Suspiria

Cosmic Fred
Better Viewing Through Cosmic Cognizance By Fred E. Frederick
(a.k.a. Cosmic Charlie)
What is a review?
What’s inside us that makes us need to vent our opinions on subjects in which we consider ourselves something of an expert on? Certainly you have to love what you’re reviewing – when it’s done well, that is. But what about those times when you go to a fancy restaurant that all your friends love and you can tell the food is done well, but it’s just not your cup of tea? Not literally, it’s not like a tea room or something. Or maybe it is. The name of this tea room is Suspiria, and while I enjoy their crumpets, I have to admit that I am left bored and unimpressed by their tea.“Woah, did he just dis Susperia?”No, I love Norwegian black/thrash metal.“Huh?”Just so we’re on the same page here, there’s SuspIria the movie, and there’s SuspEria the band, named after the movie, but with the letter change for copyright issues. And no, actually, they aren’t that good. And yes, actually, they suck, moving on then…

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I don’t dislike Suspiria, with it’s vivid colors and distinct atmosphere all it’s own. Released in the same year that Stars were having Wars with each other, and directed by legendary Italian director Dario Argento, the film is highly regarded for its harsh, early, and stylized murder scene, and for the uneasy feeling the film continues to give you afterward. Now, I’m not saying that that’s all the film has, but the film’s ending is definitely not its strong point.

Let me try to explain without ruining the film for anyone who might plan on seeing it based on my glowing review (oops). The film holds a tension throughout itself like no other movie does, and if you’re a real horror movie fan and not just some freak who likes watching people murdered while wearing his mothers clothes (or your father’s clothes, if you’re an insane woman. Wait, is that how that works? Or do you just smear lipstick all over your face and say “Baby pretty now Momma? BABY PRETTY NOW?!?!”) then you know that horror is all about suspense. There’s that looming danger and you think you know what will happen, but then it doesn’t and something else does and then your little brother says he’s bored and you’re like, “Then you aren’t paying attention, spaz!”.

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But for me, this film doesn’t pay off in the ways that Rosemary’s Baby or Taxi Driver does. It feels like a cheap haunted house at the end, and dampens the experience leading up to it. Yes, there are some awesome and very frightening scenes that involve maggots and blind men and plenty of spooky music with smooth camera movement, but the end of the film doesn’t fit the caliber established by those scenes. It’s not a total letdown, like, it’s not as if things don’t happen. In the end, I prefer the ridiculous and outlandish events than, say, just some dude in a cloak explaining everything with a smirk and a girl screaming ‘NOOOOOOOO!’ and then breaking a kerosene lamp which burns the whole place down in a matter of seconds, which you don’t actually see. I was just describing Satan’s School For Girls there, a movie too bad for me to even give a review.

The other big seller of this film is it’s lead actor and protagonist, Jessica Harper. She has a great quality to her that lends itself to the mystery and fear, and allows you to empathize with a character who you can see is going through some stress. This includes when she’s surrounded by actresses who probably did a porn or two (hey, haven’t we all? I’m looking your way Sly Stallone) and aren’t really selling their characters, or just coming off as bitchy since that’s the only tone they can achieve. It lets Jessica shine through as the person who can actually display a spectrum of emotions that are believable and relatable. She kinda reminds me of Ellen Page, who even mentions Suspiria in her film Juno, which is one of the many reasons I disliked her snarky sarcastic and desensitized character in that film (horror buffs hate when some cute girl just likes a horror movie cause it’s the goriest thing she’s ever seen, or we love it because then we can say “oh really?” and pull out Dead Alive or Cannibal Holocaust and watch her face turn white).

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I wish I could say Jessica went on to bigger and better things, but I’m afraid the SHOCK TREATMENT she received in 1980 wasn’t quite a success, though I have been told the movie can grow on you (sorry, but, no Tim Curry, me no care. I mean, c’mon, I can deal with no Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, even though I do love them quite a lot, but Tim MADE Rocky Horror what it was, and not having him come back as, lik,e a Frank-N-Furter clone or something was the nail on the coffin of that one for me. Also, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, then it’s probably best you forget everything I’ve just said and get on with you life already). It’s still fun to watch her sing.

