Thursday, May 31, 2012
Some fantastic work.
Zansky's flickr bio says:
Zansky is an illustrator and graphic designer that works with several medias from paper to digital, mixing techniques for the best visual results.
At the sime time make part of the art collective BASE-V doing wall paintings, screenprintings and collaborative projects. Work as editor of the pdf magazine MAGUILA.
Available for freelance.
Here are a few more delicious pieces.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
A scientist working on genetically created parasites as a first step to growing new organs, gets himself infected with the parasite. He brings the thing home to his newfangled and high tech apartment complex. Things spread from there.
One of many body invading themed films from writer/director, David Cronenberg.
The film is from 1975 but play pretty well today. Cronenberg's themes are timeless. He takes a couple of six inch, goofy looking, prosthetic dog turd looking things and creates horror that attacks us on an anthropological level. A master.
I posted Shivers as a daily poster before, but the old lady and I just watched it recently and have been talking about it.
The trailer is a textbook example of a 70's horror film trailer.
Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Spoiler is a 17 minute zombie movie.
Spoiler bear hugs the themes that make the zombie genre wonderful. It hurts your chest with a very personal story about death. It drives in the existential nail.
While Spoiler does stay within its genre, it stretches it. Like Se7en, and Ronin (just a couple of films off the top of my head) Spoiler plays in the zombie sandbox. But it does so by playing in an uncharted area. It is fresh. Here is the synopsis:
The zombie apocalypse happened -- and we won.
But though society has recovered, the threat of infection is always there -- and Los Angeles coroner Tommy Rossman is the man they call when things go wrong.
A must see for zombie fans.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
The head's description reads:
This Head was designed by the infamous John Chambers, who designed Planet Of The Apes, and many more. I'm Nico De Silva, the actor, in the picture title, Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia.. John Chambers made three others. This is the original and only one I know available. Its a collectors "must have" item. Sam Peckinpah also directed Classics such as; The Wild Bunch-Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid-The Gateway, and more more.This would be an amazing collectible to have on the shelf.
Friday, May 18, 2012
When you die, all that wil be left are photos and videos of you. Do you want to look good forever?
I've been taking photographs for over twenty-five years and one of my early photo teachers taught me this trick. It is a life changer. People will want you to take their photos after looking at your work. You will look better in photos forever more. I'm not exagerating.
Photographer Peter Hurley talks about the ten pounds that the camera adds and I've always believed it had to do with this trick.
This video is one of those "duh" ideas; it should have been made years ago.
(via Laughing Squid)
I've been making my way the Val Lewton RKO films. They are a quirky handful of films. I don't use the word "quirky" lightly. They are advertised as horror films. Grab a book on horror films and you will see stills from these films. The dead dog in the tree from I Walked with a Zombie is in practically every horror book ever written.These are not horror films. They are something other. Suspense films with a supernatural element. But even the supernatural element can be debated. The films cleverly disguise the truth, and refuse to positively identify their universe as a supernatural one.
The films are clever. The stories are original and you cannot leave the room. They are not scary but they are smart and interesting. I Walked with a Zombie has passionate, stirring, music, mixed with some noirish lighting and shots. The whole thing could be a mess if it had not been handled so deftly.
A nurse comes to the Carribbean island of Saint Sebastian in order to care for a woman who is neither living nor dead. She discovers that many of the locals are part of a voodoo cult. Do they hold the answers to her patient's condition?
There are twists and turns and a bug eyed, creepy looking gentleman.The end is really cool.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The On Cinema gents are hosting a screening of Moment by Moment. They will also talk about the film. The show starts at 11pm and will cost $15.
Wikipedia has this to say about the film:
It tells the story of a romance between a young drifter named Strip Harrison (John Travolta) and an older wealthy woman, Trish Rawlings (Lily Tomlin).
More info is HERE.
On Cinema is now avaiable on YouTube as well as iTunes. Here are a couple of shows to get you warmed up. Their feed is HERE.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The artists name is Kevin Kelly.
I was not a big fan of the smirking, anorexic, semi transparent, hands fell off, silver head line of Micronauts, but these guys were the bomb dot com. I loved Repto (above).I don't remember Lobros (below.)
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I don't know what the critical consensus is on the films of Val Lewton. I'm making my way through them now.
A mish-mash group is trapped on a Greek Island during the war of 1912. Someone dies of the plague. Some are convinced that they must be quarantined for health concerns. Others are convinced a woman among them is a demonic vorvolaka.
The film is a slow whodunit, what is it? kind of a thing.
Good enough but slow. I Walked With a Zombie is next on the plate.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
When he was only fifteen years old, George Washington wrote a list of the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation. Many of the rules hold up just fine, today:
2d When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.
For the most part, the rules hold fast through the ages. However, some of them are a little more dated than others:
26th In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
According to a short description on the Library of Congress' page for John T. Phillips II book, George Washington's Rules of Civility:
The 110 "Rules of Civility" were more than 200 years old when Washington was taught them as a young teenager in the 1740s. An Italian in the 16th century first drafted them into an advice book for his nephew. The "Rules of Civility" were a foundation for the early colonists and gave the basis for conversations that resulted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
The rules were pretty dated when Washington wrote them.
