Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween post

What better time to break a lance for one of my favoured guilty pleasure creature features; but I would be amiss if I neglected to warn you ahead of time that the movie is Trash, with a capital T, so if you prefer clever, well thought out scripts, sophisticated acting, convincing FX work or just plain realistic looking sets, then don’t go any further, you won’t find none of that here, to the rest of us, those that can enjoy shoddy craftsmanship if only the presentation is entertaining enough, I’ll say step right in, I’ve got just the movie you: Carnosaur.

Carnosaur offers everything we’ve come to expect from a trash movie, a script mostly void of any logic sense, enough wild cuts and timeline jumps to make your head spin, and all that shot on a shoestring budget just high enough to dress about half of the movie sets.
Sounds awful yet?
Add to that a handful of random attacks by a remotely dinosaur shaped hand puppet, and you got a fair picture.

"Hey, doesn't that look like..."
"Indeed, my friend, so it does."

Why now, I hear you ask, would I recommend such a misbegotten creature of a movie?
Because the movie is fully aware of all these shortcomings. It is unashamedly pathetic and revels in its own cheesiness, and never falters at that. Instead of giving in to the temptation of turning this into silly, apologetic comedy, with the few times the filmmakers poke fun at their own work being done in such an underhanded way that it’s often misinterpreted for them being just as dead serious as they had the actors play out their parts. And it’s therein where the true entertainment value of Carnosaur lies, this is makes it worth to see actors scream in the face of being mauled by a rubber headed escapee from Jim Henson’s Studios, and to listen to them blurb out pseudo scientific nonsense, never once breaking stride.

The movie is bloody, pathetic and down right ridiculous with a plot that is hard to sum up without spoiling it, let’s just keep it at saying there’s the required mad scientist involved and this time around she’s got it in her head to create dinosaurs…
"My God is an acronym G.o.D - Generate or diversity."

I remember one movie magazine citing Carnosaur as “not the most expensive dinosaur movie ever shot, but probably the most gory.”
That’s a nice jab at Jurassic Park there, on whose unprecedented PR campaign the movie naturally wanted to cash in. And that brings us in a way to Harry Adam Knight’s original 1984 novel (the movie was shot almost ten years later in ’93), of which I would encourage you to read it regardless of what you think about the movie. The movie has not that much in common with Knight’s novel, it took a vast amount of liberties which left only the very bare bones of the story and supplanted them to an American setting actually. Further, similarities between Knight’s novel and Crichton’s Jurassic Park are few and far, no to mention that they wrote in completely different fields, not only speaking locals here, one playing out in the British countryside and the other off the coast of South America, but also with the Knight being a pulp writer, fast paced and gory with no discernible interest in actual science, so having read one doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy the other on its own level.

It’s true that both use cloning as a base for their story, but that’s already where the comparison ends, that is, far as Jurassic Park is concerned, when it comes to JP 2 there are elements to both novel and movie that feel like lifted from Carnosaur. But truth is also that there are only so much ways a writer has to bring in dinosaurs: Genetic engineering or time travel devices usually, sometimes dimensional rifts and in seldom cases a post apocalyptic 1950’s world, those are the tools that usually lend themselves to the task; and some images are just more naturally bound to turn up than others.

Carnosaur, the novel, reminds me these days some of watching Primeval on TV, indeed one feels inclined to pose the question how much of that show is possibly on this book, and in other parts the book could have the inspiration behind Capcom’s survival horror game Dino Crisis. A last warning is in order, on top of being a fairly gory book Knight’s (male) characters seem to pretty generally detest women* and accordingly insulting is the books tone.

*This seems to be a common occurence with British writers, I recall seeing the same being said about James Herbert’s writing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lazy sunday...

I'm lazy today, so you all you get is another on of my boring teen crush stories.
In the time before Linda Blair shook my world and my libido there was Kristy McNichol, who, as it is the way with these early loves in our life (or at least in mine), still can make me go weak in the knees. This is no doubt owned to the fact that at a time when I was still young enough to ponder my chances of trading in my little sister for Megan Follows, I was allowed to watch episodes from Family but not The Exorcist (and given the way how my eight year old self reacted to the trailer for Dawn of the Dead it was probably a wise decision on my parents side).

For some unfathomable reason, me and said sister which I never really got round to trade in seem also to be the only people to like The Pirate Movie.
And a movie like The night the lights went out in Georgia, combining Kristy McNichol and country music, is as close to heaven, I guess, as one can get while still alive.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Having fun with a gun

Question: What's stronger than a locomotive, can shoot higher than a skyscraper and is faster than a bullet... erm, strike that last one. Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, It's Super-Gun!

Really, I would like to know what this artist thought, when he came up with the idea of a gun racing a train.
Well, at least it looks, ahm, fast...

I know nothing to say to this artwork for The Maltese Falcon.
If I'd have to take a guess, I'd say that it must be a sign of the time, most likely it was created for a 70's reissue of the movie.

While the above ones already made me wonder about the respective artists this one clearly takes the cake, and begs the question:
Who in hell approved that?

I mean it's a image of a gun that fires a man holding a rifle... can you get anymore redundant?

Now, this Italian poster for the movie "The Boss" that's what I call great artwork.
You simply have to love how the figure at the same time breaks through the scenery and is a part of it, making you wonder if those little figures in the lower left got scared off by the car chase or the sudden appearance of a hovering giant hand.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

True Blood made in Germany

Wir sind die Nacht (We are the night)

Wonderful by the numbers piece of work; clichéd as hell in other words, but dagnabit Karoline Herfurth (right) looks amazing sexy.

Delectable! *drool*

Monday, October 11, 2010

What's on their wall...

Book of Eli has it's moments, times where it fills us with hope to see and hear that not all our cultural accomplishments will be lost in the ashes of the apocalypse. Ennio Morricone's timeless theme for C'era una volta il west will be under the survivors, and Johnny Cash will at least in oral tradition continue to be Live at Folsom, not to forget this fine piece of art.

And admist all of the distruction in this battered world we spy on the wall of one of Eli's temoprary resting places a discolored and torn-up poster for the movie A boy and his dog.

Goes to show that God has after all some sense of humour.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Picture perfect moment

6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.
-Revelations 14:6

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Art comparison

Also see the cover to a book called Leverage which is practically a one on one copy of Crank (the cover, not the novel)

Certain images of the undead never change.

Coca-Cola the movie... tee-hee.

Friday, October 1, 2010

In memoriam Oswalt Kolle

On September 24. of this year Oswalt Kolle died, he was the most famous figure of post-war sexual education in Germany. His pioneering efforts, an honest effort to free sexuality from constraining bonds imposed on it by religious dogmatism and prejudiced short sightedness, mark the importance of his work.

Although the films he produced must seem comedic at best seen from a today's viewpoint, they shaped the way sex got portrayed in German movies.