I know someone is going to tell me I don’t appreciate this movie enough and that to say the ending is anticlimactic or that the middle part of the film gets boring is sacrilege, or that I didn’t even mention the amazing score by the band Goblin whose music would appear the next year in Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which Argento edited for European distribution and included more music from Goblin for… but I have now, and then some, so get off my back! Really though, Goblin is to Suspiria as John Williams is to Star Wars. Not to mention the number of goth musicians created while viewing this films with its completely engrossing score. Possibly my favorite scene in the whole movie is the blind man in the deserted square, where nothing is happening, but because of the music, we feel total fear. However besides those amazing parts, most of the film is not as enthralling.

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So maybe you think I’m wrong for my benign feelings on Suspiria, but alas, it my review, so I don’t have to care about what you think, or don’t think, or thought, or shall think again, because that’s what I have trolls/gremlins/goblins living in my ears for. Plus, how can I like a movie that shows us a killer committing a murder at the beginning, and never reveals who that killer was? Sure, we find out who the masterminds were, and that magic was used, but whose arm is that? The world may never know. GOODNITE EVERYBODY!

An American Werewolf in London

Cosmic FredBetter Viewing Through Cosmic Cognizance By Fred E. Frederick
(a.k.a. Cosmic Charlie)

There’s a place in our soul that we try to fill by extending our understanding of ourselves beyond the realms of reality, looking instead to the nether regions of our minds where the abyss stares back into the eternal darkness of our expanding consciousness. Then there’s images attached to celluloid accompanied by audio bits that synch up with the visual bits and form something we’ve come to call a movie. An American Werewolf In London is one of these movies.

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If you’re like me, you know that in America’s present exists in the late seventies and early eighties, before that is the past, after that is the future. So this film takes place in a constant state of ‘now’ like many of the films of those eras produced. I realize you might think I’m biased or that the idea of a present existence in the past is ludicrous, but you are wrong. Just flat out wrong. Like, you are Steven Spielberg in 1979 saying “I think we’ve got a good picture here!” That’s how wrong you are, and I feel bad for you.

Speaking of feeling bad, have you ever backpacked across the moors while in England and been attacked by a naked psychopath? If you answered yes, then you probably shouldn’t read the rest of this review. The man known as John Landis helms what could be considered a horror-comedy picture, but ends up just being more horrifying due to the realism it brings. No, this is no Evil Dead II, but there is a talking corpse that cracks a joke or two while his lycanthropic friend sweats in fear and terror. I really have to hand it to David Naughton, fresh off his stint of being a pepper, who plays David and gives a performance that’s makes you feel like you’re him. You really identify with the way he addresses his lot in the film, trying to get arrested, the dream sequences featuring the Muppets (one of two Frank Oz appearances in the film, technically), the waking up naked in a zoo and having to steal balloons from a little boy in order to cover your shame ’til you get back to the English nurse’s (who you’ve been shacking up with) house. I REALLY identified with that last part.

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This movie has it all, some beautiful character development, some early-on and horrifying violence against one of our two, count them, two, not a group of people who would never hang out together lest it be for a horror movie, but two protagonists, and what every horror movie needs, NUDITY! And it’s actually tastefully done and not just a half porn. Perhaps this film’s most glorifying element would be the iconic transformation scene which made this film the Star Wars of werewolf movies. Besides also inspiring Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Video, the transformation scene is legendary because it not only holds up all these years later, but is easily still more convincing than any over-blown CGI transformations that have undoubtedly replaced the king, Rick Baker’s, mechanisms. The film not only won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup, but was also the reason the award was invented, and therefore the first movie to win such an award.

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I love when directors switch genres like Landis did. he had just had a string of hits with Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House, and Blues Brothers before he decided to take a somewhat more serious route, and it turned out to be the right move. Not so much for a Mr. Spielberg, who after hits like Jaws and Close Encounters decided to turn to comedy for 1941, which turned out to be the wrong move. But Landis couldn’t have had the amazing success without all the amazing makeup effects that Baker afforded him. The way Jack, as a talking corpse, gets more and more decayed in subsequent appearances, is subtle, but integral as a reminder of our own inevitable demise to the black void of decay as our shell deteriorates without a working heart to pump vital fluids to it’s extremities and is finally laid to dust as the wind blows us across the sands of time where we’ll rest in eternity, as our descendants enjoy the thrill of fear perceived by the films that spout off about our miserable fate. So strap in and enjoy An American Werewolf In London, and remember, never tell your dead friend he looks like a meatloaf. It’s just bad manners.

