It’s simultaneously blessing and a curse to come to a horror movie with a thirst to unearth the filmmakers’ artistry. Sometimes, it’s a little like rooting through a box of Froot Loops to find the prize hidden inside, only to come up with multicolored dust caked under your fingernails and nothing but a two-stage lenticular card showing an image of a clown shifting from side to side. Just like the treat DOES exist in the cereal box, there IS a vision in a movie, but it’s nothing to get terribly excited about.
I’ll admit–I’m more than a little bit in love with the work of artist Andrea Kett. Her naughty-creepy paintings blend a vintage fashion-plate aesthetic with some delightfully macabre subject matter.
Miss Bizarre, shown below, combines pretty much ALL of the various and sundry Special Needs from the pages of BIZARRE into a single outfit of incredible absurdity. While there’s certainly the intent to titillate, the accompanying text, directed at a lady who might discover a copy of the magazine (in her partner’s sock drawer or under the bed or hidden in the bathroom or wherever people kept porn in 1953), is satirical in tone:
If a fair maiden finds the light of her life reading “Bizarre,” she will realise that something is in the wind. The question is what? What must she do? What must she wear to please him? One false step and a beautiful romance may be loused up–but don’t worry! We’re right with you in your hour of crisis! Just leave it to Willie.It is assumed that you are already an expert in wrestling, judo and boxing. Therefore if you are required to take the dominant role you will be able to cope with the situation, but it may be the other way so you must appear very helpless and feminine.He may like boots, so you wear one boot; long sheer stockings, so you display one on the other leg–held up tightly by at least six suspenders. Similarly you have a bloomer and fancy garter on the other leg, and over it a pair of brief frilly scanties.The extremely wasp-waisted corset of black kid has convenient rings to which shafts can be attached should you be required to serve as a girl pony; and the ring in the nose in this case is an excellent substitute for a bit to which the reins are attached.Your makeup must be extreme, including a tattoo on your left shoulder, and you are drenched in perfume. You are covered in jewels but the bracelet on your right wrist is a pair of handcuffs. Your long hair, scarcely visible from the front (he may like it short) cascades down your back unbraided under your black gleaming rubber cape whose hood can be brought forward to cover the face (a la Blind Girl Fluff).Having rigged yourself up in this ensemble you strap one arm tightly back at the waist. Then your head held high by the stiffly boned collar, your earrings brushing your shoulders, you pick up a riding quirt, and with the shackles on your ankles jingling, go and interrupt his reading.Now we don’t guarantee that this is going to be absolutely perfect. We may have overlooked something but at least it will show an enthusiastic desire to cooperate; and we present the idea with our best wishes for a prosperous and happy New Year.
- Annabella discovers that the mayor is taking bribes and seduces him, but… the police already knew that he was corrupt thanks to a series of anonymous letters, and it seems that the crooked senator who set the mayor up was already looking to kill him. Yeah–I know!
- In order to exact her revenge on the Count, Annabella seduces his daughter in a gym sauna with the clever application of warm tea (I don’t understand this either–must be some kind of super-secret lesbonic mojo thang), photographs another of their couplings, and then fellates the Count, causing him to have a heart attack and only THEN revealing the photos. You’re thinking what I’m thinking–the “blow job” step could be eliminated entirely.
- An amoral pharmacist (played by Gabriele Tinti, aka Mr. Laura Gemser) is selling heroin out of his storefront, and Annabella sends the cops in after him–but only after they have sex in the back room of the pharmacy in order to provide her with “a sleeping aid.” *facepalm*
- Aleata Illusion at GoreGoreDancer’s Movie Reviews
- BJ-C of Day of the Woman
- B-Sol of The Vault of Horror
- Christine and the team at Paracinema (also, thank you for the INCREDIBLE shout-out in Paracinema Magazine Issue 8–the one with Tommy frikkin’ Wiseau on the cover–you guys are amazing supporters and I’m blessed to share an internet with you!)
- Darius Whiteplume of Adventures in Nerdliness
- David Z of Tomb It May Concern
- Matt at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby
- Neil of The Agitation of the Mind
- Ivan of Ivanlandia
- Reverend Phantom at Midnight Confessions
- The team at Brutal As Hell
- Zombie Hayes of Hayes Hudson’s House of Horrors
- I appeared for a split-second in a Conan O’Brien sketch filmed in 1997 and titled “Rip Taylor Is Depressed.” I was dressed in a nun’s habit and while Mr. Taylor wanted to position me closer to the camera, the director felt I might upstage the confetti-tossing comedian. And FYI–Rip Taylor is one of the raddest dudes around and I have a deep and personal love for him.
