didn’t go that extra inch and insist she wear overalls with a slingshot in the back pocket too. Watching Paula interact with her peers, her parents and the “older” teens is as dear as it is bizarre and adds yet another layer of absurdity. LOCKE has appeared to have fallen off the face of the Earth, which is a shame because I would happily watch her in anything.

On the down side, things do end up being wrapped up in a ruefully unsatisfying way which is surely due to mishaps and restrictions behind the scenes. It’s not enough to undo the fun that has been had though. I hate to ever throw out the lazy “So bad it’s good” line and in fact, I don’t think it applies here anyway. NEON MANIACS is too imaginative and spirited to be called “bad.” It’s more accurate to say that it is a giant mess that never comes together properly. Does that sound like faint enough praise? Truth is, if this movie gelled better it would not be as entertaining, so maybe it found its proper form in the end anyway. Sure, nothing is explained but what possible explanation would suffice? What missing line of dialogue could magically sew this crazy quilt together? Do we really want that missing logic? Is logic worth the drudgery it brings? Not in this case. NEON MANIACS is truly maniacal and it glows with slimy eighties florescence; it fails colossally hard then cluelessly yells,”Ta-dah!” Poor me, I can only color myself a fan and applaud.

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Luki8701!

It’s a Horror to Know You: Luki8701!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

The Thing. My mom used to borrow VHS tapes from her friend at work and she had a thing for horror movies (thanks mom!) so I was exposed to them from an early age. To this day I remember when I was 5 or 6, sitting in our living room playing with toys while my mom watched this masterpiece. It sure was an experience and while I did not pay attention to the screen the music itself haunted me for days. One time I did manage to gather enough courage to take a look it was during the infamous resuscitation scene. The chest collapsed, mayhem ensued and I ran out of the living room scared out of my mind. I didn’t sleep well that night though and my love for horror movies was born.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Eden Lake. Talk about punch in the guts. I wish I could say I knew what I was getting into, but I didn’t expect it to have such a big inpact on my sleeping habits. I have a thing for Brittish horror and I imported my copy of Eden Lake as soon as possible. James Watkins wrote the underrated My Little Eye so my expectations were high…and they were met before Watkins punched me in the face repeatedly and kicked me in the groin. And I enjoyed every single moment of it. Eden Lake is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre of this century and, while a little bit contrived, the ending will propably stay with me for the rest of my life.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Only 3? That might be hard but fine…

Alien 3. I don’t get the hate for this movie, I really don’t. Be it the Theatrical version or the Assembly Cut, this movie is propably the best horror sequel I have ever seen. Sure, it has it’s problems but what movie doesn’t? It’s a dark, depressing descent into nightmare and a perfect ending to the series (or it would have been if Resurection did not follow 5 years later). It’s a movie about redemption and closure and it never fails to make me feel emotional and, yes, even a little bit scared.

Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh. The first Candyman, to me, represents one of the most perfect horror movies ever made. Every single thing in it just works and comes together to form one of my favourite movies of all time. But the sequel ain’t bad either! While the story retcons quite a bit of the original, it is just as compelling and strangely haunting. The cast is excellent too (Veronica Cartwright!) and Phillip Glass returns with his amazing score.

Silent Hill. Silent Hill may not work all the time, but when it does it roars and screams and sends shivers down my spine. It suffers from uneven script filled with clumsy dialogue and overt symbolism but boy if there ever was a movie made in the last 22 years where it didn’t really matter it was this one. An extremely atmospheric and cinematic video game adaptation that might sumble just as often as it jumps, but boy does it jump high! It also has horror friendly Radha Mitchell (Rogue, Pitch Black, The Crazies remake!) and Laurie Holden (The X Files, The Mist, The Walking Dead). The long overdue sequel will be out this October, directed by Michael J. Bassett, who directed a bunch of underrated horror movies of his own (Deathwatch and The Wilderness).

I would also like to mention The Skeleton Key, Session 9, Black Water, Lake Placid and several dozens of other movies that deserve to be mentioned!

