Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not picture perfect, but...

Instead of presenting our monthly picture perfect moment let me use this space to highlight another website:

Funny site, taking three frames from a movie scene and turning them to gif files; some of which are quite funny, others will have you probably go "WTF?"
They are not exactly useful but it’s fun to guess which movie they’ve been taken from.

Ranging from classics that should go without much explanation…
Flash Gordon fan faves...
TerrorVision the always popular girls with big guns.*
Girl with Gun

*And she's armed, too!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Washing Machine

What happens when you reduce a Giallo to its core elements?

Why, you get the poster art for Ruggero Deodato's The Washing Machine.
A depiction of sex & violence with no pretence of any redeeming value. Just as the average fan likes it, cut through the chase and give me goods right away. There's something so stupidly simple about this, that I actually begin to like it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New old Boris

Beautiful ad poster, using a Boris drawing to annouce the completion of the Taiwan/US co-production The Phoenix in '79. Accoding to imdb it took til '83 for it to find its way back to the US.

Boris also happens to be the one artist that seems to get copied the most often, with varying results ranging from Soavi's not as accomplished as could be but doubtless charming, stylish nod in La Chiesa:

to video box art that leaves you wondering about the possible genre:

Could that be cloak & dagger porn?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Art comparison

I wondered why Salt looked so familiar to me...

Working under false pretenses, advertising made for TV-movies
(Death Moon, Florida Straits)

I love the image used for China Girl; the artwork of Auf immer und ewig (roughly: Forever and always) reminds me of it, and of West Side Story naturally.
Both are beautiful images, eventhough Auf immer has me thinking of Eastern Propaganda art for unknown reasons.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In memoriam Peter Graves

Peter Graves, the tall, stalwart actor likely best known for his portrayal of Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in the long-running television series "Mission: Impossible," died Sunday.

Peter Graves, the original star of Mission Impossible.
I’m a bit to young to actually remember him from that show, I do remember him mostly as this charming elder man playing in comedy faves like Airplane or Mad Mission II, and incidentally The Slipper and the Rose which I happened to recommend to somebody, just a few days ago.

My condolence to his family and friends.

What's on their wall...

Stacey Pubah (played by Diana Barrows), friend to Jennifer Shaber (played by Katrina Caspary) who’s mothers unfortunate disposition gives the movie My mom’s a werewolf it’s title (Helen Shaver after being bitten by Alpha male John Saxon, I think very few would protest that prospect too much), is made out to be a true genre fangirl and accordingly plastered are the walls of her room in a range from cult to trash:

Following the always beautiful to look at poster for Galaxina, a movie more popular for the tragic circumstances under which the lead actress came to death than for actually quality, Prime Evil which reputably has non of that, movie quality that is.
Point of Terror I freely admit I had to search for, didn’t see that movie (yet), nor did I hear of it before.

My mom writer Mark Pirro wrote and directed the probably not further mention worthy Deathrow Gameshow, which we get a glimpse at in her room, and Nudist Colony of the Dead, which doesn’t feature on her wall but is mentioned in the movie … ah well, what a luck that taste can’t be argued, no?

For some reason I'm always reading Nudist's tagline as: "They'll eat you barf ... naked" (eww, naked!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sin nombre ... sin competencia

I’m in freaking love with the poster for Sin nombre, that is with this poster!
I really, really hoped that we hit bottom when this version came out, but recently I stumbled over the here shown German version and by God, you can still trust Germans to do something heinous.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The other Nightmares

Welcome to my nightmare...

That's about all I really remember from Nightmare 6, the fact that Alice Cooper did a cameo.
That, and that it was the only one in the series that made me consider demanding my money back.

Part 7, the style breaker, new aproach to the story, new look to the poster art, I didn't like either of the changes but enjoyed to see Heather Langenkamp back in a Nightmare movie.
Makes me wonder what our chances might be to see her in the remake?

Heck! I actually forgot that a new and improved Tongue Phone appeared in that part.
Really love that one.

I like the trailer for the remake, I think it can really work, even though I find this floating victim to be a somewhat lame idea.
Other than that it makes a solid impression.
And you'd be really hard pressed to come up with something worse than Freddy's Dead. :)

Seeing the posters though, in the art department they can't hold a candle to the original so far.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 + 5

Nightmare 4: The Dream Master
This now is my personal favoured of the Nightmare sequels.
For a simple reason so: It’s been directed by Renny Harlin who formerly directed Prison for Charles Band’s Empire International.
Also it features one of my fave lines in the series:
“I bet you're the only male in this school suffering from penis envy.”

If that made you cringe, though I bet that Freud would have loved to analyse this series, then the bland way in which works like Alice in Wonderland or Kafka’s The Transformation are quoted will leave you crying. I’m not positively sure if Alice’s travel through the movie screen into a drab black & white dream world is meant as a nod to Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy escapes her drab reality into a Technicolor dream world, but I’m not ruling out that possibility.
My love for the movie aside, even I find it difficult to overlook the fact how different Lisa Wilcox looks from her double in the required 80’s montage sequence, I mean c’mon, how hard would it have been to find a remotely matching wig?

