Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Links: The Kill Riff, the Booth Brothers, and Men of Stone

It's been a long week.  So what happened?
  • At Sean Eaton's extremely readable R'lyeh Tribune, he deconstructed Lovecraft's shudder pulp effort The Man of Stone: "The allusion to ‘Damon and Pythias’ occurs in various literary works over time as metaphor for male bonding.  Lovecraft’s The Tree (1921) is also a reflection of Lovecraft’s interest in the ancient Greek conceptualization of male friendship.  (See also Under the Olive Tree.) In the context of The Man of Stone, it is an odd reference.  Neither Jack nor Ben endure any self-sacrifice for the other, and are primarily observers at the scene of a crime.  In fact, they disappear entirely from the story when attention shifts to passages in the diary of the villain.  The phrase ‘Damon and Pythias’ serves mainly as code describing their close male friendship."
  • The Kill Riff was the subject of some analysis at Too Much Horror Fiction: "There is no horror as fans know and love it in David J. Schow's 1988 novel The Kill Riff (Tor paperback published May 1989), despite it bearing the icon of Tor's horror line; this is a suspense thriller through and through. The most accurate blurb about is from Penthouse, that bastion of literary acumen, and it states the novel's high-concept succinctly: 'Gives us the nightmarish psychology behind the systematic murders of a heavy-metal band.'"
  • Taliesin Meets the Vampires reviewed the 1958 film El Castillo de los Monstruos: "Now, I mentioned that the film becomes highly offensive and it is when Clavillazo books into a hotel and the owner’s son (Arturo Cobo) has a mental health impairment. The fact that they make him nothing more than the foil of a joke for Clavillazo along with the generally massively unsympathetic portrayal just wouldn’t cut the mustard today in what was otherwise family level entertainment. It was uncomfortable watching. However, things get back on track after that scene and Clavillazo and Beatrice start to fall in love but she has attracted the attention of the sinister Dr Sputnik."
  • The Lovecraft E-Zine listed some Lovecraftian movies available on Netflix, including Oculus.  I think it's a stretch for Oculus to be listed, but "Lovecraftian" can be pretty subjective.  Pontypool, a really awesome film, also made the list.
  • Ginger Nuts of Horror scored a tremendous interview with the Booth Brothers: "'GNoH: Dead Still' uses subtle CGI for enhancement but a lot of 'Old School' effects too which to my mind at least really worked and harked back to the good old days of horror movies. What was the decision process behind using traditional techniques?  PAB: We wanted gritty, we wanted 1970's horror like Hammer films. Old school is a lot more disturbing and graphic than wall to wall CGI."
  • In a non-horror but weird turn, House of Self-Indulgence analyzed The Passion of Darkly Noon, a somewhat obscure film starring Ashley Judd and Brendan Fraser: "The writer-director of this film, Philip Ridley (The Reflecting Skin), seems like an intelligent guy, but if he expects us to believe that Ashley Judd can enkindle the junk of others with just her winning smile, he's in for a nasty surprise. Of course, anyone who's vaguely familiar with this deeply weird, yet highly rewarding  motion picture knows, I'm being a tad facetious."
  • Here, I reviewed the movie Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead and pointed you to a review I wrote of Matt Kurtz's Monkey's Box of Horrors - Tales of Terror: Volume 1 at Ginger Nuts of Horror, the UK's premiere horror website.
(Illustration from Call of Cthulhu's The Great Old Ones supplement.)

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