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

House of Wax. (The Paris hilton one!) I just love this movie. It should be a complete failure but somehow it works. Jaume Collet-Serra brings enough style and suspense to the proceedings and milks the sets and setpieces as much as possible. Even the deemed-to-be-annoying WB cast is perfectly capable of pulling their characters off (and hey the movie has almost an hour of some basic character development! There isn’t even the studio required opening death scene to kick start the movie!), aside from Paris Hilton who makes up for it with her over the top deathscene.

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. I worship the original movie. It holds a very special place in my heart and caused quite a bit of uneasy discussions while camping in the woods. The sequel was heavily recut and reshot by the studio who also forced their ways on the director. The main cast is mostly annoying and strangely compelling at the same time. What makes this movie almost work is the twist and several sequences (mainly the hallucinations all the characters suffer from), but it could have been so much more.

Anaconda. Cheesy, unrealistic and with some truly terrible CGI. But I can watch this anytime and always have a good time. I wouldn’t call it a bad movie though. It certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously and the cast is fun (especially Jon Voight). I certainly enjoy this more than any of the “intentionaly” so-bad-it’s-good animal amok flicks The Asylum/Syfy flood the world with. It ain’t Jaws or Lake Placid, but it sure is fun.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

The Flesh Farm – Lots of enjoyable write ups about horror movies, both good and the bad.

Contamination – Not often updated, but lots of entertaining reading.

Retro Slashers – the name says it all.

Bleeding Skull – plenty of great reads about obscure/cult horror movies.

Cult Laboratories – great forums for fans of the cult cinema.

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Kelly of A Moment A Love A Dream A Laugh

It’s a Horror to Know You: Kelly of A Moment A Love A Dream A Laugh!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Definitely a tie between Poltergeist and Jaws. The scene in Poltergeist where the mans face starts falling off in front of the mirror and into the sink. Made me sick when I was younger, I’d never seen any sort of blood in a movie before. The clown and the tree scene were also traumatic. I never actually saw Jaws in its entirety I would just take a sneak peak, afraid something would scare me. I used to think Jaws would be in the swimming pool (irrational) or the toilet (just plain crazy). My mom used to hum the theme and I would start freaking out.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Probably the first half of Insidious, I didn’t care for the second half. But the first was a good old fashioned haunted housed movie. A scary one at that! The creature pointing over the bed, the tiny tim music! UGH.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

1.Alice, Sweet Alice– A great horror film, with a lot of great scenes and a semi-interesting twist! I really have a soft spot for this movie. Wish it got more love.

2. May– I really enjoyed this movie and thought it was great. Creepy and demented to be sure. Has a-bit of a cult following though, so not sure how underrated.

3. The Woods– A lot of people hate this movie so maybe this should be in “movies I enjoy against my better judgement” list. But I genuinely liked it. People said they didn’t find it scary but it honestly creep-ed me out. The perfect use of “You Don’t Own Me” sends shivers down my spine. It’s all good until the end.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

1. Campfire Tales– I found this to be a fun and interesting take on Urban Legends trilogy. There are some genuinely fun times to be had with this movie. Sure it isn’t scary, but it doesn’t need to be.

2. Freddy Vs Jason– I thought this movie was pretty much all it needed to be. I enjoyed the slapstick humor and ridiculousness of it all.

3. The Grudge– This movie genuinely frightens me, maybe I just have an aversion to long black haired ghosts. But I think about that hand scene every-time I’m in the shower. I thought this was an effective remake. Forget the sequels though.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

IMDb (I really enjoy the use of lists on this site)

Think Geek (Are you A geek? Shop here!)

aghosthouseproduction (rare horror dvds for sale)

The Haunted Closet (a great blog with vintage books and reviews)

Long-Forgotten (Think you know everything about Disney’s famous attraction Haunted Mansion? Read detailed essays here)

It’s a Horror To Know You:: Zack of Film Thoughts!

It’s a Horror to Know You: Zack of Film Thoughts!

