The plot of this one is a bit all over the place. A swordsman with a cough returns home to visit his long time friend and the girl who he had hope the friend would marry. Then he gets caught up in a plot to stop the Plum Blossom Bandit, a pink ninja who kills with flower darts. In the meantime he befriends a poor, wandering swordsman, but then gets accused of being a bandit himself and needs to be taken to a Shaolin Temple. It doesn't make much sense until the very end, and, even then, it's a bit of a stretch. Watch this one for the colorful costumes and the ridiculous enemies.
I enjoyed this one a lot more than Phantom Encounters. The historical accounts are more fact-based rather than anecdotal and the modern accounts had more photos from the 1980s of witches LARPing while wearing blue-blockers. Apparently, there is no charm that provides strong eye-protection from the She-Goddess's caressing rays. Bonus points for the Barry Moser wood-engraved illustrations of the implements of torture.
This was a movie that we were told about in art history classes when talking about German expressionist painting. The art direction does make it feel like a cubist painting come to life. Unlike Nosforatu the story is still compelling to modern sensibilities. Just make sure you watch the restored 2016 version.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn brings us more thrilling tales from the gulag! This is his fictionalized account of life in the Marfino prison where the inmates engage in secret research for the Soviets. This is a huge book, but it is not that difficult a read if you can get your head wrapped around the lengthy list of characters, each of which can be referred sometimes two or three long Russian names. The themes are deep and meaningful and, at times, maybe a bit over my head but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
This book is a collection of anecdotal tales of various people from the olden days being visited by spirits. The stories go as follows: person sees ghost-like figure of distant a friend or relative. Later, person finds out that the friend/relative died at the very same moment in which the apparition manifested itself. Now imagine that same story told, with only slight variations, a hundred or so more times but in a prose style that feels like the phony paragraph at the bottom of a Mad Fold-in.
Authenticity Fetishist is the fourth official release by Martian Law. It was written and produced during the summer and fall of 2018 in Chicago, Ill., USA.
Buy the Album on Bandcamp
This album is only available as a digital release. You can buy it through Bandcamp for a measly three bucks or, if you are a cheapskate who doesn't want independent creators to thrive, just download it for free. I'm not judging.
"Kentucky Mechanisms" Official Video
The first few hours of Alien: Isolation are some of the most nerve-racking gaming I have ever experienced. It's a stealth game in which you are mostly defenseless and must hide to survive. There's no sneaking up behind enemies and stabbing them in the back. The enemies aren't just some dopey guards walking in a set pattern that you are trying to avoid. It's one of the most menacing monsters in cinema history. One wrong turn or overly loud noise and you are facing its dripping double jaws in seconds.
What can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said in the "Under Pressure" video by Queen. For as important a movie that this is, it's surprising how beat up the print is on Amazon streaming. Most of the appeal is in the creepy monster design which, if it had been filmed with modern equipment, would probably not be all that creepy.
The only reason I watched Deep Star Six was because I remembered the excellent box art on the tape and was intrigued to finally see what this movie was all about. I think I was in the right mindset at the moment because I actually enjoyed this despite its major plot and characterization shortcomings. It was just nice to see a movie filled with practical effects in an underwater setting that, outside of The Abyss, is underused in cinematic sci-fi.
Not quite a horror film, but this is probably as dark and weird as a kung-fu picture will get. As the title suggests, this is about a guy who makes lanterns out of human skin. It's gruesome (yet not at all realistic), but more noteworthy is the main, masked villain's mad monkey fighting style. The entire movie is stylish and cool and very entertaining despite narrative shortcomings.