Showing posts with label Folk Horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Folk Horror. Show all posts

Monday, May 6, 2024

All You Need is Lankum


As I reference below, my days have been filled with elemtns of Folklore of late, and one of the musical accompaniments for this is Dublin's band Lankum. One of the things about Paul Duane's All You Need Is Death that struck me during the screening at last year's Beyondfest was the score by composer Ian Lynch. Last week when Invada Records put the score up for pre-order (HERE), it led me to discover Lynch's band Lankum. I've been listening to their most recent album False Lankum ever since. A feast for the ears, you can listen to and purchase the record directly from the band over on their Bandcamp HERE. Really cool stuff, perfect for the thunderstorms we've had on an almost nightly basis of late. 


Over on The Horror Vision, we had the chance to interview Writer/Director Paul Duane last week. Mr. Duane's latest film, All You Need is Death was one of the highlights of 2023's Beyondfest, and after re-watching it now that it's available on VOD, we were all very excited to pick his brain about the film, Folk Horror, Documentaries, you name it.

Mr. Duane is a gracious man, and his film a marvel that will no doubt stand at or near the best of the year when I compile my list in December. Very much looking forward to seeing what else he does, as he teases a bit of what he's working on in the episode.


We recorded a new episode of The Horror Vision Presents: Sticks & Stones, our Folk Horror sub-show that had been dormant after two episodes Ray and I did in early 2022. Folk Horror is a huge topic, and had proved difficult for us to get a handle on after the veritable explosion of new films in the sub-genre back late 2021/2022. The purpose of this episode, then, was to use two films at the opposite ends of the Folk Horror spectrum to define what Folk Horror is to us and how we would cover it going forward. One of the two films we chose was Djordje Kadijevic's Leptirica, AKA The She-Butterfly

After watching this film for what was my third time, I found myself interested in reading the story upon which it is based, Milovan Gilsic's After Ninety Years. There is a fairly recently published translated version by James Lyon available on Kindle for a pawltry $4.99, so I went ahead and ordered it.

Not sure when I'll get around to actually reading this, as the stack for the year just continues to grow. Still, it's nice to have it close at hand for when I do. This Serbo-Bosnian Vampire folklore is fascinating, especially when you consider it not only pre-dates Bram Stoker's Dracula, but also served to inform aspects of F.W. Murnau, which I won't elaborate on here, as Professor John Trafton delivers a bit of show-stopping information during the course of this upcoming Sticks & Stones episode, so keep an eye out of that.


High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis 
Gary Moore - Still Got the Blues
Black Sabbath - Eponymous
Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Robot God - Portal Within
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse
Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse
Motörhead - 1916
Black Sky Giant - The Red Chariot
Mountain Realm - Frostfall
Lankum - False Lankum
Sunn O))) - Domkirke
Godflesh - Purge
John Carpenter - Lost Themes IV


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

• Knight of Swords
• Ten of Wands
• Ten of Cups

Earthly matter abound, distractions from more intellectual pursuits should be minimized until such time as I can clear some bandwidth for them. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Tonight At the Gates of Hell, Jessica

From Dan O'Bannon's classic Return of the Living Dead. SSQ is a band I know nothing about but damned if this song doesn't fit its scene in the movie like a glove. Or lack thereof. Interesting note, singer Stacey Q. is the artist behind the 1986 hit single "Two of Hearts," which was in heavy rotation on popular radio when I was ten years old and subsequently floats to the surface of my brain a couple times a month (at least) ever since. That's the power of radio, ladies and gentlemen.

