Zombies and nasties and reporters galore, rocking and writing and editing and more ... just some of the flavours of my November 2014...
Click "READ MORE" below for the full run down of what the looks, sounds, vibes & flavours of my month have been...
Viva La Bam: Season 3, 4 & 5
Haggard - it's a shame that the CKY/Jackass/Viva La Bam crew of old seem to have drifted away in separate directions, but I guess it was inevitable. Bam Margera's 2003 comedy feature is occasionally indulgent, but it's still got some heart and plenty of laughs. Thankfully 11 years on I still find it just as funny, so I've not turned into a miserable on grump just yet!
City of the Living Dead (Arrow Blu-Ray) - otherwise known as Gates Of Hell. Lucio Fulci's 1980 'southern gothic' horror follow-up to his biggest hit Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters). The plot makes little sense, but the atmospherics are top notch, and numerous set pieces stand out as thrilling highlights (buried alive, head drill, guts upchuck, etc). The disc is packed with extras, although the focus on interview after interview does get a little bit samey. That said, a 50 minute career retrospective with Giovanni Lombardo Radice proves to be a fascinating and candid feature, examining some of his most well known horror outings.
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide Part 2 (DVD) - not just the main documentary, but the nine-and-a-half hours of trailers and introductions to every single one of the eighty-two Section 3 "nasties".
Se7en - a superb piece of filmmaking, but every time I watch this flick it gets darker and darker. The atmosphere is so oppressively gloomy; the city setting is hell on earth made a reality - a seedy, grease-clogged maze of human indecency ... just the sort of movie for a quiet Sunday afternoon, then!
The Newsroom Season 3 - to say that the stakes are high in the final season of Aaron Sorkin's fast-talkin' television news drama would be quite an understatement. With secrets galore and the threat of losing it all looming large over most of the cast of characters' heads, I was rabidly hooked from the get-go. The first season took a bit of settling into, and then season two firmly took hold - season three is shaping up to have the grip of a tightly wound vice.
Michael Lives! The Making of Halloween - the four-and-a-half-hour behind the scenes documentary about Rob Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's iconic slasher flick. While JC's version is superior, I'm a big fan of RZ's take on the material, and this documentary certainly illuminates many interesting choices that RZ made to play with audience reactions and mess with genre conventions. It also looked like it was a fun set to be a part of.
The Walking Dead Season 5 - by this point it goes without saying really, doesn't it? A bundle of Season 5A memes can be found here.
The Walking Dead Season 4 (Blu-Ray) - digging into the extra features, including hours of behind the scenes and episode analysis content previously posted on AMC's YouTube channel. It's a much more impressive package than what there was for season 3, although there are still a few featurettes that focus too much on just giving us a round-up of key events relating to certain characters that we've already been over having watched the episodes. Nonetheless it's a thoroughly good boxset for an excellent season. Still got to dig into the commentaries and extended episodes.
HIM "Screamworks: Love In Theory & Practice, Chapters 1-13", "Dark Light", "Love Metal", "And Love Said No", "Venus Doom", "Razorblade Romance", "Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666", and "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" - so essentially a jumbled revisit of their back catalogue.
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross "Gone Girl" Soundtrack - favourite track: "Like Home" for it's dreamy warmth that envelops you, but which also carries with it a quietly disturbing vibe; kind of like some of Angelo Badalamenti's best work in that regard. One of those tracks that I can just listen to over and over again.
Sigur Ros "Avalon"
Aphex Twin "Stone In Focus"
Harry Escott "Unravelling" - the main theme from the movie Shame.
Sly Fox "Let's Go All The Way"
Foo Fighters "Sonic Highways" - favourite track: "I Am A River".
VIBES & FLAVOURS:
"Meta Ethics" - it was a difficult film to cut together, being that it was essentially an examination of ethical theories that were extremely hard to visualise, but in the end I think it came together nicely.
"The Great and The Good" short story - in conjunction with planning "Celebrityville". It takes a little bit of time to shift gears from one mindset (editing) to another (writing), but I quickly got back into the finger-tapping groove and started on my next book. The first portion I wrote was this short story that will accompany (and tie into) the main text.
The Walking Dead Volume 22 "A New Beginning" - after the chaos of the All Out War arc, I was intrigued to see where Robert Kirkman would go from there. It seems that the time jumps of the television show incarnation have inspired him to do the same with the comic, and it's a refreshing approach. The characters have been given time to stop, breathe it in, and establish a society that's not just worth fighting for, but worth living in ... to move forward in. Naturally, being that the previous two or three volumes were action-filled spectacles, this one is a much more sedate affair - not that there isn't a fair amount of undead action thrown in for good measure. This volume was more about moving the characters forward, seeing how they've grown and changed, and finding themselves with new roots. Roll on Volume 23!