I have a very push/pull with this video. Two days ago my good friend Jacob sent me a link to Jehnny Beth's debut record, To Love is to Live. You may remember her from Savages, whose 2013 debut Silence Yourself still resounds as one of my favorite records of the previous decade. Savages' follow-up Adore Life came out in 2016 and just kind of left me flat. I go back to it every now and again, but the 'a-ha' moment has never come. Still, I hold out hope that one day it might.
So too, my first couple of attempts at listening to To Love is to Live were completely unsuccessful. I put the record away, went about my business, and came back to it later for a fresh perspective. This time, I perused the track listing before jumping in from the beginning, as I am most often wont to do, and decided to start with the fifth track on the record, "A Place Above", simply because the listing said featuring Cillian Murphy, and I was curious what that would sound like. You can actually hear that track in the video above for track six, "I'm The Man", as it serves as something of a prologue to the song. I'm happy to report, from this track on, the album opened to me in a way that very much made me appreciate Ms. Beth in a way I don't think I have before. The video above, directed by Anthony Byrne, is gorgeously shot and lit, even if the theatrics themselves that comprise the narrative of the video's run time leave me a little harumphed.
If you've listened to any of the recent episodes of The Horror Vision - we've been weekly for a month or two now - you'll have heard me talk about Eibon Press's four-issue comics expansion/adaptation of Lucio Fulci's The Beyond. I loved the book, and immediately ordered the trade paperback collection The Gates of Hell, which does for Fulci's City of the Living Dead what the aforementioned comic did for The Beyond. There's a big picture here, and it excites the F*CK out of me. One of the things that converted me to such a huge fan of Fulci's Gates of Hell Trilogy is the mythos, the larger picture that can be glimpsed beneath the films. It reminds me of HP Lovecraft's mythos, and I think Eibon Press is breaking serious ground by going in and fleshing it out.
After talking about this on our show, Eibon Press founder Sean Lewis hit me up online. There will be an interview coming up down the road, but before that, some more reviews, as he sent review copies of a lot of other Eibon books with my Gates of Hell trade.
First up was House By the Cemetery, three issues that further my favorite Fulci film in ways that directly connect it to the other two movies in the series. Next, that Gates of Hell trade is calling my name, so first, K and I re-watched City of the Living Dead last night.
Easily the poorest of the three films in this cycle, the comic will only be able to improve the story, for which there is only the barest hint of in the film. Don't get me wrong, I still dig it, but even that clipped, nightmare logic that makes The Beyond work so well kind of fails here, as we move from scene to scene with a pretty transparent disregard for anything but the gore and atmosphere.
Interestingly, while this is the weakest of the three Gates of Hell flicks as far as story is concerned, City contains the best FX in any of these: Bob's drill-through-the-head death scene doesn't suffer from the usual tail-end let down present in most of these movies, where you can see how the actor is replaced by a close-up of the model. Below, compare Bob's death with the infamous 'gut-spewing' scene from this same movie, where you can clearly see the actress replaced by a dummy (again, not badmouthing here, just saying).
I should add, these are some especially gross-out clips (okay, really just the second one), so press play at your own risk:
Anyway, as I said, Eibon press's Gates of Hell comic can only improve on this one, so I can't wait to dig in later today.
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
Me and That Man - Songs of Love and Death
Queens of the Stone Age - ... Like Clockwork
Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear
Venue - One Without a Second
Deafheaven - 10 Years Gone