31 Days of Halloween:

John D. Hancock's 1971 Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a film I've been meaning to watch for years, and I finally got around to it yesterday afternoon. Here's a trailer for the remastered version Scream Factory put out a few years ago:

I didn't love this film the way some of my Letterbxd compatriots do, however, it's a fairly strong entry into the "urban flight" subgenre of the late 60s/early 70s. It's interesting to note that what I'm referring to as "urban flight" really prefigures the 70s error of Folk Horror. This was a direct reaction to a major societal shift in America at that time, where white people who lived in urban areas did what many white people do and overreacted to the influx of minority populations, fleeing "Back to nature" in more rural areas of the country. In the vernacular of the day, this was often referred to as "White Flight," or perhaps more generously, Urban Flight. There's an absolutely killer article by Devin Faraci about this disguised as an analysis of Michael Winner's 1974 film Death Wish in the back of Brubaker and Phillips's Kill or Be Killed, issue number one. Unfortunately, the extras in Brubaker/Phillips's monthlies generally do not get included in the collected editions, so if you're interested, you'd have to hunt this down in a back-issue bin. 

Perhaps as fitting dessert for being racist little shits, 70s Folk Horror often (but not always) arises from transplanting said fleeing urbanites to a rural setting that ultimately has something evil to hide. The evil almost always ties into some kind of Pagan or Naturalism, so I'm not really sure what the message is there other than "be afraid of everything." That said,  this formula worked for a while. More prevalent in novels that were then sometimes adapted to film, the best example of this Urban Flight/Folk Horror that I know of is Tom Tryon's Harvest Home, published in 1973 and was adapted into a 1973 tv miniseries in 1978. I have not yet felt the urge to track down the adaptation, seeing as I felt the novel was so good, to see it reworked for television felt... cheap to me. I might be wrong; maybe it's a banger. But I doubt it.

Let's Scare Jessica to Death definitely uses this same idea, however, I enjoyed the fact that this film is considerably more ambiguous about its rules and even sets up a correlation to a classic monster I did not see coming. Some of the narrative inner monologue we hear grows a bit tiresome, even if there is a question of its veracity, but I'm nitpicking here. The two things about this one I loved the most were A) Orville Stoeber's score, which predates Carl Zittrer's similar score for Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things by ten months and had to have been an influence on it. Children Shouldn't Play's score is one of my all-time favorite scores, so it should be no surprise to hear that the music was what finally roped me into watching this one. B) Speaking of influencing other films I love, Jessica also predates Gary Sherman's Dead and Buried by a decade, and there is no doubt Sherman drew from Jessica in the creation of his Seaside Horror classic. 

Alright, enough of the impromptu history lesson; here's the current tally for my 31 Days of Halloween:

1) When Evil Lurks/VHS 85/Adam Chaplin
2) Tales From the Crypt Ssn 1, Ep 6 "Collection Complete"
3) VHS
4) All You Need is Death
5) Slashers (2001)
6) The Beyond/Phenomena
7) The Convent
8) Evil Dead 2
9) The Autopsy of Jane Doe
10) Totally Killer
11) Ritual (Joko Anwar)/The Final Terror/Grave Robbers
12) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (w/Joe Bob)
13) Never Hike Alone/Never Hike in the Snow/Never Hike Alone 2
14) Puppetman
15) Creepshow Season 4 Episode 1
16) Return of the Living Dead
17) Don't Look Now
18) When Evil Lurks
19) Barbarian
20) Demons 2/All Hallows Eve
21) May
22) Let's Scare Jessica To Death


Puppet Combo/Torture Star's Night at the Gates of Hell hit Switch a few months back, and other than the initial release, I don't think I've posted anything else because I haven't had a lot of time to play the game. Last night, I dug in for about two hours and really immersed myself in it. Verdict?

This might be my favorite of the 80s Horror-themed games these folks have released so far (nothing's coming close to No One Lives Under the Lighthouse).

