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Highly detailed action figures of King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Mad Max & more!
08.12.2016
01:57 pm

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A custom figure of Lemmy Kilmister by ‘Elvis 1976’ (or Sébastien Bontemps’ if you prefer…)
 
If you read Dangerous Minds on a regular basis then you know that from time to time myself or one of my intrepid colleagues enjoy spotlighting various action figures based on bands like Crass or perhaps a poseable version of Al Pacino’s portrayal fictional cocaine-gobbling drug lord Tony Montana from Scarface. If you dig these kinds of posts then I’ve no doubt that you will soon be coveting the custom action figures by Brussels-based artist Sébastien Bontemps who works under the moniker “Elvis 1976.”

Bontemps’ interest with action figure customization started with a Joker figure released by DC Comics in the late 2000s and though his exceptional creations are generally “one-offs” it does appear that the talented artist sells his figures from time to time. You can find out how to purchase one by contacting the folks over at One Sixth Warriors for more information.

If you’re more of a movie memorabilia kind of collector I’ve no doubt that Bontemps’ highly detailed take on the most famous mohawked member of Lord Humungus’ Marauders from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, the completely badass crossbow-wielding Wez will make your head spin. Images of some of my favorite inhabitants of Bontemps’ ultra-cool world follow. 
 

King Diamond!
 

Super Duper Alice Cooper.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Is ‘Sesso Matto’ the greatest 70s Italian sex comedy disco soundtrack ever recorded?
08.11.2016
04:03 pm

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It certainly gets my vote!

When I was in Tokyo in the mid-1990s, there was a dance-floor craze for the soundtrack of Sesso Matto (“sex-crazy”), a silly, sleazy 70s Italian sex comedy romp starring Giancarlo Giannini and sexy screen siren Laura Antonelli in multiple roles. It was released as How Funny Can Sex Be? in the rest of the world. I’m pretty sure that this was the direct inspiration for Cibo Matto’s name. Almost any hip Japanese person of a certain age would definitely know it.

I brought a copy home with me and it has occupied an honored position in my record collection ever since and is a front line choice for inclusion on most of my (coveted!) mixed CDs and to this day it’s my secret weapon when I’m DJ’ing. But don’t tell anybody.

The 1973 comedy film is nothing great, but the awesome soundtrack… OMG is that soundtrack freaking sublime. An absolute revelation.
 

 
Composer Armando Trovajoli’s memorable score featured horn sections, an especially funky drummer and bass player, Mini-Moogs, the sounds of a female in loud orgasmic bliss and bongo drums. What could be more perfect than that? It’s a weird and groovy pastiche of sounds that shouldn’t work together, but DO. The Sesso Matto soundtrack album even has a Rossini number played on the Arp synthesizer, a kissing cousin of Switched on Bach by way of Looney Toons.

In 1976 West End Records put out a 12” disco mix of the title theme which was well known to New York DJs and heard in places like The Loft and Studio 54. “Sesso Matto”—which was clearly influenced by Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa”—is part of hip-hop’s DNA, heard in many of the earliest rap hits thanks to Grandmaster Flash’s frequent use of its several clean break beats.

Have a listen to the ‘Sesso Matto’ soundtrack after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Family Entertainment’: The Undertones blow the roof off BBC’s Belfast studio, 1979
08.11.2016
08:23 am

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Ad from ZigZag Magazine, 1979
 
In November 1979, BBC Northern Ireland aired the premiere of Green Rock, a six-week TV series devoted to Irish groups. The first act on the show was not, pace broadcaster Mike Edgar, Celtic rockers Horslips, but Derry’s mighty punk five-piece, the Undertones.

Captured mid-hurtle between their 1979 debut and 1980’s Hypnotised, the ‘tones blasted through their lovesick juvenilia with maximum pain and pleasure. The set includes two of their “girls talk” songs (“Girls That Don’t Talk” and “The Way Girls Talk,” though not their cover of the Chocolate Watchband’s “Let’s Talk About Girls”) and the single I personally find more affecting than “Teenage Kicks,” “You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It).” All that’s missing is “Male Model.”
 