The rules are a good standard, honorable way to live your life. But, to take a measurement of the above and beyond, turn your eyeballs to Good Guy Greg (GGG).
Knowyourmeme.com writes that the Good Guy Greg meme is rumored to have first appeared on 4chan. GGG showed up on Canvas shortly afterwards, on April 26, 2011. A couple of people have posted pics supposedly showing "the real" GGG. No one is buying it. GGG remains unknown, as a man, but life changing as a meme.
If you live a somewhat moral and respectable life, Good Guy Greg is the next level. Sure, some of the GGGs are video game and reddit.com references that we don't get, but for the most part GGG will lead you down the trail of kindness and respect. Sound corny? It is. But corn is in everything these days. Eat it up.
Good Guy Greg is the masses speaking, affirming to each other which actions and what features we appreciate in each other. Good Guy Greg is the best of our culture.
I know I sound like an old man, but a well written GGG can leave me thinking and self-evauating for hours; a poorly written one can make me shake my fist in anger, "How dare you defile the honor of this important document!?"
For an eyeball full of GGGs you can check out quickmeme.com
Happy 60th birthday! Without Warning opened on May 8, 1952.
Without Warning is, on it's surface, a film noir. However, I believe the film to be much more; I feel comfortable labeling Without Warning as a proto-slasher film.
Sure it has all the police procedures on display; the authoritative voice over; and the chase scene at the end has cops on the tail of the killer. However, the murders are more brutal; the police are not the protagonists of the film; there are no whodunnit or mystery aspects; there is no organized crime element; the killer fits the Psycho, Peeping Tom, and many other later slasher film molds in both personality and murderous techniques.
The film has a slasheriffic pace and the killer is just plain creepy. He is a Los Angeles gardener who had his heart broken by his blond wife. Something ripped in his mind and he kills blond ladies. Simple enough.
If you love a good slasher or are a film noir freak, but you're looking for something a little outside the box, Without Warning is a pretty good choice.
I can't find a trailer for the film, so enjoy this clip.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
I can't start posting TED Talks videos. They would take over the site, I've never seen a bad one. But, Chip Kidd, holds a special place in my heart.
His Plastic Man - Jack Cole book with Art Spiegelman was a huge influence on me. It's funny to look at it now. I feel like it was Kidd's punk rock, crazy ass phase. His Peanuts book and various Batman books are all incredible. He is the Pele of book cover design. He looks and acts like a 1920's version of The Riddler. He's a champion of the world.
The talk is pretty darn interesting as well.
Fed up with some fans' griping about comic book and animated series crossovers, McDuffie shows how the final moments of St. Elswhere turn just about all of television history upside down. It's all a dream.
The post is ten years old, and I'm not sure if fans have completed the missing pieces, but it is a hilarious, surprising, and interesting read. Check it out, HERE.
Here's one paragraph, and yes, the whole post is this well thought out.
Now here’s a good one, St. Elsewhere shared a patient with The Bob Newhart Show, so the Bob Newhart Show is part of the grand daydream. The Bob Newhart Show crossed over with Murphy Brown, which in turn links to, among many others: Julia, The Nanny, Everybody Loves Raymond and I Dream of Jeannie! Meanwhile, the series Newhart was revealed to be a nightmare had by Bob Newhart’s character on the Bob Newhart Show. Newhart crossed over with Coach, which connects it to Grace Under Fire, Ellen and Drew Carey. Drew Carey takes out Home Improvement and NYPD Blue.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I don't like posting political stories here. Not sure why, but this just isn't my forum of choice for those rants.
However, this just had me laughing at work like a crazy man. The letter's content is insane. Shep Smith is hardly a human being himself. He's soaked through with makeup, presenting "news" with a Matrix style background. The multiple lines of scrolling text bring the old Saturday Night Live "Terminator Robot" news sketch to life. Shep Smith's reaction is hilarious.
Maybe I need to watch more TV, this is insane to me. When my wife and I watched Idiocracy, we didn't really laugh. It was too scary. Director, Mike Judge, can feel the pulse and knows where it's going.
Just look at the still above, this is nowhere next to real life. How he talks, what he's reading, his aged Ken doll look, the surrealistic nightmare background, the insane amount of text, the meaning of the letter, nothing relates to how I live my life day-to-day. I'm not bagging on Fox or the republican leadership, it's all like this. In this clip, reality just seeps in a tiny bit, and for a split second Shep Smith seems to get it. Really get it.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Lucio Fulci's Zombie is heralded as a classic of the genre. A gore soaked masterpiece. I diligently bought the cleaned up Anchor Bay VHS in 1998, but honestly only watched it a few times. I honestly find Zombie to be an overrated stinker.
A couple of weeks ago, I found a torrent called Zombie Rezombified. The description read:
The origin of this particular project actually pre-dates the ongoing 21st century phenomenon of the non-Star Wars fan-edit, as co-editor ThomasJarvis initially conceived of the idea back in the early 90's and actually completed an edited-on-the-fly rough-draft version using a Mom & Pop rental store copy of the Wizard "big box" release, a blank VHS cassette and two VCR hooked together for dubbing purposes.I snatched it and was ripped apart. The film came back from the dead. The pacing was crazily improved even though the run time is about the same. The first scene created a fantastic tension and the film didn't let up.
