Tuesday, March 5, 2024

RIP Selim Lemouchi - Eleven Years Gone

Since there was never any exact day of death released, March 1st denotes the beginning of the month when one of the most talented artists to grace the metal genre in decades left the planet for the "endless ever after," to quote the song.


My good friend and Horror Vision Cohost Anthony "Butcher" Guerrera tipped me off to this one, which I had heard about but ignored under the auspices that no spider Horror film could do to me what Arachnophobia does. Yeah, I know the big "A" isn't that scary, but when you feel about spiders the way I do, well, it does a good job exacerbating that fear. On Anthony's recommendation, however, I watched about half of Sting's trailer and yes, I see it now. This is a completely different kind of spider movie.

Written and directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, who also gave us a bunch of movies that I've yet to see (Wyrmwood was on Netflix forever but suffered from bad thumbnail disease, so I passed over it for years before anyone recommended it to me), this hits theatres on May 31st. I'll definitely be in a seat if Sting plays near me. 

What the hell is it about spiders that terrify me? I'm not sure. Of course, there are folks with a lot greater arachnophobia than I do; little spiders don't bother me. Well, it's not the size, it's the girth. Any spider with a meaty body, regardless of the size, is going to creep me out. Now take that girth and scale it up and... no. Let's just stop there. 

A friend once told me a story about growing up with a friend named Spider who also had a paralyzing fear of spiders. Apparently, the reason this friend achieved his moniker had to do with a story. As a child, Spider's parents built him a treehouse. One night, when he was older, he snuck up there in the middle of the night to smoke a joint. As the high settled over him in the dark, Spider realized he was glimpsing movement out of the corner of his eye. He flicked his lighter and realized the walls of the treehouse were covered in spiders. Like, hundreds upon hundreds of them. 

Spider fell out of the treehouse and broke some bones. It was, in his words, a welcome price to pay for the expedient extraction.

The treehouse was torn down a few days later.

I relate this story, which I openly admit I may have fudged a few specifics on but got the gist (the walls of spiders I could never forget or amend; I see this in a way that terrifies me, even all this time and space away from the event, only knowing it as folklore) because it speaks to the power available to a Horror movie that uses this innate terror the Arachnida instills in a certain percent of the population. The insect kingdom in general is so goddamn alien it can give me the chills, but spiders... there's just something about their shape, their textures, their limbs... I've often said that the cinematic Xenomorph is my favorite movie monster because its design is absolute nightmare fuel in my eyes. In the real world, that honor goes to spiders. The girthy ones. The hairy ones.


I finished Mary Roach's journalistic endeavor to hold a scientific lens up to the afterlife and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in a seriously skeptical but fair discussion of the many facets of spiritualism that have arisen over the course of the last two hundred years or so. Mary travels to India to talk to doctors, believers and naysayers about reincarnation, she travels to England to attend a Medium Workshop, and she travels to rural America to investigate a court case from one hundred years ago where a spirit's intervention helped decide a legal hearing. Spook is a fantastic romp through the detritus of the spirtualism movement and the scientists that have attempted to take that torch and run it through calibrated methods without bias - which she always seems to find is still present. Mary's snarky sense of humor peppers her conversational tone, so I found myself smiling a lot, and laughing quite a bit as well. Great book - Thanks Mr. Brown!

Now, I've moved on to another book Mr. Brown lent me: Jason Heller's Taft 2012. This one's been sitting on my shelf or in various packing boxes for years, so that I had forgot about it. 

About halfway through, the premise here is the book is set in a slightly alternate timeline where William Howard Taft disappeared the day his successor Woodrow Wilson was to take the presidential torch from him, then wakes up in 2011 as if not a day has gone by. The novel's charm so far really comes from reflecting on the fact that, for someone who was considered almost a presidential albatross in his day, in ours Taft appears almost Christ-like in his earnestness, strength of character, and honesty. As you can imagine, this gives author Heller room to play with how our world of today (well, of 13 years ago) to someone from one hundred years prior. And his characterization of Taft's interpretation of our social ills and foibles is both hysterical and cutting. We don't see the depth of the bullshit we wade through on a daily basis, because as the level rises, we acclimate to it as the norm.

I don't need to finish this one to recommend it. And yeah, I'd kind of like Will Taft to reappear and steer for a while. 


Julee Cruise - Floating into the Night
David Lynch & Alan R. Splet - Eraserhead OST
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Ministry - HopiumfortheMasses
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Oranssi Pazuzu - Live at Roadburn 2017
Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Stephen Sanchez - Angel Face
Prince - Purple Rain
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Raspberry Bulbs - Before the Age of Mirrors
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - White People and the Damage Done
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Ministry - Psalm 69
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
The Damned - Evil Spirits
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Queen of Cups
• Nine of Wands
• Five of Pentacles

Emotional connection reachds a climax, leads to conflict. Pretty sure this is a nod toward two characters' relationship in the novel I'm working on. Things have stalled a bit of late, as I recently began starting work two hours later and this cuts into my evening writing time. I'd been meaning to phase out my mindset of having to drive to a coffee shop to write anyway, so this was a boon. However, it's taken me some time to integrate a new writing schedule that I can actually adhere to. I spent a nice chunk of time this past Saturday afternoon, and during that session, the relationship between my main character and a love interest really began to blossom, so this is a welcome sign post on the the route forward. 

1 comment:

Tommy said...

With you 1000% on spiders.