The game goes all-in on 80s Horror tropes by even including nudity! I mean, that was not something I'd ever expected to see in a game, but topless women are indeed one of the major ingredients in 80s Horror, so hats off for taking it that far (while it's possible that, since before buying a Switch in 2022 I had not played a video game since the original Nintendo, I am just being naive and nudity filtered into the gaming experience a long time ago, but I doubt it). Also, the violence and gore are cranked to ten, which makes sense - the creators have stated this game is a love letter to the films of Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei, so again, to fully expand on the quantifiable criteria of those films, you can't really half-ass the gore. And as usual with Puppet Combo/Torture Star, the sound is exquisite and a major part of the scares in this one. Like Nun Massacre, Night at the Gates of Hell conjures an anxiety that I haven't felt in Horror since I was a kid watching many of the films I love for the first time.


Rein - Reincarnated
Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Twin Temple - God is Dead
Huey Lewis and the News - Sports
Orville Peck - Bronco
Billy Joel - The Stranger
Tear for Fears - Songs From the Big Chair
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - Lawless OST


I'm going to Missi's Raven Deck for a single card this morning; just want a big picture at the moment:

Trump XIV is Art in the Crowley/Harris deck, and that's generally how I think of it. However, here I'd have to say the message is clear and has way more to do with the actual act of "Tempering," as in expectations. After a wonderful but exhausting weekend with my sister, her husband and my parents in town looking for houses, I think we're all caught up in the panic of moving on short notice (they have to be out by November 15th) and not seeing things for how they actually are. My parents especially need to temper their expectations of how this is going to change their lives, but also, I also think the rest of us have to work with them on that while adjusting our own sense of how this is going to go. I have no doubt they will find 'the right' house, however, it's going to take more time than they currently have. This means accepting the idea of putting their things in storage and having them move in with us for a bit, so they can actually see houses here without having to drive down for the weekend and then leave again. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

New Music from Idles!!!


From the forthcoming album TANGK, available February 16th on Partisan Records. Pre-order HERE

I really dig both this track and this video, which is a rarity all around. Idles has such a fantastic way of revving up the chaos but somehow keeping it streamlined and a touch poppy. 

31 Days of Halloween:

1) When Evil Lurks/VHS 85/Adam Chaplin
2) Tales From the Crypt Ssn 1, Ep 6 "Collection Complete"
3) VHS
4) All You Need is Death
5) Slashers (2001)
6) The Beyond/Phenomena
7) The Convent
8) Evil Dead 2
9) The Autopsy of Jane Doe
10) Totally Killer
11) Ritual (Joko Anwar)/The Final Terror/Grave Robbers
12) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (w/Joe Bob)
13) Never Hike Alone/Never Hike in the Snow/Never Hike Alone 2
14) Puppetman
15) Creepshow Season 4 Episode 1
16) Return of the Living Dead
17) Don't Look Now
18) When Evil Lurks


A trailer finally dropped for William Brent Bell's new film, Lord of Misrule. Check it out:  

I can't say I've seen Mr. Bell's other films - not out of any kind of boycott, more just a lackadaisical oversight - but when I saw this mentioned as a Folk Horror film a few months ago, I made a mental note to be on the lookout for more information. I watched about half the trailer, and I'm in, so the release date of December 8th can't come fast enough.


The Damned - Evil Spirits
The Cramps - RockinnReelinInAucklandNewZealandXXX
The Misfits - Collection II
King Woman - Celestial Blues
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions of a Knife
Adam Egypt Mortimer - The Obelisk
Soul Blind - Feel It All Around
Bauhaus - Burning From the Inside


Back to the old trusty Thoth deck for today's Pull:

Absolutely no time this morning to decipher this, so I'm merely posting for posterity's sake, but from a glance, looks to be another "lust of result will fuck you up" Pull.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Spizm - B4uDie

It's another Bandcamp Friday, and it's also the release date of Spizm's B4uDie record. I pre-ordered this a while back and posted the lead, titular single, and now that I've heard the whole thing, I strongly recommend you throw these guys some $$. Remember, artists keep ALL the money from sales on Bandcamp Friday, so what better way to support independent creators!

Here's a direct link to the Spizm Bandcamp.