The key intention (and successfully accomplished ambition) was to reorganize the film into a Greek tragedy of sorts in three acts - act one: the island section, act two: the Manhattan section; and act three: the apocalyptic conclusion wherein the divergent story threads from acts one and two converge together for the film's fiery climax.
So many changes were made that only a truly devoted fan of the film will be able to pick out the vast majority.
These edits range the scale of subtle and barely detectable to major and substantially film-altering (with everything between).
Cult film fanatics the world over will be pleased to note the desperately needed omission of the much-maligned, extremely over-the-top & Hayden Christianson-like howl of "arrrgghh!!!" by the radio announcer at the film's conclusion.
I contacted the gents at SubStream Studios (I mistakenly called them SunStream) and they agreed to an interview regarding the project. And boy what an interview it is, put on your reading glasses and get ready to scroll until your index finger tip is raw, these guys are into it, and I relish every word.
Go find it at your nearby torrent site. Zombie Rezombified truly pulls the lead out of the skull of Zombie and reassembles its brain. Thanks to ThomasJarvis and movieking67 of SubStream Studios.
1. Can you talk about your discussion with each other, when you decided to delve into this project?
To go into that, I should probably also divulge a little background info concerning the history behind the fan-editing process utilized by myself and MovieKing. M.K. and I initially met over on the discussion boards at IMDb (The Internet Movie Database). I had posted about wanting to find a digital copy of the colorized version of 'King Kong' (1933), as I only possessed the old VHS release (I prefer the original b&w, of course; but Ted Turner's little foray into extreme pastels has an almost surreal water-color style effect that gives this particular bit of so-called "blasphemy against classic cinema" a strange beauty all its own). So, anyways, MovieKing67 replied to my initial post, and we discovered that we had much in the way of common interests, so we exchanged contact info, and eventually began corresponding over the phone. This was around 2004, I believe. At that point in time, neither of us had any clue about the online fan-edit phenomenon, other than having heard rumblings about the infamous 'Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Edit' a few years previous.
But during one of our conversations, I brought up an anecdote about how during my late teenage years, I used to re-edit many of my most treasured cult movie favorites for the purpose of a unique and alternative viewing experience. I did this the old fashioned way, using two VCRs connected by patch-chord. You'd play the movie in the top-deck and record it in the bottom deck, utilizing the pause and playback features to do your editing on-the-fly. My most notorious of these edits was one that combined the first two 'Evil Dead' films into one movie, with drastic cuts to the second film, and virtually all continuity gaps between the two films completely eliminated. This particular edit was a hit with friends and family alike, and was often displayed as background imagery at parties and the like. Sometime around the spring of 1993, my father, my best friend Jake, and myself ---all watched my 'Evil Dead' combo-edit one last time before going to see 'Army of Darkness' at the movie theater. My dad commented on the edit to a friend on the phone, telling the person "That crazy son of mine and his little movie experiments...I know I've seen this movie before, and I thought I remembered how it ended...yet, it didn't end where it should have, it just kept going and going and going, like the damn energizer bunny!"
Returning from the exhilarating experience of seeing AoD on the big screen for the first time, I knew exactly what I had to do...I needed to tack the bulk of the third film onto my 'Evil Dead' combo edit! Before year's end, when 'Army' got its eventual home video release, I accomplished my own personal and ultimate 'Evil Dead Epic' (like Coppola's infamous 'Godfather Epic' that combined all three films into a sort of chronological mini-series). The 'E-D Epic' was an even bigger hit with friends, so I began experimenting around with editing other films on VHS. Believe it or not, I actually accomplished the original VHS edit of 'Zombie' the very same weekend I first saw the film! I had known about the films of Lucio Fulci since reading about them in Fangoria magazine back in the late 80's, so...when I stumbled upon that gorgeous "big box" VHS release from Wizard Video at a mom n' pop rental store called Village Video, I knew there was no way I was walking out of that place without renting the thing! So I took the flick home and watched it, and I enjoyed it very much...but I had all kinds of ideas about how it could be re-edited as I was watching it. So, after just one viewing, I delved head-first into the editing process, with my ever-reliable 2-VCR editing station! I managed to complete the edit over the course of the weekend before the rental was due back at the store.
I made quite a few of these little VHS edits over the course of the 90's, including other Fulci's such as 'Gates of Hell' and 'House By the Cemetery'. Unfortunately, the majority of the cassettes containing these edits have been lost or misplaced since the late-90's transition to the DVD era. The biggest perceived loss of these was my 'Complete Evil Dead Epic', which I'm embarrassed to admit was loaned to a friend-of-a-friend and never returned. The f-o-a-f has since moved away, and I wouldn't have the slightest idea of where to even begin attempting to contact any of those people. I've often wondered, however, if that notorious edit is still floating around out there somewhere. Someone could have transferred it to DVD, and it could even potential turn up online at some point....who knows? Lol. My r4eal first name is Alex, by the way, and MovieKing67 is Dave. So, anyways, while talking to Dave about the 'E-D Epic', we hit upon the idea of attempting to recreate that notorious project of yore utilizing modern digital technology. We tried doing it a couple different ways before stumbling upon our magical formula...I sit down and watch the movie, armed with a pen and notepad, marking down the starting and ending points of each intended edit. Once this process is completed, I have what we call a "rough-draft edit-map". When next I speak with Dave on the phone, I read the edit marks from the map, and he attempts the edits utilizing his various editing programs.
