Tuesday, March 19, 2024

New(ish) Music from The Obsessed!


New music from The Obsessed! Holy cow - didn't expect to find this today. New album Gilded Sorrow came out a month ago and I totally missed it. Order it directly from the band over on their Bandcamp HERE.


Did some homework last night and watched Renny Harlin's 2013 film Devil's Pass, AKA The Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I remember seeing the thumbnail for this on one of the streamers for years, always being curious but never actually hitting Play. My good friend Missi vouched for this one years ago, however, at some point Devil's Pass disappeared from the Streamers I sub to and went behind a pay wall of one kind of another (probably on IFC's 'channel'). About a month or two ago, this one hit Shudder. 

First - yeah, there is a lot about this one that comes off at first like just another 00s Found Footage film. That's not good or bad in my book; the style can be very effective, hence why it proliferated at the time digital first began to threaten the theatrical and home video library business models. So other than some exemplary natural photography of the the frozen mountains of Northern Russia, there's nothing we haven't seen before. That will annoy some people. It may have even annoyed me had I seen the film back when it was originally released. Having not seen a Found Footage film in some time - or at least not many of them - this viewing proved an almost nostalgic engagement with that era of the genre. So I ended up kind of loosely tolerating the film for two acts. I liked it but wasn't super impressed. That said, it's the third act where the film blossoms into something unique. I won't give anything away, but if you haven't seen it, Harlin's Devil's Pass - which spins its yarn out of the bones of a real historical incident - is definitely worth a watch.

I incurred a pretty gnarly sunburn over the weekend, so I was up late last night; hard to sleep when your back is alight in constant pain. I found some modicum of my comfort in movies. Although, not necessarily in the next one I'll discuss here. 

The imagery in Karim OIuelhaj's Megalomaniac's trailer appears to promise something beyond the hardcore violence all of the pull quotes it superimposes over them warns of. I'm here to tell you, this one is violence 10, atmosphere/imagery 3. 

Megalomaniac feels like a love letter or continuation to/of the 00s New French Extreme movement. Only problem is, it learned all the wrong lessons from those films. If you look at reviews on Letterboxed, a lot of folks dismiss this one as misogynistic, and while yeah, I can definitely see why they would say that, I wonder if it's not just some misguided attempt at trying (but failing) to code some twisted version of female empowerment into what is, at its heart, a joyless film about hurting women. Main character Martha certainly undergoes her share of hell, only to offer up an admittedly satisfying comuppence to her tormentors in the film's climax, but those events do not balance out the absolute soul-rotting grotesqueries that precede them. The set here is fantastic, the score by Simon Fransquet and Gary Moonboots (best last name ever) alluringly dangerous, but I can't help feel that the initial imagery presented in the trailer that brought me in was really just part of a bait and switch process invoked by the distributors who knew that, without some surrealistic panache - which has no lasting presence in the film - to lure people in. Otherwise, not sure how far outside the 'icky' Horror niche held up by films like the Guinea Pig series and it's ilk this would travel. 


Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Lustmord - Much Unseen Is Also Here
Moon Wizard - Sirens
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen puhuu


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• IX: The Hermit
• Page of Wands
• Seven of Swords

Contemplation is the word of the day, apparently. All three of these exhibit some element of Contemplation, of taking specific time to think about things as I do them. Apparently, those things will largely be elements of my Intellect and Will, so of course, this is really just saying I may need to think about how I'm writing at the moment. Things are going very well, creeping up on finishing the book, but there's some blockage that rears its head in those final laps and that will require some ingenuitity and perhaps a fresh approach.

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