Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big Screen Big Tune #2 - Django

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that Ennio Morricone was the true king of the Spaghetti Western soundtrack but there were definitely some others out there too!

For the second Big Screen, Big Tune, we present Luis Bacalov's theme song for Django.

Chorus: django!

Django, have you always been alone?

Chorus: django!

Django, have you never loved again?
Love will live on, oh oh oh...
Life must go on, oh oh oh...
For you cannot spend your life regreatting.

Chorus: django!

Django, you must face another day.

Chorus: django!

Django, now your love has gone away.
Once you loved her, whoa-oh...
Now you've lost her, whoa-oh-oh-oh...
But you've lost her for-ever, django.

When there are clouds in the skies, and they are grey.
You may be sad but remember that love will pass away.

Oh django!
After the showers is the sun.
Will be shining...

[instrumental solo]

Once you loved her, whoa-oh...
Now you've lost her, whoa-oh-oh-oh...
But you've lost her for-ever, django.

When there are clouds in the skies, and they are grey.
You may be sad but remember that love will pass away.
Oh django!
After the showers is the sun.
Will be shining...
Oh oh oh django!
You must go on,
Oh oh oh django...

Emily Booth

Emily Booth has, on reflection got to be pretty much the coolest women in horror. There are precious few people who take horror and genre-films very seriously and fewer still who try to drag it kicking and screaming, bleeding and oozing, into the mainstream's attention.

In this respect, we ought to forget about Emily Booth being one of the coolest women in horror. She is one of the coolest people in horror. I mostly know her from the sublimely awesome show Shock Movie Massacre. You could probably count the number of recent television programmes about genre film on the fingers of one hand. Perhaps even after several of your fingers were sliced off in a Hong Kong based revenge epic...

But Shock Movie Massacre IS a genre-horror tv programme, and best of all: it's really good. I've read interviews with the producer (I think) who sadly claimed that it was unlikely ever to get a proper release as a series on DVD as the numerous gory cult-movie clips were only ever licensed for TV. This is sad. But don't get too down about it, the entire series is (sssshhh, wisper it!) available online if you hunt around a bit.

Perhaps we shouldn't bother turning back to this series though; she's now presenting a new series, Gorezone Movie Massacre that you can get on the cover DVD with Gorezone magazine (which I sadly haven't seen) as well as producing her own (excellent) series Emily Booth's Behind The Screams (available on YouTube). The most recent of these takes a peek behind the filming of Doghouse, in which Booth played the awesomely terrifying "Snipper", zombie hairdresser on a rampage!

What comes out most clearly when watching her shows - whether she was chatting with Paul Naschy, diving out of cars or learning how to fake a good decapitation - is that she clearly loves the films she's talking about. As the horror-fan is typically confined to basements and attics, shying away from daylight as if they were vampires, it's refreshing to see people speaking publicly and passionately for horror films.

Keep doing it, right?

Emily Booth on Twitter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

World Gone Wild

After wading through a lot of horror recently (especially Vampires!), I was begining to feel the need to turn my gaze to something a little different. At this point, I usually sit down to choose between my other two favourite genres; is it to be Spaghetti Western or camp 80s Dystopian thrills?

I chose the camp 80s dystopia and World Gone Wild certainly didn't disappoint.

Made in the 80s? Check.
A desert world where water has become the most precious commodity? Check.
Adam Ant as a bad guy? Check.
Killer frisbees, motorbikes, gunfights and moonshine? Check, check, check, check.

It would be grossly unfair to call this a b-movie by numbers - it's not, it's exciting and original - but I think it'd be true to say that it does more or less some up my idea of what a b-movie is.

From the opening voice-over telling us just how ruined the world is (no rain in 50 years), the crappy camera effects in the opening credits and the entirely amazing theme song (AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE HERE) you just know what kind of movie this is going to be. The bad guys will sneer, the world will be full of wreckage and rubble, people will have regressed into a shouting, snarling, gambling, boozey mass, a dashing hero will save the day, everything will be fine. Needless to say, all of these things are true. The thrill of World Gone Wild is not that any part of it is unexpected, shocking or particularly innovative, just that it's really good fun!

Disengage brain, open a beer, cook some popcorn; this is a film that is made to be enjoyed. From Adam Ant's wonderful smirking bad-guy to the villagers with their 80s haircuts, defending their livelihood with a wall of abandoned cars, if you like dystopian films, 80s cheese or b-movies in general, you can't fail to enjoy this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

...can go somewhat awry.

February started well but suddenly it's the 16th and I haven't posted in nearly 2 weeks. Damn. That wasn't meant to happen. All sorts of other things (real life!) got in the way for a bit; but there'll be some good new posts up soon. I've promised a WomenInHorrow post on Emily Booth, I NEED to write about Birdemic (the world's best worst film) and a whole host of other things I've watched.

