Friday, March 31, 2023

Metallica - 72 Seasons


Four for fucking four. Wow. To quote Mr. Brown, "I can't believe I'm looking forward to a new Metallica album." You and me both, brother. You and me both.


Until last night, I'd never watched Anthony DiBlasi's 2014 film Last Shift, but I've suspected for a while that the reasons I avoided this film would turn out to be an unfair dismissal on my part. You can't always judge a flick by its Netflix thumbnail, but that's exactly what I did with Last Shift (and The Taking of Deborah Logan, which I still haven't seen) for the entirety of its stint on the mega streamer. Which I feel like was years. When Last Shift dropped off and started making the rounds on other streamers, people I know started telling me how good it was. I didn't listen. This wasn't a staunch, "Fuck that movie" stance, I just never got around to it, and the few times I almost did,  the image of that stupid thumbnail resurfaced and I went on to something else.

Last month, when I read about the imminent release of DiBlasi's update on the film, I became intrigued. How many filmmakers get the chance and perhaps more interestingly use the chance to remake one of their early movies that is as well received by the fans as Last Shift? Also, to have marketing Push behind both iterations? Not many. With this in mind, I finally sat down and watched Last Shift. Halfway through, I paused it and bought a ticket to go see Malum next Monday.

Last Shift is great for what DiBlasi and crew had to work with, which admittedly is a lot more than some independent filmmakers have, but still not a helluva lot. Other than the building - which is no small asset - you can see how DiBlasi's ingenuity kicks in and sustains this one. Well, his ingenuity and a stellar performance by lead Juliana Harkavy. The film begins to feel a skosh tired as the scare tactics continue without manifesting actual physical threats, but when those do come, they're pretty damn good. All in all, a solid three stars and a heart on my Letterbxd, and what's more, watching Last Shift unlocked a thrill at imagining what we might be in store for at Malum

Also of note: I had previously thought Ari Aster's Hereditary was the first film to stray from the traditional "devil" nomenclature and move into the Goetia for inspiration concerning its demonic puppet master, specifically Paimon, who my old band Darkness Brings the Cold had at least one song evoking. Obviously not the case after watching Last Shift, and I'll be digging around today looking for any interview with DiBlasi concerning where he drew his inspiration from. I rather like the idea of introducing the entities from Goetia into fiction; not sure anyone will ever do it as well as Alan Moore and JHWIII did in Promethea, but moving outside the tired scope of the Christianity-defined 'devil' can only lead to interesting results.

Then again, maybe not. I remember walking out of 2008's Quarantine, the remake of REC (which I'd not seen at the time) where the filmmakers changed the story from demonic possession as an outbreak to, ah, a terrorist-created super-strain of rabies and telling everyone in earshot, "Damn, I wish Hollywood would just bring Possession movies back." Two or three years later, in the wake of all the Last Exorcism movies, I felt like I'd been Monkey Pawed, as in, be careful what you wish for, you might get it and it might suck.


Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Bettye Lavette - The Scene of the Crime
T. Rex - The Slider
High on Fire - Surrounded By Thieves
Metallica - 72 Seasons (pre-release singles)
Lamp of Murmur - Saturnian Bloodstorm
Kx5, deadmau5 & Kaskade - Kx5 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 12/10/22
Bettye LaVette - Let Me Down Easy: Bettye LaVette in Memphis


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

A similar Pull to the previous one I did with The Bound Deck; I think the idea that's coming across here is it takes Will and Dedicaton to achieve physical goals, and although I've gotten a bit better after the post-oral surgery manic episode that gripped me for about a week, I've still not re-anchored myself.

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