As we go through this process, he and I both come up with assorted new cuts on the fly, and we attempt these concepts alongside those that have already been mapped out. After each individual cut is made, Dave plays back whatever transitional sequence was just attempted and watches it while still on the phone with me, and going by his description, we both make a decision as to whether or not the cut works or if it needs to be "undone". After the first rough-edit is completed, the film is re-watched in full to see if there are any "hanging-chads" (a term I came up with to describe when there is one or more mili-seconds of footage that was accidentally left in between any two starting and ending points of a particular cut), or to see if any editing choices don't work out that well from a creative and/or technical point-of-view. The amazing thing about this process of ours, is that we live in totally different areas of the country! He's in Tennessee, while I'm in Indiana! So our unique process is entirely dependent upon the magic of the telephone alongside the modern PC.
So anyways, our first attempt at a new 'E-D' edit was not very successful, as the software we were using at the time was extremely limited, and obviously I myself had to go through the initial growing pains of getting used to a new way of editing that was quite alien to me and nothing like my old VHS editing methods. We kept experimenting over the years though, trying out different types of software on all sorts of movies, whatever happened to strike our fancy at the time, all the while periodically returning to the the 'Complete Evil Dead Epic', with the end-results being such that each time that edit was getting better and closer to my old fondly-remembered VHS version.
How we stumbled into doing 'Zombie: Re-Zombified' is kind of an interesting anecdote in and of itself. One day, while sorting through a box (containing the few remaining VHS cassettes that had somehow escaped the "Great Purge of All Things Magnetic-Tape" during the late-90's transition into the digital era), I discovered an old worn-out copy of my rather ancient 'Zombie' re-edit from the early 90's. I informed Dave of my discovery, and soon we were knee-deep in an attempt to recreate what I had done all those many years ago. For the old VHS edit, my initial idea had been that the first half of the movie that takes place in New York was too slow and plodding, it was certainly a great film overall and admittedly a grindhouse classic, but I saw at the time that there were some interesting things that could be done with a re-edit. Back then, it hadn't yet occurred to me that the film could be divided into three acts ---the first act being the island section, the second act taking place in New York, with the last section being the climactic conclusion wherein the characters from both previous sections all meet up for the grande finale. Instead, I just cut out extraneous moments that were unneeded to speed up the pace, then once the first island scene takes place, I had merged all the island scenes together until the last possible moment, then returned to the Manhattan-based characters making their way towards the island.
However, over the course of re-viewing my VHS edit of 'Zombie for the first time in over fifteen years, it occurred to me how how interesting it would be to have all the island sequences take place first, thus setting up a more grim, stylish, and atmospheric tone, before introducing the audience to the characters in New York. Once I hit upon this idea, I asked Dave for his input about this peculiar notion, he approved of the experimental idea, so then I went about revising my rough-draft edit-map, accordingly. Once we began tackling the actual edit, I came up with a few more ideas, as did Dave. One such off-the-cuff and on-the-fly innovation was the elimination of the announcer's extremely over-the-top howl of "arrrrgggghhh!!!" at the film's conclusion.
By the time we completed the digital version of 'Zombie: Re-Zombified' about a year and a half ago or so, our patented editing methods had been refined to a fine art, and we were finally working with editing software that was capable of matching our oversized creative ambitions. Thus, 'Zombie: Re-Zombified' ends up being the first so-called SubStream Studios semi-official
release of a custom fan-edit.
2. Zombie is hailed as a classic, by some. What is your response to those that ask, 'How dare you mess with this masterpiece?'
My response would be, with that kind of thinking we would never have gotten such highly-regarded fan-edits as Adywan's infamous 'Star Wars Episode IV: Revisited', which many regard as even superior in various ways to the officialy-released Special Editions! Now, if someone were to say to me, "that's' completely different. Adywan did not fundamentally alter the structure, chronology or mood of the film in question!"...Well, to that I would say, take a look at the grindhouse edit of 'A New Hope' called 'War of the Stars', or the grindhouse-ification of 'Jaws' called "The Sharksploitation Edit". Those are very enjoyable edits in my personal estimation, and the fan-editing community is enhanced by their very existence. Yet, few would dare argue against the notion that 'Star Wars' and 'Jaws' far exceed the reputation of a film like 'Zombie' in terms of being a modern cinematic classic. It should also be pointed out, that the goal of a true fan-edit is quite often NOT to outdo the source material, but rather to be an alternate, or experimental take on that same material. Fan-edits should rarely be judged upon the basis of rather or not they are superior to their original films, but rather they should be judged by how effective they are as stand-alone companion pieces to the original films.
3. What made Zombie ripe for re-edit? Can you talk about some of the specific edits you made?
I think what made 'Zombie' so ripe for a fan-edit was the rather nebulous nature of its internal chronology. Its a film that, while you are watching it, you get the feeling that some of the edits were made on-the-fly in the editing booth, and not based upon a strictly rigid story structure. Oh, I'm certain that many of the film's stand-out moments were very well planned out in advance, of that I have little doubt. Especially some of the film's more meticulous special effects sequences, such as the infamous eyeball-gouging scene. But overall, the film has a certain innate flexibility in its story structure, and I can't help but think that this was an intentional decision on the part of Fulci and possibly the film's writers. He wanted a certain flexibility, a certain malleability to the material he would have to work with, so that he would be able to reshuffle things as he saw fit, via both spontaneous inspiration and possible practical reasons that may foresee ably raise their heads during the editing process. Fulci seemed to enjoy shaping his films on-the-fly the way an artist works with clay. I think it is this inherent nature of the film's original final edit that makes it ripe for potential re-edits and subsequent re-evaluations of the original material.
Compare Fulci's 'Zombie' to, say, Hitchcock's 'Psycho'. Now, 'Psycho', there's a film that truly reinforces the old Hollywood saying "movies are made in the editing booth". But in the case of 'Psycho'; its edits are so tight and virtually flawless, so exquisitely executed per the directorial mandates of a master craftsman, that the final film leaves very little room for substantial revision. Its too tightly executed to be messed with. Unlike a movie such as 'Zombie', with its inherently flexible structure. Both are arguably classics in their own unique ways, both have their places in the pantheon of modern cinema. But they hold very different places, are worthy of cinematic study for entirely different reasons. Fulci was almost a bit of a surrealist in disguise, you know? He was having fun messing with the expectations of the audience, subverting the conventions of middle-of-the-road horror exploitationers. This is especially true of his 'The Beyond' or 'A Cat In the Brain'. He delivered everything that could be expected in terms of the exploitive elements, but he played with these same elements in ways that often seem to have come completely out of left field. That's one reason why so many modern "gorehounds" have difficulty warming up to much of his work, but its also why his films are now being studied and dissected in ways few would dare contemplate at the time of initial release.
As far as some of the specific edits we made...Finding the appropriate moments for effective transitioning between acts I & II, and likewise between acts II & III, was an interesting journey. As the island section of the edit was nearing the apex of what could be accomplished within a first act, we were looking for a way to transition to Act II in Manhattan that wouldn't be overly confusing for the viewer and would also be a seemingly smooth and natural cut, something that had "flow". We found it in the shot immediately following the sequence with the sick native woman in the makeshift hospital bed. The very next scene showed some "walking dead" shambling about just outside the barn-hospital, then a scorpion (or a crab or something, can't be bothered to recall which at the moment) crawls into view, and just before the shot cuts away, there's a strange musical cue, really more of a peculiar & unexplained sound effect than music; I suppose.
For me, this sound had a rather unusual effect, it almost sounded like a dimensional shift into a different reality, or as if the sound somehow indicated a radical change setting and/or storyline was on the way. I don't know that this was what the filmmakers intended, it may have been more of a happy accident, who knows. But I took that strange sound effect as our cue that it was time to transition into Act II. As we went about making the cut, Dave discovered that the first sound that is heard post-opening credits in the original film was the swooshing sound of ocean waves, or something like that. So he figured out how to sort of blend the "dimensional shift" sound with the ocean-swoosh, and I think it works rather well. And it doesn't take long for the audience to figure out that the setting has shifted to Manhattan and that a different aspect of the film's storyline is about to unfold, even without added title cards (which we did consider doing, ala 'Pulp Fiction' style)...because right away the radio transmissions between the Harbour Patrol reveal the location of the scene. So that was convenient.
The transition between Acts II and III was actually something that we retained from my early 90's VHS edit. I had noticed way back then, how inbetween shots of the arriving Manhattan characters firing off the flare gun, there was more of the island footage (which in the current version of the fan-edit has already been shown during the first act); and after the last shot of the New Yorker firing off the pistol, there was some more Manhattan character exposition, and then, inexplicably, a shot from the islanders' point of view, showing them looking up in the sky at the flair shots! So, we re-shuffled the character exposition scene to an earlier point in the film I believe, and joined all of the flair shots together into a sort of montage, with the scene depicting the islanders looking up at the flairs being the perfect transition back to the island after spending all of Act II with the New Yorkers and their "tour guides". Essentially making this sky-watching shot the very first moment of Act III. It works so well, that for me its hard to watch those scenes in their original configuration, the flair-firing montage segueing into the flair sky-watching seems to flow so naturally that its as if that's the way it should have been cut all along! You know, there are so many interesting cuts I would love to go into, but I don't think this blog has the space to handle anything more than what we've already covered!
4. Was there anything you couldn't do that you wished you could have?
There might be a couple things. Someone commenting on our edit happened to mention a sort of continuity error he noticed in Fulci's original cut, wherein the shark-zombie is missing part of his arm in one shot, then magically his arm is whole again in a later shot. I had never noticed this before, and wasn't made aware of it until after our fan-edit was already completed and unleashed upon the world! It's not our mistake, its Fulci's, its present in the original commercial release, but now that I know about it, I wish we could've done something about it while we were knee-deep in the thick of editing.