At Creggan in Derry, 1977 (via Aural Sculptors)
 
The reunited Undertones—minus their original tremulous voice, Feargal Sharkey, who says he only sings to annoy his children these days—have UK dates booked through November. A remix of “Get Over You” by Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine will be released as a seven-inch in October.

Watch the Undertones after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Hell on Earth: Behind the scenes of ‘Hellraiser’ and its sequels
08.09.2016
09:48 am

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Author and director Clive Barker with Doug Bradley as the Cenobite nicknamed ‘Pinhead’.
 
Clive Barker didn’t know much about directing when he made his debut feature Hellraiser. He thought it best to clue-in on the subject. He decided to borrow a book on filmmaking from his local library. Unfortunately both copies were out on loan. Barker worried that his cinematic career was over before it had even started.

When he pitched the idea for the movie to Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Barker avoided too much emphasis on his lack of experience. He presented a brief synopsis of his novel Hellbound Heart, a few storyboard sketches and some catchy taglines. It got him the gig.

Barker wanted direct movies because of the abortion made of his last screenplay Rawhead Rex in 1985. He didn’t want the same thing to happen to Hellbound Heart. He also hoped the film would be his calling card to Hollywood.

But he didn’t have a copy of Directing for Dummies or whatever it was called and New World were quibbling over the title Hellbound Heart. They said it sounded like a bad romance.

Thankfully, Barker’s cast and crew were professional and very patient. Together they helped him realize his dark and gory vision on screen.

The film was shot over ten weeks. It cost around a million dollars.

As for Hellbound Heart.—Barker gave his movie the working title Sadomasochists From Beyond The Grave. One female crew member suggested it should be called What A Woman Will Do For A Good Fuck. Hellraiser was chosen as the title—and a legendary franchise was born.

According to writer Neil Gaiman the infamous Cenobites—those dark, mutilated figures from another dimension—were loosely inspired by a group of likeminded writers (called the Peace and Love Corporation) who gathered one night in a rooming house during a party being held in the building. As Gaiman recounts in an introduction to Kim Newman‘s short stories:

The Peace and Love Corporation, which was never a corporation, although it was a bank account, and had not really to do with either Peace or Love, although I think on the whole we were pretty much in favour of both of them, formed, more or less, during a party. We weren’t at the party—it was being held in Kim [Newman}‘s Crouch End flat by his landlord. But we—Kim, Stefan Jaworzyn, Eugene Byrne and myself—were on sleeping bags in Kim’s room, listening to the party going on down the hall. Kim had the bed.

The party was long and loud and the partygoers (old hippies to a man) were playing old hippy music.

We started talking about hippies, lying in the darkness. And we began to rant about commune life and going to San Francisco and putting flour in our hair. It was a kind of free-form improvised stand-up routine, only we were lying on the floor.

The next day we wrote down what we could remember of the rant, added a plot of sorts, called it ‘Peace and Love and All That Stuff’ and sent it off to a magazine, and became the Peace and Love Corporation.

Clive Barker was fascinated by the Peace and Love Corporation. At one point he announced that he was going to write a story called ‘Threshold’, in which Kim, Stefan and I would be creatures from a far-future world beyond the boundaries of pleasure and pain, come to the here and now to hunt down a fugitive. When he finally wrote it it was called The Hellbound Heart, and was later filmed as Hellraiser. Which may mean that Kim Newman was the original inspiration for Pinhead. They are, after all, both snappy dressers.

A new film Hellraiser: Judgment will be released next year.
 
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More images of Hell on earth, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Revenge Porn: That time Linda Lovelace taught Sammy Davis Jr. how to deepthroat… her husband
08.09.2016
08:40 am

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Sammy Davis Jr. was a singer, a dancer, an actor, a comic, and an impressionist. He was a superstar. One of the greatest all-round stage and screen entertainers. Davis was also one of the hardest working men in show business. He worked hard he said because he was a short black one-eyed Jew.