For now, I shall just point you in the direction of Paula Haifley's website. Paula was, amongst her fellow students,"the only student to make a thesis film featuring a disembowling", which is - quite frankly - easily reason enough to check out her website and her rather awesome short 'Movie Monster Insurance'

More info on this page!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Poster Hunt #7 -James Bond and The Matrix - Ghana style

This month Poster Hunt comes in the form of TWO gorgeously ridiculous hand-painted posters from Ghana. Many of these paintings were made by (incredibly creative) artists who had not seen the film

And if you like these, you should definitely check out Ephemera Assemblyman

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blood and Donuts

For a first real Women in Horror Recognition Month post, I chose to watch Holly Dale's Blood and Donuts. I'll be honest; I only chose the film because it has a female director and female-directed feature-length horror is all too rare. I must admit that, going on only the title, I really wasn't expecting much.

How wrong could I be?

Though I won't pretend that this is absolutely essential viewing, this is a clever, fun, sensitive vampire film; sharing much more with thoughtful films like Interview With The Vampire and Let the Right One In than with Hammer's neck-biting romps. At the heart of this film we have the indefinitely old vampire, Boya - a "humanist vampire" as we discover. Much like Brad Pitt/Louis in Interview With The Vampire, this leaves Goya to lead a less than glamorous life, munching on rats and pidgeons as privately as he can and trying not to court too much attention.

If we're completely honest, the plot doesn't exactly go anywhere and there're a handful of unsatisfyingly loose ends (bad scripting or unfortunate editing, who knows?) but the bulk of this film is about the relationships between Goya, Molly the waitress at the coffee and donut shop and Earl, a cab-driver leaned on by some shady gangster types. Though, as I said, the story doesn't really take these characters very far, the actors are surprisingly good for such an obviously low-budget affair. Gordon Currie, as Goya, is superb and creates a suffering vampire who we really do care for, whislt Helene Clarkson and Justin Louis are also both convincing in their roles - although perhaps a little too quick to accept Goya as a vampire.

It's by no means flawless - a handfull of (really) dodgy special effects are decidedly disappointing, the title is excruciatingly awful (I know that's not a major point, but still....) and, after creating such an interesting vampire, it's a shame we learn so little about Goya's life (or rather, existence. Life's probably the wrong word). For all that, it is a well-paced, interesting vampire flick which manages to both follow a good deal of vampiric folklore (excepty stakes to the heart apparently) and bring something fresh to what can, at times, be a fairly tired, predictable and plodding genre.

As if to further reward you, David Cronenburg's extended cameo does add some more fun to the bill; he and his mobster subordinates are mostly an excuse for some vampire action - the characters are never really fleshed out at all - and both help to create some tension in the film but also to undermine the plot somewhat. Their inclusion is never really explained satisfactorily - it is as if someone forgot to include a little chunk of plot that might have bound it all together a lot more tightly.

Minor gripes aside, this is definitely a film worth watching and came as a wonderful surprise.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Women In Horror Recognition Month

So, whether you knew it or not, February is Women in Horror Recognition Month. Yes if you're in America it clashes with Black History month, but if you're in/from the UK, you'll know that Black History month is in October, right?

Anyway, Chopping Mall's participation is going to be somewhat laid back, but shall definitely be participating. We'll have posts about the fantastic Emily Booth coming soon, as well as a couple of reviews of Female-directed Horror films (a disturbingly rare occurrence).

For now though, let me point you in the direction of the main site and a handfull of female horror-bloggers whom you should definitely be reading.

Women In Horror month - Co-ordinating site setup by Hannah Neurotica

Facebook page for WiHm - Updated more regularly

Day Of The Woman - Any blog that has a banner taken from I Spit On Your Grave is likely to be good, right? Keep reading and it just get's better.

Musings Across A Continuum
- Quite apart from being one of the very few blogs with a double-u (not a w) in the title, this is a rather excellent little blog that I stumbled upon recently and have been enjoying reading.

The Horror Digest
- This is probably one of my favourite film blogs around. I really don't need to say more; go and read it now, yeah?

Little Miss Zombie - I must confess, I've only just found this one (from the WiHm facebook page, natch) so can't say a lot about it. Needless to say, the title (and header banner) were enough to convince me and, as it's been going since Oct 2008 it looks like there's a bit of back reading to be done. Covers books as well as films.

Hey! Look Behind You! - This is a blog I discovered only a few days ago but already rate highly. Especially good for Nicki's "I Love Shorts" posts, as Horror Shorts are a too often neglected art.

Anyway, as I say, this is just by way of introduction to Women in Horror Recognition Month; films to come soon. Check out some of these other blogs, celebrate the important women in horror and lament that Horror (and other cinema in general) is still such a male-dominated world.

Hello February.

[To any, undoubtedly awesome, female bloggers not included: this isn't through a lack of interest but a lack of knowledge. Got an awesome blog? Send me a link!]