Friday, 27 January 2012

DVD's From My Collection: Harakiri, Directed By Masaki Kobayashi (1962)

Harikiri blow me away when I viewed it a week ago. Not your ordinary Japanese Samurai film but part Shakespearean tragedy and part brutal indictment of power and hierarchy. The tense atmosphere with huge dollops of rage against the injustices of poverty and powerlessness is incredible.

For further information about this film see Wikipedia entry here.


Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder-Sins Of The Flesh

The expanse of the sky and the vital orb of the sun were unknown concepts to Wilbur Swinburne. Likewise the people of his universe were unaware of infinite space, the stars lost in the depths of vacuum and dust. His world was enclosed, labyrinthine, except in his most primal dreams. The faintly glowing points of illumination, arranged on the ceilings of the countless open spheroid spaces, metal caverns, conduits and tunnels, were Wilbur’s only contact with light. The organic was rare too. In the mile high steel caverns of the Borderlands bathed in a synthetic and dank luminescence, there were jungles teeming with swarming life forms. But hardly anyone went there; the Borderlands were feared, hated by some. Small pockets of vegetation in lost rooms and corridors, even whole caverns were rumoured to exist but these only increased his terror of the flesh...

Continue reading Sins Of The Flesh on my short story blog, Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder-The Looking Glass House

Here is another short story of mine, The Looking Glass House-a period tale of terror again in the Lovecraftian mode but inspired by Hammer films.

Read it on my other blog, here.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

CD's From My Collection: The Smiths: The Sound Of The Smiths.

A compilation CD of classic Smiths tracks: The above song is The Headmaster Ritual from their 2nd album, Meat Is Murder (1985).

CD's From My Collection: Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979), Remastered Edition

Unsettling, sometimes disturbing electronica from Throbbing Gristle released in 1979 which has very little to do with Jazz Funk. Also includes a live bonus CD. Beachy Head (above) is an eerie piece of dark ambient.

CD's From My Collection: Delta Swamp Rock: Sounds From The South: At The Crossroads Of Rock, Country And Soul (Various Artists)

 A superb collection of songs compiled by the brilliant Soul Jazz Records of  music from the deep south from the early 70's, including Lynryd Skynryd, Bobbie Gentry, Duane and Gregg Allman, Link Wray and the wonderful Big Star, represented here (see above) with the aching nostalgia for young love-Thirteen.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder-The Devourer of Souls

A new short story added to my Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder blog. A cosmic horror tale in the Lovecraftian mode, this time situated in the steamy jungles of Cambodia.

Read The Devourer Of Souls here

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My New Blog: Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder

I have set up a new blog to showcase my short stories. These can be categorised as weird tales, horror, and dark fantasy.

So here it is-Tales Of Terror, Tales Of Wonder, opening with Underground Man (that I named my original blog after), a horror story set on the London Underground. Enjoy (or not)

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Best Novels Read in 2011

1: Possession By A.S. Byatt (1990)

A beautifully written & structured novel combining literary detection, campus comedy and tragic Victorian romantic drama. Deeply engrossing and an emotionally satisfying read for all those who love supurb literature.

2: Fingersmith By Sarah Waters (2002)

A Dickensian gothic melodrama and lesbian romance, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is a superb page-turning work of popular literature, replete with high tension, restrained eroticism and sudden twists and turns like a Wilkie Collins novel. The atmosphere of the squalor of Victorian London, the horror of the 19th century madhouse and the isolated mansion in the countryside is conveyed brilliantly and the characters, especially the two young narrators, Sue and Maud, are so vivid you are almost inside their heads. An absolute must for lovers of historical crime fiction, gaslight romance and dark Victoriana.

3: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (1992)

Vampires are two a penny these days but Kim Newman's Anno Dracula first published in 1992 was a pioneer in the resurrection of the undead in popular entertainment. This is more then a vampire novel; gas-lit murder mystery set in the dark fog-bound streets of Victorian London, rub shoulders with the 'what if' alternative history genre-in this case what if the King of the Vampires had won in Bram Stoker's classic novel. A wonderfully imaginative (but gory) romp.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Best CD's Released/Re-issued in 2011 & 2010

1: Wolves In The Throne Room: Celestial Lineage

2: Acid Mothers Temple: The Ripper At The Heavens Gates Of Dark

3: Donovan: Sunshine Superman, Stereo Special Edition (1966)

4: Bardo Pond: Bardo Pond

5: Grails: Deep Politics

6: Earth: Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light

7: Boris: Attention Please

8: Wooden Shjips: West

9: Boris: Heavy Rocks

10: Ulver: War of the Roses

The Best Films & DVD Re-issues of 2011 (and 2010)

Another year has gone by like an express train and it's time to list the films, CD's and books I enjoyed the most in 2011. These are not necessarily of the year-the films are also from 2010 which I only got round to watching in 2011 on DVD or old films re-issued, re-mastered, etc. The CD's are mostly from 2011, but also re-issues of classic albums, etc. The best three books listed are purely what I read in the year and could have hypothetically been written 300 years ago.  First up my 10 fave films with accompanying You Tube clip or trailer...

1: We Need To Talk About Kevin, Directed by Lynne Ramsay, (2011)

2: Dogtooth, Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, (2010)

3: Another Year, Directed by Mike Leigh, (2010)

4: Cutter's Way, Directed by Ivan Passer, (1981)

This film is not released on DVD in the UK and I saw it at the BFI on the Southbank this year. There is an anguished scene where the disabled Vietnam vet Cutter, (John Heard) rages at the rich and corrupt, brimming with class hatred. Unfortunately unable to find this on You Tube. 

5: The Illusionist, Directed by Sylvian Chomet, (2010)

6: Deep End, Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, (1970)

7: Heavenly Creatures, Directed by Peter Jackson, (1994)

8: Double Take, Directed by Johan Grimonprez, (2010)

9: Toy Story 3, Directed by Lee Unkrich, (2010)

10: 13 Assassins, Directed by Takashi Miike (2011)

Samantha Morton's deeply melancholic but beautiful film, The Unloved, should be here but it was made for TV and no decent clip was available on You Tube.