1. What is the first film to ever scare you?

I was a pretty meek kid. Advertising for horror films was enough to give me nightmares as a child. Drug awareness ads freaked me out. But no film affected me the way “Child’s Play 3” did. Print ads were all over the comic books I read and I was exposed to more then a few commercials. As a little kid, I couldn’t have been more then five, the idea of something as universal and innocent as a child’s doll, a toy, not unlike any of the ones I had, becoming evil and murderous was more then I could handle. I had nightmares about that one literally for years afterwards.

Another one that had a profound effect on me was “Gremlins.” I remember falling asleep in my older sister’s car and having a nightmare about one of those little monsters standing outside the window, scratching on the glass.

I didn’t actually start watching horror movies until I knew I was old enough to take it. I love “Gremlins” now. Still haven’t brought myself to watch any of the Chucky movies.

2. What was the last film to scare you?

Originally, I had picked Michel Soavi’s “Stagefright” for this slot. It’s a super gory, surreal, lottsa-fun slasher film for the majority of its runtime. However, the cramped location quickly causes tension to build. The climax of the film involves the final girl crawling under the stage, trying to get a key to wiggle through the cracks above and fall into her hands. The killer sits above, quiet, unmoving. Because of how the mask is designed, you can’t tell if he’s watching her or not. It’s one of the most intense horror sequence I’ve ever seen. That seemed like a pretty good choice for this category.

But then I remembered Lucky McKee’s “The Woman.” I’m a huge McKee fan and I was really digging this incredibly smart, expertly acted, truly twisted horror satire, but then the last act clicked in. As soon as it, I won’t say what exactly for spoiler’s sake, jumped out of the dog crate, I literally jumped up and yelled “WHAT THE FUCK?!” At that point the movie leaped from disturbing and calculated to just flat-out freakish and weird.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

1. “The Car” (1977): I think this is a legitimately good movie. The “Jaws-in-the-desert-with-a-demonic-car” premise is pretty nutsy, but the execution works for me. I love the small town setting. I love everyman protagonist James Brolin. I love the scene where Kathleen Lloyd is standing in her kitchen, on the phone, getting increasingly freaked out when you see highlights in the window behind here and then hear that hellish honking. Plus the titular Car just looks cool. Goofy as hell maybe but I can dig it.

2.”No Telling” (1991): Larry Fesseden is a seriously underrated horror auteur and I’d say that any of his films belong on this list. Yet none of them got to me quite the way “No Telling” did. Its slow deliberate pace leads up to a truly disturbing climax. If you’re an animal lover, this movie is bound to get under your skin.

3. “Lisa” (1990): I have a bit of a soft spot for femme-centric horror, maybe because it’s just so rare. This one is more of a thriller for most of its run time but Stacy Keanan is a really lovable main character and Cheryl Ladd, as her mom, is also very good. It’s actually something of a fable about growing up but the climatic sequence with the serial killer is pretty intense. Director Gary Sherman also did the more well-known but still underloved “Dead and Buried” and “Death Line.”

Honorable Mentions: “May” is pretty well known in the horror community which is why I excluded it from the list above. However, seeing as how it’s one of my favorite movies of all time and my vote for best horror film of the 2000s, it still deserves to be more widely seen. Lucky McKee’s friend Chris Siverston is also underrated. “The Lost” has a brutal, intense final act and “I Know Who Killed Me” is nowhere near as bad as you’ve heard, a lovably trashy homage to giallo.

Kolobos” is an obscurity that I like, a throwback to Italian gorefest that predicted and predated the extreme horror phase of the early 2000s.

KatieBird: Certifiable Crazy Person” isn’t the easiest movie to like, with its noise-rock soundtrack, multiple comic-book panel visual gimmick, and all that torture and weird sex stuff. But under the grime are two extraordinary performances from the female leads and an exceptional non-linear storyline that builds to a shocking conclusion.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

1. “Repo! The Genetic Opera” (2008): This is one of those movie with a fandom that embarrasses even hardcore horror fans. I’m neither goth nor an industrial music fan but something about this gore-soaked rock opera is irresistible to me. The overstuffed lyrics and melodrama make me groan but I love the A+ cast and the bittersweet finale. Besides, it’s hard to hate a musical about live organ transplants.