There are some pretty Bold Horror Statements being used in the marketing for the new film You Won't Be Alone, which makes me skeptical. However...

Yeah, after watching about a quarter of this trailer, I knew I was in and turned it off lest I learn too much. Directed by Goran Stolevski - who I am completely unfamiliar with despite the fact that his name rings a bell - I think Focus Features is banking on the "Folk Horror Explosion" with this one. That's okay. I find despite the buzz, I'm rarely disappointed by films marketed under that banner. 


Mark Lanegan - Bubblegum
Converge and Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I
Judas Priest - British Steel
Ghost - Impera (pre-release singles)
Ghost - Infestissumam
Neil Young - Greatest Hits
Greg Puciato - Lowered (single)
Greg Puciato - Child Soldier: Creator of God
Hall and Oats - Greatest Hits
Mutterlein - Orphans of the Black Sun
Jim Willaims - Possessor OST
Killing Joke - Night Time
Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
Ministry - Filth Pig
Tom Vek - Luck
Grinderman - Eponymous
Spizm - B4uDie
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre


I'm really having trouble digging past the surface and listening to the inner voice that tells me how to write. I've kind of pushed myself into a frustration corner and can't see past it.

Monday, January 24, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #4: Night Ranger - Don't Tell Me You Love Me


Okay, hear me out on this one. Back about the time I graduated High School - 1994 - my girlfriend at the time's older sister was dating my friend Rob. They had a dingy little apartment in Palos Hills, above the iconically scummy Pizza Pub on 103rd and 88th avenue. Their neighbor was an 80s holdover with a super 80s cocaine mustache that listened to Night Ranger. Fancying ourselves as belonging to the indie rock hoi polloi, we nicknamed this poor guy "Night Ranger" and made him the butt of all our jokes. But guess what? This song fucking rocks, and as my A Most Horrible Library cohost Chris Saunders has pointed out, has one awesome guitar solo. Which was definitely important in its era. nearly 40 years later, I'm secure enough in myself to admit, I totally dig this song, too. 


I've been on a bit of a "Folk Horror" bender, in both literature and movies, and I started my weekend bender with Arthur Machen's The White People (not about January 6th, 2021), then re-read H.P. Lovecraft's The Festival, one of the best examples of Lovecraft dipping his toes into Folk Horror, and also, probably my second favorite story among his oeuvre. 

Next up, M.R. James' A Warning to the Curious, followed by his classic Oh, Whistle and I Will Come to You, Lad. I'd never read this one before, as James - just like Machen and their contemporary Algernon Blackwood - have been on my radar for the better part of twenty years. I wasn't disappointed. 

Even though I'd never read Whistle, way back circa 2011 or 2012, I was introduced to the story at the  H.P. Lovecraft film fest at San Pedro's timeless Warner Grand, where along with a host of other great Lovecraft/Weird Fiction films, they played the BBC's 1968 adaptation of the story, directed by Jonathan Miller and starring - in a rather iconic role - Michael Hordern as Professor Parkins. This one has stayed with me for ten years or so now, crystal clear in my memory compared to a lot of other movies I watch, and it was quite satisfying to finally read the source material. 

Amazingly enough, the entire thing is on youtube. Here you go:


Totally worth your time, Miller's adaptation kind of feels like an extra spooky episode of The Twilight Zone. Now that I've read the story and found this online, my plan is to rewatch it within the next few days.

Finally, I'm working my way through Blackwood's The Willows, which is probably the longest of these stories I've read so far, and isn't really impressing me all that much. Yet. I'm hoping this is just a case of my falling out of sync with the concentration required to shift my mental palate to a place where I can read and enjoy fiction written in slightly outdated vernacular. Just based on this small sampling thus far, I'd have to say James stands out as my favorite of the three. I plan on continuing on, however, even if Phillip Pullman's final book in the original His Dark Materials trilogy is still at 83% on my kindle. I'm not usually one to be so capricious about my reading, but at the moment, I have to go where my passion takes me. 

