Sunday, June 25, 2006

The ultimate anti-MOJO live DVD!!

JANDEK - Glasgow Sunday the DVD

From the hand of Corwood Industries themself, I was informed:

"...3. We EXpect The DVD IN September, but it hAs beeN delAyed beFORe.." (Note: Case mismatches were part of the handwriting)

My order from Corwood Industries biggest advertiser, Forced Exposure Industries, is in the WILL be informed....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

ZEN meditation

I was fortunate enough to get one of these spizzy Mp3 player Walkman things. Being the non-conformist that I am, I didn't get an iDop, I mean iPod 1. Because the are still too expensive 2. Because every other fuckstick has one 3. Because the i-Tunes software is the clunkiest piece of bullshit software out 4. Because you can't readily port your device into many other computer, the iTunes software only works per individual machine..etc..etc..Anyway I got this Zen thing coz the sound quality is better, it's got an fm radio and it records so I can use it as a tape recorder. The iDop might have a better design, but I'm a person who prefers FUNCTION over design, any day. Anyway, the notion of buying tape recorded songs off the Internerd to play on this machine doesn't gel too well with me, because ultimately, I like to have some tactile information in my hands like recording notes, lyrics, photos etc,, you know some sort of ARTIFACT. Basically I rip CD's off my own collection, and steal the odd track or twenty off SoulSeek and if I LOVE the music enough, I'll buy the CD and add it to my REAL collection..Anysway, I'm gunna post from time to time random ZEN JUKEBOX top 10s, see what ghosts pop outta the machine, like:

  1. Public Image Limited - Religion2 - not as 'out there' nor 'extreme' as I thought. At least Lydon still sings like a punk BEFORE he went to jail.
  2. Buffalo - Sunrise (Come my way) - Aussie re-issue label Aztec Records finally gave theses 'legendary' lost Aussie stoner rock classics the red-carpet treatment. This plods nicely. Sounds a bit like the Cosmic Psychos, Black Sabbath and maybe Blue Cheer. Only problem is the singer sounds kinda Christian.
  3. Le Sun Ra and his Arkestra - medicine for a Nightmare - nice finger popping be-bop jazz from the late Mr.Ra, offa his 'Singles Collection' which I initially ignored thinking it was too straight. What a fucken idiot I was!
  4. Chrome - All Data lost - The great thing about the Zen Vision is that it has enabled me to listen to music I haven't listened to in year. And it sounds fresher, even better now to my ears. Chrome must figger as one of the ultimate post-punk bands. I wonder if this stuff has dated better than the Butthole Surfers?
  5. Jack Nitzsche - Marie - Off the Rhino-handmade '3 piece suite' CD thats outta print. This is really, really nice West-Coast symphonic pop or transcendent pop for better more learned words. Kinda like a rawer, more down to earth version of the Beach Boys.
  6. Arik Einstein - Hayo Haya - this is something I stole off the Internerd. Israeli psychadelic pop, made sometime between the 6-Day and Yom Kippur war. It sounds Manfred Mann or something.
  7. John Lennon - Nobody told me - I remember this being a MASSIVE posthumous hit in the early 80s. The guitar sound reminded me of all those British power-pop bands of the time, esp. The Pretenders, did they rip him off?
  8. Leonard Cohen - Night comes On - This is off one of those budget Sony 'the essential' series. Sounds like something he did in the 80s. Great lyrics as always, but next...
  9. Derrick May - Wiggin (the remix) - Detroit tegno from the late 80s. Sounds a bit dated, but the thing I like about this stuff is the almost naive approach these guys had to using shitty 80s Roland and Korg synth instruments.
  10. Dragonforce - Through the fire and the flames - ultra-nerd neo-80s Dungeon & Dragons metal. Like Iron Maiden played at 45. Designed to drive you totally meshiger and make you laugh so hard you'll spray beer from nose (thx Ian Jane of DVDManiacs for that line!)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Velvets Influence

Gerard Malanga in the E.P.I

..while John Cale looks on..??!!