Nomen est omen: Alice prepares the way through the looking-glass.

Nightmare 5: The Dream Child
Not much to say about this entry, while not as strong as the fourth it was still a solidly entertaining take, with a note worthy nod to a-ha's classic 80's hit Take on me.

What else was there?
Freddy's lair, finalizes the connection between Krueger and Jareth from Labyrinth.

Shared interior designer, Jareth's and Freddy's lair.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 + 3

Nightmare 2: Freddy’s Revenge (on who or whatever).
First Rule for sequels: Never let yourself be bothered by logic, or the absence of same.
Second Rule: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a movie which made a good fortune must be in want of a sequel.

Part two introduces us to a new (and improved?) Freddy, here starts his transition from a troubled serial killer into the show master of horror which we know him as today.
Nightmare two also plays the recurring topic of teenage fear of (homo-)sexuality decidedly more open than the others do, if it wasn’t for exploding canaries among other things it could have become a more than worthy successor.
As it stands the changes between the original Nightmare and the first of its sequels perfectly serve to illustrate the changes the genre went through in the 80’s.
It’s a entertaining movie, one that comes packaged with a further amazing piece of artwork, just non that really stands out.

I still do find the scene between Jesse and his sleeping sister to count among the more memorable ones of the series, no less.

Nightmare 3: Dream Warriors
Wes Craven returns and Heather Langenkamp with him. Despite the fact that the script follows the route taken by the first sequel and furthers Freddy’s status as entertainer, it also goes back to stark horror with some truly unnerving ideas.
The perfect execution of the FX, a sequence which shows a marionette change into Freddy for example has lost nothing of its impact, a sly sense of (occasionally dark) humour, as a comic reader I simply loved that the bar where they meet with Nancy’s Father is called Little Nemo’s, and a wonderful cast that includes young Patricia Arquette and Jennifer Rubin, make this one worthy sequel I can hardly find a flaw with.

And such a sweet poster to go with it, that slowly ebbs out the erotic undertones and adds a definitive fantasy aspect the series should gain from here onwards.

I positively love this promotional picture of Freddy Nurse, there’s something disturbingly sexy to her (him? it?):

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

In preparation for the upcoming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street I though I reminisce a bit the original and its sequels, although I don’t really have anything to say about Nightmare that hasn’t already been said a thousand times.
Didn’t stop me before, you say?
I guess you’re right.

That the Nightmare series came with some of the most amazing movie posters, not only in the horror genre but in general, goes without saying. And the first part naturally has a special place in my heart, even though I do just ever so slightly prefer the poster for the second.

I remember one movie magazine calling Nightmare nothing short of being tripe, in a review that got lumped together with three of four others on a single page, only to hastily back-pedal from their former statement a few months later when it became apparent that the movie was quickly gaining a huge following in the genre, now all of a sudden they found they had to praise Craven’s clever play with teenage fears that made the movie's success inevitable.

I always found that funny in a way, and sad just the same because it perfectly illustrates the blatant ignorance that horror movies often encounter.

One thing surprises me:
Despite the boom in Horror merchandise, and the undeniable success that A Nightmare on Elm Street still has, I've never seen a (working) tongue phone on sale...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lost in Translation

In an ’66 movie article the author claims that „movies speak a universal language“ and later goes to prove the truth of this statement with “a picture of a house shows a house in every language.”
So far so true, pictures need no translation. The video release tagline for the made for TV movie Shooter comes to mind in that context:
“If a pictures says a thousand words, then this movie tells it all”

Movies can and do speak a unmistakeable language, that can’t be denied, and watching a opening sequence like the one for the movie The Believers is bound to convince us that movies do indeed need no dialogue* to tell their story:

Ricardo Delgado's brilliant Graphic Novel Age of Reptiles comes to mind, too. Without a single bit of dialogue he manages to tell a compeling story of revenge in a aeons before any human being on earth.

But is there really are a universal language at work or is it just a basic understanding that can be communicated in this way, just as limited by its own unique boundaries as every other language is?.

Language as we use it might be a clumsy instrument, a hindrance even at times, as Suzanne Vega points out so well in her song:
These words are too solid
They don't move fast enough
To catch the blur in the brain
That flies by and is gone

but in spite of all its short comings it’s still our best means available to communicate complex ideas in a fast and simple manner.

* Really, the complete opening sequence would work just as well without the dialogue that follows shortly after the shown snippet.
As an aside: this opening always reminds me of a short story King wrote a few years earlier called Morning Deliveries, which got published with others in Skeleton Crew.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Marvel at the movies - again

Again a movie quote by one of Marvel’s cover artists, returning (mostly) to the beloved 80’s with Rogue giving us a perfect impression of Jamie Lee Curtis and Storm provides a view to Bond adversary Grace Jones.

Is Psylock channeling Boy George there?
The face would suggest so even if neither the jacket & tie compination, nor the hairstyle reminds of him...
No clue who Dazzler’s supposed to be ... Disco Years, who has the time to remember those anyway?