I'd like to add, if you're at all interested in reading James' work, I've found A Podcast to the Curious to be a wonderful supplemental source for exploring and contextualizing his work.


Boy Harsher - The Runner OST
Zetra - From Without EP
Talking Heads - Fear of Music 
Author & Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread (pre-release single)
Author & Punisher - Maiden Star (pre-release single)
Author & Punisher - Beastland
Author & Punisher - Women & Children
Drab Majesty - Careless
Zombi - 2020
Zombi - Shape Shift
Zombi - Digitalis


While I've never really been a fan of this card as a Pull, seeing it now makes me think there's a bit of tumult occurring in my creative side. That feels right - I've recently finished editing my friend Jen's first novel, and now I have to get myself back into my own groove. I may need to take a different tack than I'm used to if I want to jumpstart myself back onto the road to where I was.

Friday, February 14, 2020

New Myrkur/New Hillary Woods

I love that the resurgence of Folk Horror has grown out of and subsequently helped perpetuate a return of Folk sentiment in other areas of culture, particularly music. Myrkur's Sophomore release M made my "Best of" list back in 2015, but I've not followed her since. That sometimes happens with Best of lists - albums make an impact when they're released, but the time and place of that impact may fade or transfer as the moment disintegrates, giving way to all the other new music that I'm constantly finding. Anyway, I stumbled across this new single this morning, and immediately remembered why I dug Myrkur so much.

You can pre-order the new Myrkur album, Folkesange, HERE. It drops March 20th on Relapse Records.

Speaking of Folk-ish Female musicians, how about a double-header? A new Hillary Woods dropped a few short moments ago, and it fits in nicely along Myrkur, further illustrating this Folk-flavored resurgence.

Ms. Woods' new album, Birthmarks, drops one week before the Myrkur on Sacred Bones Records. Pre-order HERE.


New episode of The Horror Vision is up! This episode, we watch and react to Jon Wright's delightful Grabbers, an Irish monster movie with a drunken twist that I personally loved.

Other topics include but are not limited to: AHS, Shudder's The Marshes, Osgood Perkins' Gretel and Hansel, the premiere of Netflix's Locke and Key, and Vault Comics' The Plot and Black Stars Above, two horror comics getting seemingly NO attention. Both are awesome.

Also available on Apple, Stitcher, and Google Play.


Between work and having a few days off with my buddy Dave to hit two of the three LALA Land Mr. Bungle reunion shows, I haven't posted much of late, and I realized yesterday that I forgot to log the most recent episode of The X-Files I watched for Mr. Brown's list. Let's remedy that, because it was a good one: Season Four, Episode Two.

This is the one, folks. This is the episode that legendarily aired once and was never re-run on Network TV. I never saw it back in the day, or rather I think I saw the final few moments on a VHS recording a friend made, but I never had the context for those final images. Regardless, this one is really F'ed up. Home is violent, gross, filled with disturbing sexual imagery and concepts, and, maybe worst of all for Normal 90s America, just plain weird. After finally seeing it, I will say that if you strip all the hype/legend away, I'd say it's one of the best episodes of the show I've seen so far. Great writing, directing, acting, everything. The lighting in the farmhouse of ill repute is spectacular, and although the whole sordid mess owes a little to Tobe Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it really stands on its own two legs as a great piece of serial television, regardless of the era.



sElf - Gizmodgery
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss
Boy Harsher - Careful
Anthrax - Among the Living
Antrax - Stomp 442
Corrosion of Conformity - Animosity
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes
Testament - The Gathering
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Suicidal Tendencies - Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit... Deja Vu
sElf - Super Fake Nice EP
Chris Isaak - Heart Shaped World
Myrkur - M
Slayer - Live Undead
Slayer - Decade of Aggression
Edu Comelles and Rafa Ramos Sania - Botanica De Balcon


No card.