- My official karaoke song is Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.”
- I think we need to petition to bring back the X Rating. It’s not copyrighted, you can just USE it, filmmakers! OWN the verboten and wear it as a seal of pride; to hell with this pussy NC-17 bullcrap. Also: where did double-X go? Was there ever a double-X? It’s like a beautiful mystery that I feel is insufficiently answered via Wikipedia.
- I would not like to buy the world a Coke, let alone teach it to sing. Perfect harmony is not achievable–learn to embrace chaos, folks.
- An overwhelming percentage of my high school English class was female, which led to me getting cast as John Proctor in our readings of Arthur Miller’s witch trial parable “The Crucible.” I tried to make it as uncomfortable as possible for everyone involved, and I’d like to think I succeeded.
- I thank a dark deity for the internet every day, because otherwise I would never remember anybody’s names. Seriously–I have some kind of really specific speech aphasia when it comes to attaching a name to a face. Also, I am really uncomfortable with hand-shaking, as I feel it’s an art I have yet to master.
- I just realized my most recent unfinished acrylic painting has been sitting untouched in my apartment for almost two years, and this embarrasses me deeply.
Allow me to set up “The Gore Gore Girls” for you, all right? Asshole detective Abraham Gentry is hired by ambitious young newspaper reporter Nancy Weston to uncover who’s behind a series of vicious murders of strippers. Gentry has one thing the cops don’t have–no, not a cane and/or a perm! I’m talking about the ability to bribe answers out of low-life underworld types. Being-as-how Gentry is a successful businessman (and because the plot says so), Weston is instantly attracted to this oily Borat impersonator and spends much of her time in the movie a) pining for a helping of what’s hidden in Gentry’s shiny polyester trousers or b) being put in booze comas when Gentry quadruples the strength of the drinks she’s served. In order to speed up his investigation, Gentry plants deliberately misleading clues to throw the bumbling cops off the scent of the real killer and repeatedly places women in the path of the murderer.
- Fright Rags – Original designs, limited editions, and rad poster reproductions.
- Giallo T-Shirts – Pop art designs inspired by Italian thrillers. My life wasn’t complete until I owned an Ivan Rassimov shirt.
- Rotten Cotton – One of the original sources for gruesome, badass shirt designs. Lots of poster-inspired stuff as well as official licensed shirts and limited editions.
- November Fire – Staggering collection of designs, including cult film posters, occult symbols, and military themes, available on a number of shirt styles for men and women.
- Threadless – Limited edition designs ranging from the twee to the snarky, with plenty of horror stuff in the mix. My glow-in-the-dark villain stick figures shirt is one of my most treasured tees.
I watch a lot of documentaries, and they vary in quality from profound to thought-provoking to humorous to unintentionally silly. The problem with Robinson Devor’s “Zoo,” a documentary film about a man who died while being fucked by a horse at a sex farm, is that Devor never really owns the fact that he’s making a documentary film about a man who died while being fucked by a horse at a sex farm. Devor is aiming square at “profound,” applying moody cinematography and affecting a tone of ethical ambiguity. The documentary is so deliberately quiet in its tone and so cautiously philosophical about the nature of this paraphilia that the overall effect is pretty goddamn comedic. By the time the actor hired to play Cop #1 in a re-enactment for the film is interviewed about the nature of life and death, the piece has dissolved into postmodern comedy. Is this meta or merely a bad decision–or is it something akin to genius? The actor’s observation that his friend had a broken leg treated at the same hospital where the horse-fucked man bled to death was so self-centric it could have been included for no reason other than cynical humor. Funnier still is the elegantly-lensed, slow-motion sequence of a central casting “redneck” fleeing from the scene of the victim’s accidental death with a bucket full of bestiality pornography.
Sure, America has its DC Comics Legion of Doom, and those villains seemed pretty darned nasty while menacing kids over their sugar cereal and “Super Friends” on Saturday mornings. Let me just tell you that the Legion of Doom has nothing–BUT nothing–on the villains of Italian fumetti neri, adult comics that fused sex and violence into a fantastical art trashgasm.