Also, I still sort of fancy the notion of adding 'Pulp Fiction' style title cards to separate Acts I, II, and III. Tiis is just my own quirky idea, however, its not something that my editing partner (or anyone else for that matter) has really warmed up to, and it was more of just a whimsical "what if" sort of thing on my behalf anyways, so it certainly wasn't a deal-breaker and was no big loss. Now that a domestic blu-ray has been released, its possible we might revisit the edit at some point, so who knows what changes we might decide to make when and if a new edit comes to fruition.
5. What is the edit that you are most pleased with, the one that makes you rub your belly and smile with satisfaction?
For me, there are quite a few that I could say that about; but if I had to pick one, it would be the scene in which the doctor shoots a resurrected cadaver encased in a body bag. Not the scene that opens the film in which he has to shoot his friend that is also flashbacked to later in the movie, but a similar scene in which he shoots one of the natives. In Fulci's original version, just at the point where you see the bullet impact with the head of the body-bag, the shot cuts away to more Manhattan footage. The next time the movie cuts back to island footage, the very first shot is of the same body bag, in the exact same placement within camera frame, showing blood leaking out of the wound from the pistol blast. In our version, since all of the island scenes taking place before the Manhattanites arrive have been reshuffled and joined together during the first act, its really neat how the two different shots merge together to look like one impact shot. In other words, as soon as the pistol fires upon the body, you immediately see the blood leaking out of the wound. And the the two shots merge together so perfectly, that it comes across like an intentional series of shots depicting the impact of a gun blast, it really feels to me as if it was originally intended to be edited this way. I love that cut, it just feels "right" to me! Interestingly, this particular edit was actually present on the old VHS cut, so I guess I had some at least semi-decent editing ideas way back in my late teen years!
As for Dave, there's a cut in our edit that he deserves total credit for, and I would imagine that this might be his favorite cut, and its certainly one of my favorites as well. Its during the underwater shark sequence. In the original commercial release, from the time the topless scuba-diver jumps into the ocean until her last moments underwater before she is pulled back aboard the boat, all this underwater footage is intercut with goofy character exposition scenes between the characters on the boat, and there might even be some scenes taking place on the island with the doctor and the natives, not sure (its been awhile since I've watched the original commercial release). So on the old VHS edit that I did back in the early 90's, I merged all of the underwater sequences together, and moved the non-underwater scenes that were originally interspersed throughout, to other appropriate moments in the film.
But there was one transition between two of the underwater scenes that I was never truly happy with on the VHS edit. I cut on what I thought was the only moment that could possibly work as an appropriate transition point, which was on a shot of a school of fish, because it seemed to be the last possible moment from that particular bit of footage wherein the camera remained stationary enough to serve as a decent cut-away shot. But, the music changed significantly between the last camera shot on the school of fish and the next underwater shot of the girl swimming, so the cut just came across as awkward and unnatural. But Dave took a look at it, and somehow discovered a different way to cut the scene, he might've done a dissolve effect, I do not recall at the moment, but somehow he discovered a truly ingenious way to merge those two underwater shots together in a way that is virtually seamless, and its awesome! He was quite happy with the result, and so was I. Sometimes there's a kind of magic that happens when you are working with an equal partner-in-crime on these things, that would simply never happen if you were to be doing it all on your own.
6. What's next for SunStream Studios?
Well, I suppose I should point out that its actually "SubStream" Studios, not "SunStream" Studios. As in, you have your mainstream studios, but we're not MAINstream, we're SUBstream, hah hah. Anyways, we've actually got quite a few projects in the pipeline, in varying stages of development. The nearest to completion would probably be the re-creation of my old 'Evil Dead Combo Edit' from back in the VHS days. We've already done a preliminary version, and its just a matter of going over the thing with a fine-toothed comb, and seeing if there are any hanging-chads that need to be disposed of, or if any creative choices were made that just don't work. I'm also not sure if Dave rendered this in a lossless quality format, if not, then we might need to use this latest cut as a template and re-do it in lossless. This combo-edit will only be the first two films merged together, like the old VHS edit before I tacked on 'Army of Darkness'.
I'd still like to do the 'Complete Evil Dead Epic' as well, to recreate the final version of my old VHS edit that included AoD, but there's some issues with that. From memory, I recall that it was indeed a trippy viewing experience, and the seamless way I managed to merge II and III together is something that I was and still am very proud of, however, the thing is a little under or a little over four hours long. Its the equivalent of enduring a franchise-based movie marathon, except that its just one long epic movie that just goes on and on and on. And for someone to make a DVD of it with menus and the whole nine yards, it would require a DVD-9. Also, the 'Primitive Screwhead Edition' was a great fan-edit from someone other than ourselves that perfectly cut back in all of the missing footage from AoD, but we don't want to tack someone else's fan-edit onto our own, so we'd probably just use the director's cut or the theatrical blu-ray, because it would seem pointless to back and add deleted scenes back in that another editor has already done so effectively. For now, as far as the E-D edits go, we're just going to concentrate on getting the 'Evil Dead Combo Edit' out there (which will be called 'Book of the Dead' by the way...or possibly 'Evil Dead By Dawn').
