Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Coolness

Normally when I post I tend to zero in on a particular topic, but there have been several pieces of random coolness that have come my way over the past week or so I just have to mention . . .

#1 – A great DVD review site called DVD Drive-In (http://www.dvddrive-in.com/) posted an update mentioning some exclusive Warner sci-fi double-feature discs being released exclusively through Best Buy. For the most part they’re bottom of the barrel stuff, but a few are of high interest. One of the discs is a Hammer double-feature which includes the somewhat rare space western Moon Zero Two (which I believe was an early MST3K subject) and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. Neither of these represent Hammer’s best, but they are notable for being a bit unusual for the studio famous for Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. The other one worth picking up features Battle Beneath the Earth and The Ultimate Warrior. The first film sounds pretty terrible, but let me tell you the second one is a great piece of 70’s post-apocalyptic action (starring the great Yul Brynner no less). I don’t know how long these are going to be available (other Best Buy exclusives saw limited runs), so you might want to get them while you can. And who knows, you may be seeing The Ultimate Warrior or some of those others at a future Fantasmo : )

#2 – George Booker of Klaxar's Focus Group dropped a note turning me on to a cool site reviewing music and film called No Ripcord (http://www.noripcord.com/). And if you’re curious to see another take on our infamous tribute to Steven Seagal, be sure to check out George’s full review under the features section.

#3 – And speaking of Seagal, if you head over to the Ain’t It Cool News site (http://www.aintitcool.com/) you can check out Vern’s review of Seagal’s latest film Kill Switch (co-starring the late, great Isaac Hayes). Vern mentioned this one at our Fantasmo tribute and it sounds pretty crazy (can’t wait to see it). Within the review he also mentions that Seagal may be pursuing a reality TV project along the lines of Dog the Bounty Hunter (you knew this had to happen). Like Vern I also have mixed feelings about Seagal venturing into self-parody, but I’m intrigued. As other posts here have mentioned, be warned that Vern’s reviews feature strong language and adult situations (and in the case of Seagal graphic violence).

#4 – Criterion is releasing a cool looking DVD of Brand Upon the Brain! by director Guy Maddin (http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=440). I’ve only seen Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World, but if this one is anywhere near as bizarre as that (and it sounds like it is) it’s a must see!

#5 - A colorized version of Richard Elfman's cult classic Forbidden Zone is being released! Normally I'm not for such a thing, but this one sounds like it follows more closely to his original vision and works really well (http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/34239/forbidden-zone-in-color/). If you've never seen this thing it's pretty crazy. And it stars Oingo Boingo's Danny Elfman (who would later compose the music to most of Tim Burton's films) and Herve Villechaize!

So those are just a few things of interest if you are interested! Back later this week with some more reviews!

4 comments:

george booker said...

i wouldn't mind seeing a guy maddin fantasmo...or maybe pair one of his up with one of the silent films that influence him so much.

Jim Blanton said...

A Maddin Fantasmo would be very interesting indeed! He's also apparently a pretty big Eraserhead fan : )

george booker said...

eraserhead would function fine as a silent.

lynch makes about as much sense that way.

still, lynch is so ahead of the curve as far as use of sound...both in his later collaborations with angelo badelementi and his own use of abrasive sound design.

also, quentin tarantino has nothing on him as far as recontextualized pop. i'm thinking of the twisted orbison tributes in "blue velvet" and "mulholland drive", the amazing "loco-motion" sequence in "inland empire", and my favorite, the "love me tender" serenade in "wild at heart".

lynch's sound design is pretty amazing in his shorts. any "eraserhead" fan NEEDS to check out "the grandmother".

i wrote up a screening of the shorts at the late, lamented record store relative theory here:

http://opencityforums.org/lynchshorts.html

Jim Blanton said...

Absolutely. It would be interesting in fact to just watch Erasherhead with the music and effects track. And the Roy Orbison moment in Blue Velvet was great.

I agree with you about Tarantino. I like what he does and it's very entertaining, but the manner in which he incorporates pop is more in the way of homage. With Lynch it's from another world.

Lynch's shorts are pretty terrific as well - The Grandmother is among his most disturbing work.