2. “Sssssss” (1973): Why not a bad film by any means, there really isn’t a lot remarkable about this goofily entitled film. It’s just one of those movies I saw over and over again on cable at the right age. I came to love it through pure repetition. It’s enjoyably gonzo with some decent creature effects and an awfully attractive leading lady. Snake-lovers and fearers should check it out.

3. “House of Horrors” (1946): This forgettable late period Universal Monster entry is about as routine as you can get, some would even say contemptible for the way it exploits Rondo Hatton’s real-life deformity. Yet this is pure horror comfort food for me. I love the atmospheric back lot setting. Rondo’s, let’s be kind, “naturalistic” acting skills are immediately endearing. Any story of an underappreciated artist striking out at the world is going to appeal to me. My inner-Monster Kid can’t help but adore it.

Honorable Mentions: Eben McGarr’s “Sick Girl” (unrelated to the Masters of Horror episode of the same name) isn’t a great movie. It’s extreme for extreme’s sake. The miniscule budget shines through repeatedly and the ending is abrupt. I sort of love it anyway. I can’t tell if Leslie Andrews gives a good performance or not but I’m hooked either way. The hitchhiking scene misleads the audience fantastically.

There are plenty of trashy slashers I adore. “The Toolbox Murders” for its opening cascade of misogynistic gore. “The Prey” for its unintentional hilarity and accidental dream-like tone. “Sleepaway Camp II” because it’s completely brilliant, in every meaning of the word. I could go on and on.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

1. Six Weeks of Halloween: Though obviously only updated during the Halloween season, Kernurex is a friend and an always witty horror reviewer.

2. Horror Etc. Podcast: I eagerly await listening to Tony, Ted, and Sometimes Doug chatter about horror movies (And sometimes other stuff) every week. These guys are true horror fans who love the entire genre and are always worth listening too.

3. Andrew Barr’s MONSTARS: Andrew Barr draws horror characters, beloved, derided, and completely obscure, in his quirky signature style. I’d love to have a few of these framed and on my walls.

4. Fantastic Movie Musing and Ramblings: Dave Sindelar has quietly been going at this for years, an endless quest to watch and review every “genre” (sci-fi, fantasy, or horror) movie ever made. Originally stationed on the beloved, long-gone Scifilm forums, he now has his own archive of hundreds of amusing, insightful movie reviews.

5. Trent Harris: Denying all financial sense, Utah based independent filmmaker Trent Harris has continued to pop out obscure, bizarre, and utterly unique tragi-comedies ever couple of years. Bootlegs, books, and artwork can all be read about and purchase here, his central online hub.

Traumafession:: P.T. on “The Voices That Haunted My Youth”

I was pretty normal kid. Granted, at 6 my mother took me to the theater to see Friday The 13th in 1980, completely traumatizing me and ensuring I never spend the night in the woods again, but I digress. More than trips to the theater or watching slasher movies on Beta during a sleep-over, what really did it for me were those sinister, evil voiceovers that accompanied movie trailers or sometimes even TV spots for horror films. Those voices, and there were many of them, were filled with such resonance and horror that turning away and covering your eyes was never enough. I was haunted by those inflections, those slightly-English-sounding adjectives, the way they would draw you in and leave you utterly frightened after the first sentence. Those voices are as indelible as the trailers, and while there were many, I have to reflect on MY ‘big 3’:

1) DAN LaFONTAINE – This is the guy we all know and love. “In a world where” he spoke on the airways, we were truly freaked out. True, his voice and style became a bit TOO mainstream and recognizable towards the end of his life, he was pretty much “the voice” of Paramount Pictures in the late 70’s-early 80’s and his voice is clearly recognizable in gems like My Bloody Valentine (1981), Dressed To Kill, The Fly (1986), Scream, and he needs only to count to freak us out in the original Friday the 13th (1980) trailer:

2) ADOLPH CAESAR – Caesar was an accomplished black actor, with roles in A Soldier’s Story, The Color Purple, and other films, but he really left his true mark in FREAKING ME OUT in the late 70’s and early 80’s. An amazing, deep, and resonant voice, he could make just about anything sound scary, and usually did. You’ll most certainly recognize the damage he did to you when you hear him voice the trailers from Deep Red, Blacula, A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), Sleepaway Camp, Last House On the Left (the “It’s only a movie” trailer), Creepshow, and probably his most famous – Dawn Of the Dead (1977):

3) PERCY RODRIGUEZ – Probably the most notable of my ‘big 3’ voiceover artists, because his voice was deeper and more sinister, and along with the films he voiced, he really packed a lot of punch and undoubtedly scarred many of us in the process–‘normal’ people included. His films are epic, and he could scare your grandma talking about what he did on Labor Day. His voice will be indelibly linked with some of the terrifying moments he set up in films like Dracula (1979), Madman, The Omen, The Amityville Horror (1979), The Exorcist, and his piece-de-resistance: Jaws:

Thanks to Dan, Adolph, and Percy for giving me an entire horror movie’s worth of chills in about 90 seconds. nYou truly traumatized my youth, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Like I said, there are many amazing voice artists out there that voiced many, trauma inducing trailers. One honorable mention from my list has to be ROSCOE LEE BROWNE, a Shakespearean actor and cast-member of the TV Show “Soap”. Often confused with Adolph Caesar, he leant a similar inflection of voice to terrifying trailers like The Prowler:

I find his voice not to be quite as deep or resonant as Caesar‘s, but that delivery, that pacing, that almost-English-like-inflection on certain words still freaks me OUT.

The next time you sit down to watch an old horror movie trailer, take a good listen. It might very well be one of these guys. Now, I have to go and turn on some more lights….

It’s a Horror to Know You :: Your Name Here!

UNK SEZ: Howdy critters and happy Sunday! We have gotten a couple of emails from folks asking if they can take part in the “It’s a Horror To Know You” festival. The answer is YES because everybody is invited to join in! It doesn’t matter if you are the Queen of England or a Swamp Monster although we do secretly prefer swamp monsters! Just answer the five questions and send them on in to! It’s fun, easy and it helps repair the ozone layer! We’ve got a couple more IAHTKY’s in the pipeline for this week so stay tuned and a big thanks to those who have taken part so far! You guys turned me on to a bunch of movies I would have missed otherwise and therefore I am indebted always and owe you a hoagie. In case you need them here are the questions once again…

It’s a Horror to Know You: (Name) of (website/optional)!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

2. What is the last film that scared you?

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet! (Include the URLs!)

Name That Trauma!:: Perla J. on Dead Cat Doll, Evil Unborn & Creepy Forest Books

Hello Kindertrauma!

I wanted to consult you on some books flashbacks, it is kind of a long shot but it doesn’t hurt to ask…

When I was 7 (around the end of the eighties) I read a fantasy book (not a children’s book, it was a long novel) about a family who lives or moves to a house in the forest and it turns out it is an enchanted forest with small people (fairies? gnomes?) living there and a man who looks like a logger with his cart but was kind of a forest keeper (also a supernatural being). What I remember about the plot is that the small people shot minuscule arrows to the dad of the family and he got one off his hand and took it to the lab to have it examined because the material was unknown, and the next day the lab people told him that it had disappeared in front of their eyes. The other thing I remember is that the adolescent daughter was lured to the forest by the “logger” and he made sweet love to her, LOL.

By that time I also read a horror novel about some family living near the beach and some little girl or boy was evil and he/she digged a huge hole by a cliff and lured a small girl (i think she was deaf or mute, or blind!) into it and left her there to rot, while also giving her the corpse of a dead beheaded kitten dressed as a doll and demanding her to play with it!!