We have materials and early template edits for an extended version of 'Phantasm' that we were developing long before Dr. Saperstein came out with his cut (which differs greatly from what we were and still are going to do), and a fan-edit combining most of 'Hallowen(1978)' with the best of 'Halloween II'. That too, will be markedly different from any of the other fan-edits out there that have attempted something similar, but so many folks have done something with those two 'Halloween' films that it makes it rather difficult for us to get very excited about revisiting our plans for that particular edit.
We are working on an edit of 'Friday the 13th - A New Beginning' that will differ radically from the released version. In our take on the material, the killer is actually Jason Voorhees himself, not Roy the Paramedic. There's also a greater focus on Tommy's tentative grasp on reality. More hallucinations and such. Much of the tedious attempts at humor and unneeded character exposition will be eliminated. There actually already exists an old rough-draft version of this edit, that Dave accidentally and prematurely released to the 'nets before it was "ready for primetime", so to speak. We really didn't know what we were doing at the time. The audio was all out of sych, it was done with outdated editing software, there was just all kinds of problems with it. But we've really come into our own since our last attempt at the 'E-D Combo Edit' and our first official release, 'Zombie Re-Zombified'. We've come a long way and feel the time is ripe to revisit 'Friday 5' with fresh eyes. Much of what I initially mapped out will still be utilized, theres actually a semi-decent exploitationer lurking somewhere within that movie, and its up to us to bring it out and into the light. The commercial release of that movie, as is, kind of sucks. But it does have its moments. Awhile back I discovered on YouTube a guy made a fan-edit trailer for 'Friday 5' called 'David Lynch's 'Friday the 13th' that utilized music from 'Twin Peaks' and 'Blue Velvet', alongside some Lynchian editorial changes, and it really inspired me to want to do some new things when we revisit the film. I really like the Lynchian take. I asked the uploader about it, and he said that he has no intention of ever doing a feature length version, so maybe we can graft some of his ideas into our own fan-edit of the film.
I'd still like to tackle a couple of the other Fulci films that I did as a kid, namely 'The Gates of hell' 'House By the Cemetery', and 'A Cat In the Brain'. I'd also like to see if fellow fan-editor Retro-Horror would be interested in allowing us to create an extended, unrated version of his widescreen recreation of '7 Doors of Death' (Fulci's 'The Beyond' edited differently and with a completely different soundtrack). There's never been an unrated version of '7 Doors', nor was there even a widescreen & digitally remastered R-rated version until Retro undertook the task. he did great job, utilizing the soundtrack from the old Thriller Video "big box release" and synching it up to remastered and re-edited widescreen footage form the 'The Beyond'. But the world has never seen an unrated, extended cut of '7 Doors' so that's something I would like to undertake at some point.
Other potential projects in the near future include extended editions of 'Natural Born Killers' and 'Young Frankenstein' as well as a new version of 'Dracula 1931' that will include footage from the Spanish Version, 'White Zombie' (1932), and a great spider-web effects shot from the 1922 silent John Barrymore film 'Sherlock Holmes'.
Also a "grindhouse" version of 'Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter' that will include all of the uncut death sequences, the original nightmare ending that was cut from the film, the opening dream sequence from 'Friday V' that featured Corey Feldman, a shot of the exploding projector from 'The Evil Dead', alternate versions of certain shots from 'His Name Was Jason', most of the deleted "TV scenes" from the old box set, and even a few key moments form the fan-film 'Friday the 13th - The Storm'. I hope to be able to add some old-school grindhouse effects to certain sequences. Like 'Friday V', the majority of this edit has already been mapped out, so its just a matter of getting around to cutting all of the footage together, and seeing what software will work best for the "grindhouse" style old film scratches and such.
There's also a handful of projects that fall somewhere outside of the SubStream banner. Dave would like to take on a Nancy Thompson Chronicles fan-edit that will combine footage from Parts 1, 3 and 7 of the 'Elm Street films. I have veey little inspiration as to how one would go about doing that in an effective manner, so that's kind of his thing. Likewise, I'd like to do fan-edits of 'V The Original Mini-Series' and 'V: The Final Battle'.
These "V" fan-edits would add widescreen remastered versions of the original narrated openings that were omitted from the DVD releases, not as DVD bonus features (which the commercial DVDs did NOT have by the way) but instead, actually cut back into the movies as they were when they originally aired. These would also include the original commercial bumpers with the movie logo, as well as recreated commercial breaks using the best quality and most interesting sci-fi type commercials from 1984 and around that era, as well as decent quality network promos and theatrical movie spots appropriate to the timeframe. These "V" projects are edit ideas that Dave finds interesting but I don't think he's all that excited about taking on, mainly because of the tedious nature of searching down and then converting all of the commercials, as well as uncovering the original spots where the commercials would be re-inserted, etc. Just a lot of work for something that maybe not all that many people would be interested in. Regardless, I'm committed to the project, and have the resolve to see it through to completion. The idea is to recreate, to whatever degree is possible, that certain magic that was present for those of us who were growing up when these shows were originally aired, that magic that is missing from the commercial releases. Even folks who are not all that interested in the old "V" movies may enjoy the edits, as they will include so many little touches from a bygone era of television that watching them will be like being transported back in time.