I just watched Mario Bava's rare psychedelic/psychological/(bi)sex? comedy FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT, released by Italian-cult DVD label Raro, who also released that fantastic Velvet Underground/Vinyl DVD. Blog/Black2Comm maestro Chris Stigliano has a great theory about the 'Velvets Influence' on pretty much everything thats' worthy in modern rock music from the Stones to Alice Cooper, New Yawk ponk, heavy metal, Krautrock - EVERYTHING (except maybe hiphop and disco, though there have been acid-house/mash-up covers of HEROIN and VENUS IN FURS, and Edan the white-rapper has used scungy neo-Velvets type sample in his blunted rap, and you could argue 'Waiting for my man' and 'white light/whiteheat' as being floor numbers, and 'The Murder Mystery' and 'All tommorows parties' thump as beinf rap-like, but hey, didn't Lou brag about being 'The Original Rapper' in the 80s.!@#$!#$)..
Anyway it's interesting to note amongst cult-cinema aficionados that MARIO BAVA can be likened to the Velvet Underground in terms of his own influence on the modern-cult type cinema, especially all the Italian giallos, splatter horror films, and well beyond, made even more pertinent as Bava worked in may different genres (tho' not sure he did a Western, but I may be wrong..ANYWAY Tim Lucas of the VideoWatchdog has recently written a 10,000page BIBLE on Mario Bava, so everything will no doubt be explained there..But after watching FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT, the (indiriect) VELVET UNDERGROUND INFLUENCE (or WARHOL for that matter) on BAVA (who might be perceived as the Velvet Underground of clut-cinema no less!!!_) could not be ignored to these eyes, especially in the scene where they go to that bar for
unusual people, complete with an all-female garage band noodling away in the background! Trust me, you'll NEVER wanna look at that terrible I SHOT ADNY WARHOL flick after seeing this!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Frisky in Frisco.

You reckon they could get Brad Pitt for the Charra-wood remake?

I’m repeating myself here, but I need to, to make this point. When it comes to the giallo, popular thinking immediately places Argento-Bava at the top of the pile, in much the same way the punk-think pleb puts the Velvet Underground or Stooges at the top of the musical pile. And sure these are MASSIVE cannons to fill, but like any well developed innerlectyool mind with a capacity beyond that of an inner-city-sharehouse-groopthink tank, there are just as valid, inspiring and FUN works to found outside the gucheral box. In the case of the giallo

The big problem with Fulci’s work is that too much of it is championed for its barf-bag extremist nature such as films ZOMBI2, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE BEYOND and NEW YORK RIPPER. As a result he has quite a big following amongst genetic-defective grunge-core self-flagellators and people who like watching ‘extreme shit cinema’. Still, Fulci’s cinematic career as a whole, rounds out as one of the most interesting in the Euro-cult world. It was tragedy in his personal life that would effect his work from the 70s on, but it would help create one of the most interesting and mind-bending career paths of any auteur in the modern-cinemah era this side of Roman Polanski. And that’s the big kicker, the fact that Fulci still hasn’t been given the ‘high brow’ kudos as a major European ‘auteur’.

But as in all GREAT ART time is the penultimate judge, and the clock and cultural payback has been very kind to the unsung ‘maestro’. Which leads me to my next ‘non Bava-Argento’ giallo you need to see…

NUMERO QUATRO : ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER (Una sull'altra, 1969)

Made at the arse-end of the swinging 60s, ‘One on top of the other’ doesn’t play like a ‘by the rules’ giallo. Sure there are black gloves and babes in there, but not much splatter and slashing for all you sick cnuts. In fact it plays more like a rip-off-type noir ala DOUBLE INDEMNITY, albeit with a trippy and swinging 60s edge. Popular Euro leading man Jean Sorrel plays George Demurrier (said De-moori-yay), a rich, but dodgy doctor based in a very frisky-Frisco, who has a nagging asthmatic wife and is having an affair on the side with a sexy photographer called Martha. So one night after a hot shtoop, wife happens to wind up dead, but to complicate matters she has left him a massive insurance payout. So all fingers are pointed in one direction…Then while trying to relax in an insanely fantastic strip joint, he becomes entranced by the mysterious stripper Monica Weston, played by the insanely hot Marisa Mell

(yep DANGER:DIABOLIKS’ partner in crime and quality time!), who just looks a little bit like his ex-wife..

Notice the black glove?

