The Invisible Man (2020)
Great action horror that had me flashing back to the glory days of late 80s/early 90s thrillers. High octane and horrifying action. Since his lukewarm debut Insidious Chapter 3, Leigh Whannell's directing chops have skyrocketed with his previous film Upgrade (2018) and now this undeniable 2020 gem. While we always knew he was a fabulous writer, producer and right hand man to writer/director James Wan he has now come out of that shadow to become the powerhouse force to be reckoned with in Hollywood right now. I'm eagerly anticipating his next project. How many directors can you say that about in 2020?
The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)
Stylish if a little off putting at the start as you slowly realise a third of the film is going to be spent in the courtroom. This is part police procedural too but there is just enough beautiful murdered women for it to qualify as a Giallo. The opening is pretty fantastic. After a somewhat lack lustre first half the intrigue then picks up to keep you from your ever present 2020 distractions for the second half. Is it just me or is the ongoing coffee gag so tedious and perhaps lost in translation? Many Giallo tropes with a nifty plot. For Gialli enthusiasts going deep into the genre.
If You Meet Sartana Pray For Your Death (1968)
If you can get past the smugness of Sartana (Gianni Garko) you are in for a Spaghetti Western treat. Garko's not half as smug as 60s icons i hate ie. Sean Connery (as Bond) and Clint Eastwood (as any fucking role he plays way beyond the 60s too). We get the stuff.... gold, stagecoach robbery, Gatling massacres, double crossing wives, coffins, coffin makers, saloons, card games, fast gunslinging, Mexican gangs, dynamite and more. There's also hints of mysticism amongst the nihilistic bloodshed which is odd. While this is the first film prepared as a vehicle for Garko as Sartana he appeared the previous year in Blood At Sundown as Sartana but was the antagonist. After this 1968 effort there were four official sequels and in true Italian style there were a bunch of rip offs or "unofficial sequels" which ripped off the name Sartana and his style.
SPOILER ALERT. Relic is the worst. This contains the most unconvincing dialogue and characters I've encountered since Lost Gully Road (2017?). Relic is so boring. Then when it attempts to come to life it's like two horror stories in one. Suspense just isn't built and you just wish all the characters would die via a scary monster but one of them is the monster (?). The filmmakers obviously like Jonathan Glazer's masterpiece Under The Skin (2013). Scarlett Johhaannssenn's alien character's human skin suit was a minuscule part of that great film but here Gran's is the whole movie (?). Oh who fucking cares don't waste your time on this bullshit!
Great fun sci-fi/horror cult movie that is bananas entertainment. It was a first time watch for me and it was a strange experience. I've had the fabulous soundtrack since the 90s and always assumed the film was some kind of boring ghost story. Wrong. This is a very peculiar and unique horror flick inside a balmy sci-fi film. Or is it the other way around. Late night movie of the week.
A heist/horror flick of the darkest variety. This is infamous near mythical cult flick has been pretty hard to see until Vinegar Syndrome tracked down the actual owner of the film's rights and released it on blu-ray in the last 12 months. One thing I'm often amazed by is how great the cinematography is in many exploitation films. This 4K transfer is beautiful but that can't help the nasty subject matter. SPOILER ALERT! The best way to describe this is Family Plot (1976) meets Bay Of Blood (1971). I wonder if Hitchcock saw this movie? This is a whole lotta dark wrong fun, a pure lost treasure. Not for the easily offended. Highly recommended.
*Six films in over a month? What's going on in Space Debris land? Well I'm very distracted by all of the things. Mainly it's the politics but it's music too.
I've been listening to lots of music again. Going through my usual winter obsessions of Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide & Throbbing Gristle. Ghosteen Nick Cave's astounding masterpiece from last year is still enthralling me to no end. I'm also very impressed with two 2020 Nick (Ekoplekz) Edwards albums as well as all the ekoplekz archives and their final release Wrekage 2011-2019 which is a vital compilation of rare tracks. The new Moon Wiring Club remix album Tabitha Reverb is triffic plus recent things from Emily A Sprague, Katie Gately, Gabor Lazar, N Chambers, Sun Araw & C. Lavender.
I dug out those old Soul Jazz New York Noise compilations the other day along with No New York and Ze's Mutant Disco and fuck they're all good. They just make all that post-punk revival shit seem well just shit, which it is! I went through the entire hypnagogic 2010 cannon which was surprisingly still fucking awesome. I'm now going to go backwards through the other years. 2009 & 2008 if I recall properly are the other two peak years. After 2010 it all went glowstick & vaporwave & whatever else but the new crop just weren't as good. Also on the hi-fi have been other old or archival stuff from Prince, Steve Kilbey, Game Theory, The Chameleons, The Sound, A Certain Ratio, Circle X, feedtime, King Snake Roost, Lo Five, Assembled Minds, Global Communication, Fennesz, Pita, Burial, Basic Channel, Vladislav Delay, Danizindan Pojidon, Haruomi Hosono, Nocturnal Emissions, Clan Of Xymox, Ramleh, Merzbow, Manuel Goettsching, Ranil and more. Been listening to some 2020 archival comps like Join The Future: UK Bleep & Bass 1988-91 on Cease & Desist, Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave & Hardcore from Soul Jazz, Cadence Revolution: Disques Debs International Volume 2 released by Strut Records and Pacific Breeze Volume 2 issued by Light In The Attic.
My main distraction, apart from the constant threat of COVID-19 in Victoria, is that 1984/Brave New World is happening right before my very eyes with the possibility of it clashing with _______ (insert favourite Fascist Police State movie or book) in the USA at least. Virtue signal alert! Just for the bloody record, I can't believe I have to do this, I'm anti far-right and anti far-left. I'm issue by issue based politically. I don't follow a doctrine but I dig liberty and being an individual. Freedom is really fucking cool when you think about it.