I have personal access to the remastered versions of those deleted opening prologues, they're actually rather substantial in length compared to what one might expect, between five and ten minutes each, and let me tell you, I can personally attest to the fact that these opening prologues will go a long way towards re-igniting the memories of those old TV-movie-of-the-week family event-nights...spent curled up on the couch next to your loved ones, munching on a bowl of popcorn. I've also got most of the commercials chosen for the breaks during the 'Final Battle' episodes. Its a project I'm really excited about, but it's kind of a niche thing. The commercial breaks for the original Mini-series (1983) will probably mostly consist of the old arcade, Atari and ColecoVision commercials from the early 80's, all of them in good quality. It will be kind of a tribute to the inner nerd in all of us movie geeks who grew up during the 1980's. Might call the second mini-series 'V - The Final Battle: Restored TV Nostalgia Edition'.
There's quite quite a few more fan-edits on the table for SubStream Studios that I have yet to mention, but I've already said more than enough for now, so...stay tuned!
Wow, thanks to the gents at SubStream Studios for their fine work. I would love to see a re-edit of Friday the 13th IV. Now, get your booty out there and find Zombie Rezombified.
I like watching faces. I've made films of faces; minutes of faces. My next video project is about faces. In an interview from April 2011 at the Nashville Film Festival, director Laurel Nakadate says she made her film, The Wolf Knife, because:
"I fell in love with the faces of the two girls and I wrote the screenplay based around the lead actors...... The film really came about because I love their faces, I love this landscape, and I wanted to combine those things."That was all I needed, I wanted to see the film.
Laurel Nakadate is probably best known for her video projects, "I Want to be the One to Walk in the Sun" and "Oops" where she meets random, older, guys and goes back to their homes to videotape dance parties and stripteases with them. Scary shit.
She directed, produced, edited, etc. The Wolf Knife and as far as I knew, it was unavailable outside of film festivals, UNTIL Believer magazine included a DVD of the film in "The 2012 Film Issue." I didn't read the description I just watched the film.
A teenage girl named Chrissy lives with her mother and her mother's creepy boyfriend. Chrissy's mother becomes engaged to the creep. Chrissy and her friend, June, head out to find her father in Nashville. As they get close to their destination, Chrissy reveals that they are in fact going out to meet her old 3rd grade teacher, who she has been chatting with online. The film get intense from there. The two girls end up fighting with each other and their emotions are all over the place. It's a wonderful mess.
I think the film looks beautiful. The lingering shots are perfect and the lighting is just a touch outside of normal. Are the locations perfectly chosen or is Nakadate using some really colorful lighting choices? Probably the former. The film is shot on video, with a super low budget. The girls do have endlessly fascinating faces. Chrissy and June look young and fresh in the beginning of the film, but by the end, they truly look older, worn and tired, ready to go home. The acting is fine. Both girls are fearless. The 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Dews, is amazing. Hard to judge his performance, as the character is acting. He wants something.
The film felt a little too much like an adult male view of teenage girls. They talk a lot about sex; they break into a guy's yard and swim in his pool, when he catches them, they don't run away and instead stand way too close to him as he talks with them; they're nearly naked almost the entire film; there is a shower scene (which I mostly missed as one of my kids fell out of their bed while sleeping), the film just seems to be feeding into an older guy's fantasy of teenage girls every step of the way.
My wife and I just got a Roku and subscribed to Hulu Plus. We got Hulu for The Criterion Collection, but browsing the titles has made us laugh. Our joke is that there are Japanese films and films about fifteen year old girls. Teenage girls just rule the Criterion school.
I guess teenagers are mysterious. Adults don't understand them and they mostly don't understand themselves, mostly. They are chaotic and rash. Their emotions run in the extremes. They are easy to incorporate into film because they are whirpools of self-creating of drama.
I married into a family with a high level of female teenagery. There are a handful of aspects in The Wolf Knife that feel genuine to me. The girls are sweaty and just look stinky. Their emotions change shockingly fast. The girls ride a fantastic line of confidence and insecurity. I don't pretend to know, and don't want to generalize, what teenage girls are "REALLY" like, but these are things I have noticed in life, and while most films miss some of these aspects, Laurel Nakadate has used them to great effect in The Wolf knife.
I enjoyed The Wolf Knife. I probably won't watch it again, unless my wife reads this and wants to see it. I think one reason the film does not get written about as much as it should is because it is an uncomfortable film. As a male, it makes me feel creepy. It was creepy to watch, and I've debated with myself for a week to even write this review. To say I like this film, just feels like a creepy sentiment.
The film is slow, not Bela Tarr slow, but slower than you may be expecting. If you come from the Stranger Than Paradise school, it may be right up your alley.
The film has generally negative reviews but I disagree. I think the film is the opposite of boring and a fantastic blend of Chrissy and June's faces and Nashville. Laurel Nakadate gets a victory star in my book.
Here is the Vice Art Talk! video with Laurel Nakadate. Warning, it shows titties.