When Davis first started out in vaudeville—working with his father and an uncle—he claimed he never came up against any racism. That happened when he joined the army. He was once beaten up for looking at his white female commanding officer while she was giving him orders. Some lowlife bigots beat him up and wrote “coon” in white paint across his forehead, and “I’m a n*gger” across his chest. They beat Davis until he almost passed out. Then they poured turpentine over him.

Davis was both soldier and entertainer. At night he put on shows for his comrades. The day of his beating, Davis didn’t want to do his act—to “go out there and smile at people who despised me,” as he told Playboy interviewer Alex Haley in 1966.

But I made myself do it anyhow. I was fighting myself so hard to stay out there that the fighting made me do maybe one of the best shows I ever did in my life. And I’m glad it did, because I discovered something. I saw some of those faces out there grudgingly take on different expressions. I don’t mean for a minute that everybody suddenly started loving me—I didn’t want that from them anyway—but they respected me. It taught me that the way for me to fight, better than with my fists, was with my talent.

Davis’ need to win respect may later have made him seem somewhat insincere. When Steve Martin appeared on The Tonight Show, Davis fell off the sofa laughing at his material. Martin thought he must be one helluva comic if his routine was this funny. Until he saw Davis fall off the sofa every time any comic told a joke.

But that’s just small brushwork and not the whole painting.

Davis was a hip, cool cat. He helped make Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin look cool. He made playing Vegas cool—something Elvis never quite managed.

He was into sex, drugs and Satanism long before it was the in-thing to do. Davis went his own way—good or bad—others followed in his wake.

Davis even bucked Hollywood when he left the Democratic Party to support Richard Nixon (who invited Davis and wife to be the first black overnight guests in White House history) It’s fair to say he even had an unacknowledged influence on other American Presidents. Obama’s slogan “Yes we can” runs very close to the title of Davis’ biography Yes I Can. While Davis’ belief that blowjobs aren’t really sex was echoed by President Clinton when he said he not have sex in the Whitehouse.
 
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Sammy Davis Jr.: ‘I Gotta Right to Swing!’
 
Sammy Davis Jr. loved getting his dick sucked. It was part of his “code of marital fidelity.” Blowjobs were fine, but full intercourse? That would be cheating on his wife. Or at least that’s what he claimed.

When Davis was married to his third and last wife, the actress and dancer Altovise—the couple had an open relationship. Davis played the field but kept to his “code of marital fidelity”—only having girlfriends blow him. Of course, sometimes it went a bit further—but Sammy always convinced himself he wasn’t really being unfaithful.

After a long night performing on stage, Davis liked to have people over to his house to chill. He liked to have couples over so he could swing. He’d drink booze, snort coke, and pair off with his chosen woman for the night. They would go off into Davis’ private cinema where they’d watch porn together and “get it on.” Altovise meanwhile was supposed to get it on with whichever man was left.

One couple who came to the Davis’ house in the early 1970s was Chuck Traynor and his wife Linda Lovelace.

Traynor was a creep. A manipulative bully who pimped his wife out for sex. Lovelace had made a couple of “loops”—short 8mm porn movies—and had suddenly become (in)famous overnight as the star of Deep Throat.

Deep Throat was Davis’ favorite porn movie. One ex-lover Kathy McKee said Davis watched that film about a hundred times. It seemed kind of inevitable that Sammy Davis Jr. and Linda Lovelace would one day hook-up and become lovers.

According to McKee:

When Linda Lovelace became part of our entourage, the main event for Sammy was watching Linda swallow his cock—just as she’d done for the camera while filming Deep Throat.

 
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In her biography Ordeal, Lovelace described her relationship with Davis and how she once used the singer to get revenge on her violent and abusive husband.

The first night Linda went to Davis’ house Chuck told her:

“If Sammy suggests anything—I mean anything—you just go along with it one-hundred percent.”

Chuck was pimping his wife to get into the showbiz circuit. He wanted young pussy for himself.