So I'm preoccupied by the riots and oncoming civil/race war in the USA which is quite possibly caused by the internet, twitter, facebook, algorithms, confirmation bias, lack of debate and the death of actual journalism ie. not activists writing for the nyt. Everything seems to be a false narrative. Everyone has become deranged so this could lead one to suspect several Marxist revolutionary points have been reached ie. de-stabilisation and chaos. I hope this is paranoia but the hard left are playing a weird and disconcerting game where nothing is debated or transparent and there is no actual leader with any coherent plan. Is it all clandestine? To be revealed in due course? Like if Joe Biden wins will there be a party coup where the far left overtake the party and America?
Anyway all the hard left seem to do is set up trip wires and Kafka traps ie. Robin Diangelo's White Fragility. You are racist! Denial of your racism means you're racist! It's very healthy and good for your mental state. I especially worry for those developing mentally right now and what harm this confusing insanity may cause. You must be subservient to blm otherwise you are not an ally and will be un-personed. Normal black, white and everyone else in-between are being tricked and radicalised without their knowledge. "I'm cool black lives matter they're oppressed!" We all know this and want change particularly with regard to police and penal schemes. There needs to be well considered legislative reform yesterday. I don't know anyone in real life, the media or the internet who doesn't want that. Dig a little deeper however and you find the blm organisation saying things like they are trained Marxists who have come to dismantle the nuclear family, some dodgy racial stuff like white people are genetic defects etc. etc. You are literally not allowed to call that shit out without repercussion. This is similar in the lgbtq milieu. You can't say "Wait a minute trans-kids doesn't sound like a very good idea." That makes you a transphobe, you tripped the wire. You literally are not allowed to say this if you do it means you condone youthful suicide apparently. My brain is sick of it!
"Science nah that's like logical and proves stuff so nah. Reason nah we can't win our shouty games with that. Regressive race theories! Yeah great lets look at everything through a racial lens I'm sure this wont be racist at all. History yeah nah I mean we'll have some of it to support our religion...I mean cause, but we probably don't need the bit where like communism causes a hundred million deaths cos that might be a bit of a downer for all the people we need to convert to Marxism."
People are bowing down to the destruction of civilisation because they think they're being right on, don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, risk being ostracised or fired from their job.
With regard to the Portland riots. There are several narratives going at once so you just pick the one which suits your ideology. If you want to go any further than that to try and find the truth you risk being shouted down by the hard left and far right. The reality is somewhere beneath the the layers of lies that both conflicting ideologies are piling onto the actual facts.
I'm a great admirer of the writer Jon Ronson. On twitter I argued that the riots were much more complex than his fascist police state New York Times narrative led him to believe. His response was to take down his tweet and not engage with his couple of critics. So even great men are now bowing down to the hard left and not willing to investigate the truth. Me questioning that narrative has led to accusations of me being a fascist and a nazi. People don't even argue a few points anymore they just invoke Godwin's Law immediately. This pathetic level of discourse is unfortunately the norm now. Ronson of all people, I would have thought was a complex enough human to not just choose one of the narratives on offer. A day later he posted an article about the riots from the guardian written by Maeve Higgins saying she was a "brilliant pal". Which narrative do you think The Guardian went with? So he's removed his original tweet, not engaged with critique of the issue but doubled down on his position by posting his mates article. This is 2020! It's fucking schizoid and demented.
In a show of support against antisemitism with Planet Mu records online (which was brought on by a spate of racial bullshit directed at the Jewish from Wiley, Corbyn, Ice Cube, Nick Cannon etc.) I ironically have been called a fascist and a nazi pig. I Noted in a tweet that the blm organisation have not been immune to a bit of antisemitism but oh no that was wrong think I was just yelled at and called a racist with no debate. I was presenting the truth, it's all there online for you all to read...but no I went against the moment's narrative so I am the nazi (?) for sticking up for the people who have faced the most horrific extreme wrath of actual literal nazis.
Someone from heritage media tried to say that the history of antisemitic black Americans was bogus. I've been alive since the 70s so I just know this is bollocks! Yes there are groups of Jews & African Americans who formed great alliances and have been fighting against oppression for a long time, most importantly during the civil right movement. FACT. But that doesn't cancel out the FACT that Professor Griff, Jesse Jackson or Louis Farrikhan weren't vitriolic in their hatred of Jews. Just acknowledge the facts whether they are nice or horrible. Media get your shit together. Stop being activists. It's in nobody's best interests. Why did you ever think it was? It's like everyone has become scared of facts. This is all too bizarre.
If you don't belong to an ideology and just want the facts you are not welcome anywhere. That's fine because identity politics and people's need to belong are what has brought us to this moment in 2020. People need to get over this shit. You don't belong anywhere. You are born, then you live and then you die. Get on with your life, do your stuff, be good at something, be bad at something, stop politicising the minutiae of everything in the world because ultimately the only place you belong for most of the history of time is in the ground.
This cultural schizophrenia is disrupting my life, brain, health and sorry my blog. If you wanna see me fighting for moderate well considered political debate go on my twitter (So unhealthy, I know...I'm gonna quit soon!). On instagram I do all the stuff I love music, art, family, my dog, look at otters and general silly shit. It's a political free zone for my own sanity. This is hopefully the last political rant on my blog ever. I need to get back to the music and the movies and the fun. The stuff life is made of. Sorry people. I'll try and contain my derangement so that I may resume normal transmission shortly.