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Photos from Beyond

This day in History and a Little-known fact about Mr. Lobo:

 

For a two months in the late eighties Mr. Lobo made a living by conducting séances throughout Northern California. It is speculated that the spirits of the dead communicated with the living. However, Mr. Lobo‘s activities attracted the attention of the authorities and on November 16, 1988, a séance was interrupted by a police raid during which he and eleven members of his audience were arrested.

382322_10200756809307735_289041573_n It has often been suggested that the reason for Mr. Lobo‘s brief imprisonment was the authorities’ fear that December’s Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by the American glam metal group, Poison, might be revealed too soon, and given the earlier revelation about “Red Red Wine” by UB40, it is clear to see why the medium might be considered a potential risk. Nonetheless, Colonel Chapman, wrote to the Secretary of State branding the charge ‘overwhelmingly silly’.

Ectoplasm News Print

Happy Halloween Horror-Heads!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Today is the day! If you’re like me, it’s the one day out of the year where no one looks at you funny! If you’re close to a city this weekend, consider supporting a local theater who are showing Horror films — even if the films are crap! Support the genre!

halloween_1_poster_01 halloween_1_poster_03 halloween_1_poster_05 halloween_1_poster_10 halloween_2_poster_01 halloween_2_poster_02  halloween_3_poster_01 halloween_3_poster_02 kung_fu_halloween_poster_01 ESSxxKAx1h trick_or_treat_poster_01 trick_or_treat_poster_02 trick_or_treats_poster_01 yBKEbahxFDOML9rOh5LR2iQYYSzMr. Lobo and I are going to visit Ma and Pop Dellamorto in Happy Hollow U.S.A. tonight and hand out candy! Happy Hollow U.S.A. is a quiet community set in the twisted woods of Happy Valley. Home of their world famous 13 month long Halloween Festival! Post Card 2

If you can’t make it to Happy Hollow U.S.A. today Dress up, go to a party or stay in and give out candy! Today is our holiday and we hope everyone is enjoying it to the fullest!

31 Days of Halloween Music Mix Volume 31!!!!!

The Epic Story so Far:

Happy Halloween!

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Alright spooky music fans, it is HALLOWEEN! That marks day 31 of Devin Cönnörs and Myles Arden 31 days of Halloween music project!  Today is Halloween, so it’s the thirty-first day of mixes  — Tonight’s The Night II. At this point you’ve got enough music to fuel your entire Halloween party! You know the drill: to download the mix CLICK HERE and Follow their Tumblr Halloween inspired content all year long!

It’s almost time, kids! 31 Days of Halloween Music Mix Volume 30!

30Day 30 of Devin Cönnörs and Myles Arden 31 days of Halloween music project!  Today is the thirtieth of October, so it’s the thirtieth day of mixes  — Paranoia Phobia. To download the mix CLICK HERE and Follow their Tumblr for future mixes and Halloween inspired content! Also check out their new Facebook page!

31 Days of Halloween Music Mix Volume 29

29Day 29 of Devin Cönnörs and Myles Arden 31 days of Halloween music project!  Today is the twenty-ninth of October, so it’s the twenty-ninth day of mixes  — Revenge of the Killer Kovers. To download the mix CLICK HERE and Follow their Tumblr for future mixes and Halloween inspired content

Also check out their new Facebook page!

31 Days of Halloween Music Mix Volume 28

28Day 28 of Devin Cönnörs and Myles Arden 31 days of Halloween music project!  Today is the twenty-eighth of October, so it’s the twenty-eighth day of mixes  — Horrorbilly Encore. To download the mix CLICK HERE and Follow their Tumblr for future mixes and Halloween inspired content! Also check out their new Facebook page!

DISMEMBER THE ALAMO Was A Night to Remember!

 By Dixie Dellamorto10687167_10152799376633653_7658721263167031908_n

First of all I want to warn you that I’m running on empty as I’m writing this post, but I had such a good time that I just have to get it all out while it’s still fresh for me. Really – Mr. Lobo and I had such a blast at DISMEMBER THE ALAMO last night! In case you missed it, check out the animated ad by Tom Barndt!