Can George prove his innocence? And who exactly ARE all these hot ladies screwing him and his mind? While it may not be a flat out giallo, Fulci’s ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER must rate as one of the seminal (literally, figuratively, and maybe physically for some!) ‘Erotic thrillers’ of the mod-era. Tapping into the late swinging-60s vibe, replete with a very burlesque Jazz-score, lotsa sexy-psych visuals and oodles and oodles of - as Joe Bob Briggs would say – garbonzas, ONE OPN TOP OF THE OTHER is top-shelf, classy cult-trash. But it’s Fulci’s clever twisty plot, his usage oh-so-fine visuals including the odd-jump cut, split-screens and some subtle rear-projections, that make this film more than the some of its parts. And despite some of the narky plot holes and clunky expositions, there is no doubt that Fulci was a fine narrative craftsman, especially in the last twenty minutes, where film gets kinda dark, without someone having to vomit up their entrails or get their eyeballs gouged out, or something similarly disgusting. Many Fulci experts rate the giallo he made after this one LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN – as his best, but I disagree. ONE ON TOP moves better and has a more ridiculous, but no less SATISFYING conclusion, and prolly works better than LIZARD as a whole. In many ways, the film can be seen as a precursor to that very popular American giallo of the 90s’ (also set in San Fran) BASIC INSTINCT, but really, would you rate Sharon Stone anywhere near Marissa Mell?

Soon to be used as an album cover by some shitty nu-punque act.

If you wanna see this film and can’t wait for the Anchor Bay Special Edition that was meant to appear late last year/early this year, you can buy a bootleg from Luminous Film Werks on the Internerd. It’s basically a video copy ported onto a DVD-R. But this film DESERVES the red-carpet treatment pretty soon…

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Giallo! Giallo! This aint the film called 'Vertigo'!

The giallo gloved hand of SLASH!!!!

These days I’m pretty big-time into that Italian-pulp-cinema genre from the late 60s and 70s called the giallo (and NOT the trendy womens' shoe-store chain here in Melbourne!) Personally, in my own head and no-one else's, I reckon it’s the most happening sorta obscure film-genre that the pomo-homos haven’t mined yet. I still don’t know why, since the giallo’s have plenty of themes ready-made for today’s trendies, like class-politics, repression, lesbianism and other kinks, cuckold men, sex, murder, rich people, trendy fashion and funky music, etc..etc..etc…For better or for worse the giallos paved the way for that Americanos genre the ‘slasher’ movie. In their own day, the gialli were pretty much the Italianos ripping off Hitchcock, although they weren’t uppity Poms, so they would show you more titties, more blood, and more sunny skies. The word giallo literally means yellow, and the genre named after cheap pulp-lit crime fiction novels that incidentally had yellow covers. There might be some other significant, deeper, meaning but I’ll leave that for the psych-minors. Oh and the killers generally wear black gloves and funny hats.

Part of my own innarest in the giallo stems from my love of Brian DePalma’s films, sexy Italian women, and probably not much else. Aficionados will automatically point you to the two kings of the giallo genre – Mario Bava and Dario Argento – and their films: Deep Red, Tenebre, Sleepless, The girls who knew too much, Blood & Black Lace and Twitch of the Death Nerve – while all landmark/dogma examples of the genre, aren’t always the best places to start (well in my opinion, anyway). So I’ve decided to pick out of my nose, the FIVE BEST NON-BAVA-ARGENTO gialli that are worth watching, starting with the best-early-De-Palma-movie-De-Palma-never made:


While many more overweight fans of the giallo genre don’t rate this film, I do. Within 5 minutes all the trademarks of the genre are established: gloves, girls, blood and boobs, the opening scene would be ripped off hook-line-and-stinker by De Palma is his sorta-legendary DRESSED TO KILL. It’s got an inherently stupid premise, whereby our heroine decides to move into an apartment block where two previous hot-chicks were slashered, just so the slasherer can attempt to slash her and give us a story. Another good thing about this film, we are introduced to the Numero-Uno sex-goddess of the genre in sexy-Algerian-Italian actress Edwidge Fenech. We immediately get to see her Edwidges and a few other things. Remember the name, as she’s the boss in many of the best non-Argento-Bava gialli.

The Edwidge sangwich!

ANOTHER feature of the giallo is the use of funky-op-art type architecture and visuals. The giallo while being partly pomo-rippoff also prided itself on its modernisma. So you got lots of pan-global settings, and lots of moderne-60s-70s architecture and settings. And also lots of drugs. But that’s another story…

This isn't the Starship Enterprise, nor one of those Yuppy-disco-bars

So in short, THE CASE OF THE BLOOD IRIS, while not delving deep into the mysteries of the human soul and condition, is a good place to start. Sure it aint got all the production values of some of the better films, but it’s got a lot of the basics of what the genre is all about. There’s only one problem though, the DVD is only available as part of the AnchorBay ‘Giallo Collection’ boxset. Bummer!