Friday, March 4, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Why does Lovecraft get into everything? Is it like the cat hair of moment as it were?
This is something a friend and I recently chatted about. The fact that Lovecraftain themes are appearing everywhere these days. It seems that it has become the go-to when it comes to a new form of horror or the needed for something ‘strange’ to appear in so many different kinds of art. Lovecraft inspirations are so common I don’t even feel the need to explain who the author is, what he purposed in his fiction. A decade ago was that true? I remember growing up and having a dear friend yammering into me in high school about this new author he discovered and how interesting and awesome his stories were. Over the next few years he and I both devoured as much of the writings as we could.
Yes I know that Mythos influence has been around for a while. It appeared in DnD before being yanked out years ago. Stephen King and Clive Barker note them as inspirations. However like the sinister ideas of that genre it always lurked in the shadows. One glimpsed it now and again in direct to DvD horror or an author’s homage to it. Now all one has to do is look at the news stand or sign on to the most popular MMO in the world.
Marvel Comics recently had its brush with the Cancerverse, clearly of the Lovecraft aesthetic. World of Warcraft for years now has had its old gods lurking in the background and driving even the most powerful beings on the planet insane. Magic the Gathering introduced the Blind Eternities and the Eldrazi – both of which are a fantastic concept really adding depth to a fantasy setting that has waxed too often into bland. You have the Hellboy comics made into two solid movies. This is of course not even discussing a wide swath of console games but remember when Eternal Darkness was shiny and new? Besides messing with the players head its ancient evils and dead inhuman civilizations were novel, new. Now it’s just another formula.
The question is why? Is it because as a whole we’ve become jaded with the older horror of yesteryear? I don’t know. Saw and Paranormal Activity have made a ton of money but I have a feeling the general public is being primed for cosmic horror as it gets its tentacles into more and more games, comics and smaller flicks. Sooner than later someone is going to make a Lovecraft movie that’s going to turn into a blockbuster, mark my words.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Reel Review – Virgin Film’s Horror Films by James Marriott 2004, London
Yes, yes I know this isn’t a film but it’s a book about films and I think that’s a good place to start. One cannot take a real in depth look at modern horror cinema without knowing its history. Filmmakers are inspired by the movies they watched first and foremost, what formed their view of what work they wanted to create. Now I’m not saying they ape the movies they liked in their teens but from them gained the soft bias such as genre expectations, set design, music that sort of thing.
This book is a good place to start when it comes to reading and understanding the horror films that have come before. Now that’s not to say it’s a substitute for watching such classics and I feel woefully inadequate as I read through it realizing some of the pieces I’ve never seen. That said the author does a fantastic job laying out the basic plot of each movie and then goes into detail description of the how and why it was made. Directors and inspiration are discussed in length but never to the point of boredom. Critics reaction, musical scores make an appearance as well. The most helpful sections I found however to be the actually critical dissections of the films as well as the industry impact. The former makes one’s mind work on a deeper level past the gore and the screams to ponder the meaning of what each film was trying to show. Contrary to some naysayers filmmakers just like authors and poets set out to ‘say something’ with what they right and put in subtle undertones and metaphors – sometimes without even realizing it. When discussing industry impact the author successfully covers each of the watershed moments in horror cinema from the birth and rebirths of movie monsters, to slasher films to social commentary.
As this is a Virgin Film’s book it is clearly written from an English perspective and it’s interesting to see the small differences in something coming across the pond, as well as read about the censoring of such movies there. While the book is now five years old that just means that with any luck you will be able to pick it up used. It’s well worth the price. Checking Amazon the author also joint published a book in 2008… which seems to be going for about a hundred bucks sooooo yeah. I’ll check that out when I have more disposable income, a lot more.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Demon Pi (www.lastslicestudios.com/dpi) is an erotic horror/comedy. The two go hand in hand very well after all. In truth it angles more toward the erotic and comedy side of things but with summoned demons running around an English university well terror is bound to happen.
The Scarborough Affair (www.lastslicestudios.com/scar) is steampunk action/adventure. Again this is not a straight horror affair but given they way my tastes in things visual run there's plenty of horror elements slipped in to give the reader a sense of unease.
As for this blog I will be returning to it now before it rises as some neglected revenant and haunts me further. It's my goal to post here once or twice a week. Look forward to sharing with all of you.