The lineup was amazing. The first film of the night was NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986) staring the red-blooded resolute stud: Tom AtkinsCreeps. The film is delightfully 80’s and is about an alien experiment gone terribly wrong, resulting in slug-like brain parasites who enter  through the mouth, turning dumb jocks into bloodthirsty zombie-like incubation stations who happen to invade on the night of the Formal… sort of. Actually there is so much going on in this movie that I’ve yet to read a synopsis that does it any justice. Needless to say, this is one of our favorite films and we even celebrated by building a realistic looking flame thrower and pinning a bunch of black slugs to a prom dress for my costume:Untitled-1The second film we had the supreme pleasure of hosting also stars the well-built two-fisted beefcake Tom Atkins and co-stars the delicate and radiantly beautiful Stacey Nelkin the film, of course, was HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH(1982).halloween-iii-season-of-the-witch-dvd-cover-13
halloween_3_01This film is dear to our hearts but largely unappreciated as the classic it truly is. Season of the Witch is a fun popcorn flick about an alcoholic doctor (Atkins) who, with the help of the grieving daughter (Nelkin) of a deceased patient, uncovers a conspiracy to sacrifice children in a druid ritual devised by a toy-making warlock who runs large Halloween mask-making company.
Yes you read that right.

If you’re a horror fan (which we’re guessing you probably are if you’re reading this) you may know that this movie catches a lot of flack for deviating from the story of the babysitter stalking maniac Michael Myers. In fact a lot of people down right HATE this film. To these people I say: I’m sorry that someone tried to put some magic in your life. I’m Sorry that someone tried to put some more Halloween spirit in the franchise. And I’m sorry that you can’t just enjoy a genuinely fun movie.

I hope you're happy.

I hope you’re happy.

I kind of think of Michael Myers and Jason are one trick ponies and I still have a hard time understanding how these kinds of slasher movies have such extensive franchises since every film is exactly the same and if it’s not more of the “same stalking and killing unsuspecting babysitters/camp counselors” the fans have a conniption fit. But what the hell do I know? I really liked Jason X.

Whoa, I kind of got off track there… Lets get back to the show:

The real treat of the evening wasn’t the root beer float I drank, no the real cherry on top of the evening was sitting with Miss Stacey Nelkin and watching her stellar performance in Season of the Witch followed by a Q&A between Stacey and Mr. Lobo. Lobo challenged the audience to come up with good questions and they did rise to the occasion making it both informative and entertaining. After the Q&A the staff of the Alamo handed out free posters for all the attendees and Mr. Lobo and Stacey signed autographs during the intermission. A couple of people even asked me to sign their posters and some artwork I had for sale!

Lobo and StaceyI was so struck by Stacey — She was so beautiful and generous with the fans and I feel truly blessed to have met her.

After Intermission Mr. Lobo introduced the next movie. The rest of the line up, I must admit was a bit of a disappointment only because the rest of the films don’t feature the ultra-masculine, virile, and hard-boiled Tom Atkins… Luckily they’re great otherwise! The-Monster-Squad-movie-posterSo our third film was THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987)! An excellent flick starting a bunch of spunky and good-looking youngsters. The movie is about A group of kids who are united by their love of monsters. Soon after forming a club they are pitted against the likes of Count Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, and a Gillman. The kids have to work together to stop Dracula from using an ancient amulet that will allow him to take over the world.
This movie is pure 80’s fun all the way through, but I stayed in the lobby and chatted with some fans who were milling around and ordering drinks. I had a great time meeting new people and talking to fans from way back. Everyone was just so nice, but around this time Stacey was retiring to the hotel and I thought I should probably take that opportunity to sneak away myself. Lobo walked us back like a true gentleman and at the Hotel we rated the pumpkin carving contest set up in the lobby. Lobo returned to the theater to host the final film of the night: Night of the Comet (1984Night-of-the-Comet) about A girl who chooses to stay inside at the theater where she works when most everyone else is outside viewing a rare comet which incidentally wipes out most of life on Earth in it’s wake. The girl and her sister must find a way to survive amid other less savory survivors. Another fine 80’s movie with a true cult following. People LOVE this movie and for a good reason — it’s exquisite! I regret not having the energy to stick with it and watch this final film but I’m pretty sure if I had stayed I would have turned into a Pumpkin for sure — and at this time of year? That’s dangerous stuff!

 

Finally I really want to thank Steve Nerangis and the Staff of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester Virginia for throwing such a gratifying and entertaining event.

Also a special Thanks to Matt Burns for submitting some great photos!