And last but not least a book about and unborn baby that begins to control the mother’s mind from the uterus and makes her eat raw food and fuck men because doing that stimulates the healthy growth of the little spawn… I think there was a connection with some computer in some part of the plot…

As you can see, reading those books made a lasting impression on my young undeveloped mind, but I loved the thrill! Sadly, my mum threw away all the books during a house cleaning and she doesn’t recollect the names, even when they were hers.

Do you happen to know the name of any of the novels? I’d love to repurchase them and judge them as a grown woman now!


When I was a kid I didn’t have any question about whether God existed. We had a picture of him in our family photo album. It was a Polaroid of a large head in shadow looking downward through the camera directly at me. Like any decent religious artifact, it elicited equal parts fear and comfort. Eventually I grew older and my fluffy brain began to gel and harden. Caterpillars stopped being my friends, mice stopped operating my innards and the glowing bats that flew over my bed became reflections of car headlights driving by. Eventually the picture of God transformed into a picture of my Dad. What? Yes, the undeniable truth was that my father had simply held the camera below his head, looked down and took a picture of himself. I had misinterpreted the image on a grand scale; my dumb imagination made up the whole thing. My evidence of God was for shit.

I couldn’t help thinking of this disheartening incident while watching RIDLEY SCOTT’S PROMETHEUS. Partially because within the film there exists a giant head that vaguely resembles that old photo and also due to the fact that the movie involves a quest for solid answers that ends in disillusionment. If that were not enough, there are more daddy issues smuggled aboard this ship than a four-year subscription to “Modern Replicant” magazine. A robot is miffed to learn how arbitrary his existence is, one daughter dreams of her dead dad while another wills her pop to croak so she can take over his turf and a molten skinned oldster requests a bigger allowance from a parental being who’d rather deliver a mortal spanking. It’s Christmas day and on everybody’s wish list is something more substantial than blind faith. There may be answers in PROMETHEUS; they’re just unlikely to be the ones we yearn for. As in life, the more you try to focus, the less you see but at some point there is no denying the tentacles.

I saw PROMETHEUS the day it came out, so if this post is late to appear it’s only because I was left nearly speechless. Sure, I’ve talked about it with friends but the idea of cramming the experience into typed words felt untoward. This is a hyper-visual, painterly film and those who gravitate toward dissecting the script and focusing on the narrative alone are missing a great deal. It’s commonplace to accuse anything that is this gorgeous of being empty and relying on style over substance but in my mind, that’s an insult to the infinite power that an image alone can contain. To be honest I was far too immersed and mesmerized by what was before me to be effected by any of the alleged lapses that apparently yanked others out of the film. Maybe that’s just me though, if a character in a movie does something foolish my mind says, “Hey, buddy don’t do that, you’ll be sorry!” not “I wouldn’t do that so therefore this makes no sense.” Which isn’t to say I have not been highly entertained by the mostly intelligent criticism this movie has inspired, it’s just that if you’ve seen PROMETHEUES and you don’t believe that it’s destined for classic status all I can say is…that’s adorable.

Besides the jaw-droppy, awe inspiring overall design and the thought (and controversy) provoking, open to endless interpretation, storyline, we also get an undeniably for the ages performance by MICHAEL FASSBENDER, that is if you can take your eyes off CHARLIZE THERON for a moment which I admittedly had difficulty doing. Perhaps more importantly for our purposes here, I also can tell you that I found myself wincing my face in gleeful fear on at least two occasions and wading in dense dread on several more. Are there things I wish had been done differently? Yep, I’d say several but I wouldn’t trade that for a film created to charm the audience and be forgotten the next day. GUY PEARCE’s character reads (and looks) particularly slack in my opinion but I’ve chosen to play a tiny violin for myself and move on. In other words, count me out of the naysayers club. I’m not simply “choosing to believe” in RIDLEY, I’m choosing to believe that movies don’t have to be subservient to audience expectations to be significant. Those who need everything nailed down for them and desire art without blemishes can scamper to the side away from this rousingly erratic masterwork but I’m going to run straight on forward and happily allow it to fall right on top of me. Youch, that feels good!