It was a great honor to be invited to participate in Jacques Tourneur Month at The Pink Smoke. Widely considered to be one of the greatest horror movies ever made, his occult thriller Night of the Demon (released in the US in an abbreviated cut titled Curse of the Demon) features a memorable black magic villain, eerie ambiguity, beautiful cinematography, and a delightfully puppety creature effect. What's not as frequently discussed is the movie's rich esoteric symbolism, which in this author's opinion earns it a place of pride as an early example of British Folk Horror.
I appear to have grossly over-committed myself during the month of April, but I've managed to make it through in one piece. Thank you to all who came out and said hi at various events!
On the personal front: I am running a sale in my webstore. Enter the code SPRINGCLEANING at checkout and receive 20% off any order. EUROPEAN FRIENDS: I have added a European shipping option. It sucks that the price is so high, but that's in the postal service's hands, not mine (alas).
I am hosting the psychedelic biker/folk horror/comedy suicide movie PSYCHOMANIA as part of Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn's Weird Wednesdays offering. Come out and see one of the wildest offerings of the British Horror Boom on the big screen this Wednesday May 2nd!
John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, is one of those historical figures who's almost too good to be true. Fashionable, scandalous, and a libertine through and through, he penned verse so explicit it makes today's audiences blush. (Today's audiences are often prudish and puritanical but that's neither here nor there--you take my point). This is a great piece talking about his significance and quoting from some of his poetry.
Inside the World of Extreme Metal Logos - Kerrang! by Mike Rampton
I have a huge admiration for people who push the boundaries of design, and the dysfunctional anti-aesthetic of illegible metal logos delights me to no end. Talk about "more is more!" Peek behind the curtain at the design decisions that go into creating some of the most extreme logos in the world of metal.
Speaking of underground music, here's a quick list of things that have piqued my interest lately:
Reverorum ib Malacht and Black Metal Excess as Devotion - Invisible Oranges (baroque as fuck Catholic black metal)
Under the Shadows: Welcome to the Unique Darkness of Grave Pleasures - Kerrang (sexy goth-inflected post-punkish rock with a soupcon of surf)
Exclusive: Hear Hekate's New Single "Luzifer Morgenstern" - Heathen Harvest (Satanic German neofolk)
The Rise of Ruin: An Interview with Tusmørke - Heathen Harvest (a magically upbeat palate cleanser in the form of an interview with the proggy, mystical, psychedelic Norwegian band)
Smoke and Leather 1971 - Sweet Jane
And finally, we land on a fashion editorial that truly has it all. And by "all," I mean "French women in leather, smoking."
Bringing the ennui of the Decadents to tried-and-true Gothic themes, Tanith Lee's Dark Dance is a fascinating entry in the 90s horror novel canon. Heroine Rachaela drifts back and forth from her shoddy apartment to her dull retail job until the relatives of the father she never met lure her out to their rambling seaside mansion. Once there, she learns the secrets of the mysterious and sinister Scarabae clan and experiences a shocking sexual awakening that ultimately spells the doom of the family. Jack and Kate enjoy a spooky nostalgia trip by returning to a book that holds up rather well across the decades.
How does the shape of a story change when its heroine is outrageously passive? What taboos are smashed within the pages of this book? Is the real world more monstrous than being part of a family of maybe-vampires? What does Bigfoot have to do with all of this? Find out the answers to all this and more in this month's episode of Bad Books for Bad People.
I had the opportunity to chat with artist Cristóbal López, aka Kerbcrawler Ghost, about his astonishing artwork. There's nothing NOT extraordinary about his work, from his draftsmanship to his willingness to push erotic boundaries. The story of how he came to this mode of creating is even more amazing: he began honing his technique a mere three years ago, after spending over a decade in advertising and commercial work.
I was sad to learn about the death of Mel Gordon on March 22, but he left the world with an incredible legacy of writing and scholarship. Jack and I decided to discuss the impact Mel had on both of us in our podcast. If you'd like to read my interviews with Mel, you can read them on Heathen Harvest:
In Search of the Extraordinary: An Interview with Mel Gordon [quoted in his New York Times obituary]
Jack and Kate take a different approach in this mini episode by paying tribute to author, scholar, theater expert, and collector Mel Gordon. Mel's books had a huge impact on both of your hosts and they discuss his importance and the legacy he leaves us with. Kate talks about her personal encounters with Mel and Jack dives into where he fits within an academic context.
How does one get cast in a Mel Gordon theatrical production? What kind of gift would one receive from him at one's wedding? Why is there no Weimar Berlin simulation for the Oculus Rift and how do we fix that? Where does Werner Herzog fit into all of this? Find out all this and more in this month's mini episode of Bad Books for Bad People.
Books discussed include: