Monday, November 27, 2023

The Dead Take the A Train Straight Through the Spider Labyrinth

November is nearly over, and I realized I have not posted any Opeth yet. For that matter, I hadn't even listened to them until whatever day last week I began this post. Back around 2006/2007, Opeth became a big winter band for me, with the time change and early night that directly follows Halloween a welcome signifier that it's time to crack out Deliverance, Blackwater Park and the Candlelight years.


I did a bit of online Black Friday shopping last week. Nothing huge, but there were a few titles from boutique Blu-Ray labels I haunt online that I could not pass up. 

First up, Synapse Films has a 4K restoration of one of my all-time favorite films, Mike Mendez's The Convent. I have no interest in the 4K, but the release includes a standard Blu-Ray, and I've been waiting some time for this one to get a proper clean-up and re-release:

Next, and this is a somewhat blind buy, one of Severin Films' secret titles for their Black Friday sale is Gianfranco Giagni's 1988 nightmare The Spider Labyrinth. This is one I've never seen, but I've seen a certain amount of buzz steadily build for it in the backwaters of the Horror Community, with Italian Filmofiles clamoring for a proper digital release (which the film never received before now). Check out the trailer below, and although I've become fairly anti-spoiler, I'm pretty sure there's no way to spoil the absolute madness of this one.


Finally, although this isn't a new title, it's one that's been on my radar for a while, and after watching Michael Venus' 2020 film Schlaf (Sleep), I forked over the dough for this gorgeous release from Arrow Video; for $20 how could I not?

If I were to elevator pitch this flick to you, I'd say it's kind of a cross between Anthony Scott Burns' Come True and the possibilities I saw inherent in Stewart Thorndike's Bad Things (which admittedly did not work for me, but had some very interesting potential insofar as location and plot). 

Here are the purchase links if anyone is interested:

Arrow Video: Sleep


Richard Kadrey has released two books this year, and I've been wanting to read both, so after finishing Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures, I slipped into The Dead Take the A Train, a collaboration with author Cassandra Khaw, whose Nothing But Blackened Teeth has been on my to-read list for the last two years or so and has now jumped to the top of that list based on the 65% of A Train I've read in the last few days.

Here's the solicitation blurb:

"Julie is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-year-old whose only retirement plan is dying early. She’s been trying to establish herself in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs, exorcize the nastiest demons, and make deals with the cruelest gods to claw her way to the top. But nothing can prepare her for the toughest job yet: when her best friend, Sarah, shows up at her door in need of help. Keeping Sarah safe becomes top priority. Julie is desperate for a quick fix to break the dead-end grind and save her friend. But her power grab sets off a deadly chain of events that puts Sarah – and the entire world - directly in the path of annihilation. The first explosive adventure in the Carrion City Duology, The Dead Take the A Train fuses Cassandra Khaw’s cosmic horror and Richard Kadrey’s gritty fantasy into a full-throttle thrill ride straight into New York’s magical underbelly."

It's been some time since I read Richard Kadrey's Butcher Bird, but I loved that novel and have followed the man on ever since. He's a bright spot in the increasingly noxious online world, and it's great to 'catch up' with his writing over a decade since I began.*

Also, that cover has to be one of the most gorgeous I've seen in some time (artist James Jirat Patradoon's website is HERE). 


* I've always wanted to read Sandman Slim, however, much like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books, I have grown to baulk at starting so lengthy a series, in case I love it and it consumes the next year of my life.


Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Frank Black and the Catholics - Snake Oil
Opeth - Deliverance
Misfits - Collection II
Rodney Crowell - Christmas Everywhere
Godflesh - Purge
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
U2 - Achtung Baby
Justin Hamline - Worst Locals Ever
Steve Moore - Gone World
The Cramps - Smell of Female (Live)
Lord Huron - Long Lost


I've been off the clock here since last week, and I am tired. Had a new round of the COVID booster yesterday, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks, so just one card from Missi's Raven Deck today:

I'll be double-verifying all information that crosses my path today and, perhaps conversely keeping an eye out for ways to slip mainstream corridors of thought. 

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