I am fascinated by the way in which the internet has facilitated the development of various unusual and oddly specific subcultures. Best of all are subcultures that are tiny but distinct subsets of other groups, or subcultures that exist in the intersection of an unlikely Venn diagram, like the overlap between the “SCAdian” circle and the “BDSM” circle where the Goreans exist. That’s a whole bunch of alphabet soup that basically boils down to “Renaissance Festival enthusiasts who enjoy female slavery role-play.” There were folks living the Gorean lifestyle before the rise of Second Life, but it’s hard to debate the fact that this kind of tool is highly useful for people who want an immersive place to safely act out kinky scenarios.
I’m not sure what I expected to feel after watching “The Keep,” a movie that is widely noted to be a cinematic misfire. Unkle Lancifer recently did a beautiful job of capturing the attract-repulse appeal of this movie over at Kindertrauma, and my interest had been piqued by his article. After watching Michael Mann’s 1983 supernatural horror film and feeling as unfulfilled as Unk, I was still interested enough in its story of Nazis pitted against an elemental evil that I figured the source novel by F. Paul Wilson would clarify some of the muddled mess of the movie. As it turns out, I was right, but the clarity provided by the book didn’t improve the story. Now I’m in the unenviable situation of feeling frustrated as a viewer and as a reader.
I was invited over to the Strange Kids Club for a little Valentine’s Day celebration. Rather than dirtying my hands at the Tenebrous Scrapbooking Station in hand-gluing macaroni to pink doilies, I opted to bring a movie review to this little horror blogging potluck. What better way to mark a holiday noted for making lonely people feel crummier than by discussing the boy-meets-rat love story “Willard” in both its 1971 and 2003 incarnations?
Rosalyn Drexler is a creative person who is so accomplished that I find her presence in the world to be incredibly inspiring and humbling all at the same time. This is a woman who, at various points in her life, performed as a professional wrestler, exhibited paintings alongside some of the most famous names in Pop Art (including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein), and published multiple novels inspired by her colorful life experiences.
One of the little tragedies about being a movie fan whose chief decades of interest are the 1960s and 1970s is that we’re reaching the time when the filmmakers, actors, and behind-the-scenes geniuses who made these movies so special are passing away. I don’t want to turn the Love Train into the Maudlin Obituary Death Train, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a couple of remarks on the passing of Tura Satana.
I maintain that every actor who has portrayed Dracula on screen or stage since 1931 has had to act around Bela Lugosi’s iconic performance. While purists may take issue with the Todd Browning-directed film’s faithfulness to the Bram Stoker novel, there’s no denying that Lugosi’s Eastern European accent, intense stare, and elegant carriage have defined the modern image of the vampire. A close second in the Dracula Stakes* is Christopher Lee, who first appeared in the role in the 1958 Hammer production, “Horror of Dracula,” portraying a more monstrous, physically intimidating version of the Count.