Archives for the month of: January, 2016


Mad Max, Spanish lobby card. 1979



The Comsat Angels


Clash of the Titans (1981)


A Chain Reaction

Fischli and Weiss


Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre © Vortex/Bryanston Distributing Company/Photofest.

Hailed by many as the perfect horror film, lauded by millions as one of the most influential films ever made, considered by most one of the revolutionary pillars of latter day horror cinema, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an endlessly referenced cult slasher that beckons to be revisited every once in a while. Written and produced by Hooper and Kim Henkel, partly based on the story of the 1950s serial killer Ed Gein, it’s to no coincidence that countless all-time best lists reserve a spot at the top for this film. So what’s the deal with this seemingly gory slash fest? Why is it so important today, and what exactly separates it from the rest? Well, to answer these questions, one should note at the very start of an analysis that it’s incredibly effective. Fifteen years since seeing it for the first time, we still remember the inescapable terror freezing up our bone marrow. It’s staggeringly realistic: as the great Wes Craven once said, it “looked like someone stole a camera and started killing people.” A lot of this praise goes to Hooper’s talented cinematographer Daniel Pearl. This snuff quality makes it painfully easy for the viewer to forget they’re watching a fictional story, and the feeling of actually witnessing a series of real life brutal murders is abundantly helped by the fact that Hooper’s cast consisted of rather anonymous actors from the Texas area, which most likely had more to do with budgetary constraints than the filmmaker’s vision. It’s the same financial limitations that forced Hooper and his crew to work seven days a week up to 16 hours a day. Combine this with the exhausting weather conditions, when the temperature rose to 40 degrees Celsius, and it’s perhaps not so difficult to understand why the desperate, painful screams of the actors sound so real and unnerving.

It’s impossible to talk about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without referencing the influence it wielded on the horror film production that followed. The very concept—several ordinary people in wild, desolate surroundings faced with horrible, maniacal atrocities—has been copied endlessly up to this very day. Moreover, the legendary character of Leatherface, a towering figure of almost unnatural strength and tenacity but deprived of individuality and characterization, wearing a terrifying mask, became a role model for slasher icons that followed, as well as his use of motorized tools for destroying his victims. It’s rather curious to note that Hooper’s unsuccessful attempt to acquire a PG rating resulted in making the film even more petrifying. The filmmaker severely limited the quantity of onscreen gore, but this left plenty of implications and suggestions for the audience, which means quite a lot of the brutality and gruesomeness was left to the viewer’s imagination. These indirect subtleties, however, are far more effective than open, blunt portrayals of decapitation and gutting.

Horror master Guillermo del Toro named Hooper’s film one of the top five horror films ever made, Nicolas Winding Refn said it was the film that attracted him to the filmmaking business, and this is just a small drop in the sea of appreciation the film’s been getting in the last couple of decades. Whatever layer of the film you decide to analyze and dissect, from whichever angle you choose to look at the movie, it’s simply a masterful, surprisingly artistic execution of a project developed in meager circumstances, which resulted in a timeless classic whose historical value, even if you fail to see its numerous qualities, simply can’t be denied.

‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’: An Original, Effective and Highly Influential Pillar of Horror Cinema


The dead are usually buried in a casket or cremated, but a new concept could modernize the way humans deal with death. Jae
Rhim Lee has developed a suit embedded with mushroom spores that speeds
up decomposition  and neutralizes toxins the human body releases when
we die. The ‘Mushroom Death Suit’ is centered around the idea of reconnecting the body with the earth. The Mushroom
Death Suit is embroidered with thread  infused with mushroom spores
that will grow from the body after it is buried.Patterns sewn in the suit resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium.The
suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore
slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a
mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate
liquid culture medium.

Photo credit: (top and bottom right) Jae
Rhim Lee, (bottom left) James Patten, (bottom left, inset)Mikey Siegal



Dear Europe and UK, Thank You!

Hope to see you again VERY soon.



They Will Torture You My Friend, 1971
Nancy Spero 


It has been said that when gods fall, the earth shakes.

Yesterday night, the news broke that the Alabama-based African-American artist Thornton Dial had died on Monday at his home in McCalla, just southeast of Birmingham, at the age of 87. A master of what label-loving art historians and merchants might refer to as post-Cubist assemblage or postmodern appropriation, not to mention of his own variety of unaffected expressionism and a fluid style of draftsmanship that was both lyrical and semi-abstract, Dial was an artist whose ideas and creations fit into all and none of those establishment-dictated categories at the same time. As with the most innovative, most remarkable self-taught artists of any time or place, both his worldview and the evidence of his artistic achievement were and remain unique and, ultimately, unclassifiable.

Artist Thornton Dial, an American Genius, Dies at 87