That first night Chuck kept edging the conversation to having “a scene”—swinging—but Davis passed. The next night, the couples met again but this time Davis took Lovelace into his private cinema leaving his wife with Chuck. It was the start of a relationship between Davis and Lovelace.

At first they spent their time talking. Davis rapping about his favorite songs, playing old records, and discussing where his career was going. He allegedly never asked Lovelace about her past. Instead, he encouraged her to get into show business, do something in Vegas, and get into mainstream movies.

Davis had “an understanding” with Traynor. Whenever he led Lovelace away for the evening, Chuck would say nothing and wouldn’t come looking for them. This was because Chuck hoped Davis would “fix him up with a lot of far-out chicks.”

While Linda was giving Sammy a blowjob, Chuck was having his “scene” with Altovise. But their scene didn’t last long because Altovise “despised Chuck and wanted her husband to find someone else for her.”

According to Lovelace, Altovise wasn’t into swinging but only did it to keep hold of Sammy.

For a time, the two couples spent every night together—even going on holidays at Davis’ expense.

One night, Altovise was out. Linda was on her knees deep-throating Sammy while he watched a porn movie with Chuck.

“I really dig that,” Davis said to Lovelace. “I’d like to know how you do it. When are you going to teach me? When are you going to show me how you do that?”

Sammy apparently “often talked like that.” Linda never knew if he was joking or not. This particular night Sammy looked over at Linda’s husband Chuck sitting just a few feet away, eyes fixed on the screen.

“Hey, you think Chuck would mind?” said Davis in a low voice.

“Mind? No, that’s the kind of thing he’d go for in a big way. But let me set it up for you,” Lovelace quietly replied.

Linda knew Chuck would mind. It was not the kind of thing he would be into. It was, according to Linda, his greatest fear—the very thing he dreaded most.

More of when Linda taught Sammy to deepthroat, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Beyond the Valley of ‘Ham Goes Up An Escalator’: Three bad short movies emotionally manipulate you
08.05.2016
02:24 pm

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My favorite film that I saw last year was “Yes! Ham Goes Up An Escalator”, a one minute and seven second inspirational masterpiece created by the evil geniuses at Clickhole (makers of the viral hit “This Stick Of Butter Is Left Out At Room Temperature; You Won’t Believe What Happens Next”) in which footage of a ham going up an escalator is edited and scored into an epic story of triumph. French auteur cineaste Jean-Luc Godard actually used music very similarly, abruptly silencing the score before it has a chance to resolve, muting diegetic sounds, or just using totally incongruous music for a scene. The audience is unable to take for granted the “natural” and romantic use of score we assume of conventional movies, and our taste for the easy bourgeois payoff is left unsated. It’s a meme that sadly should have gone much further than it did.
 

 
In this same spirit of semiotic silliness, filmmaker Jim Archer manages to capture and skewer a plethora of corny and emotionally manipulative little film gimmicks, with his documentary parody trailer for Phil: A Tribute to a Man from 2015.

In Phil—who Archer describes as “a man that, to be honest, doesn’t really deserve to have a film made about him”—we hear the meaningless blathering of an inconsequential weirdo rendered into a story of somber introspection—the mundane (but hilarious) dialogue is entirely improvised.

More pointless emotional manipulation after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Unsettling sculptures of the Torrance family from ‘The Shining’ that you can never unsee
08.04.2016
09:20 am

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Danny, Wendy and Jack Torrance sculptures.
 
Sculptor and artist Clair Monaghan says that she enjoys building and animating characters that tell a “story.” In this case Monaghan managed to scare the shit out of me by re-telling Stanley Kubrick’s 1980’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining by creating three sculptures based on Danny, Wendy and Jack Torrance. I feel compelled to warn you that Monaghan’s bizarre sculptures cannot be unseen, much like the film itself.
 

An image of the jacked-up teeth in the mouth of Wendy Torrance sculpture
 
I’m especially freaked out by the jacked-up looking teeth protruding from Shelley Duvall’s clay face (see above). The sculptured choppers sent me scurrying to look at photos of Miss Duvall to see if in fact her actual teeth were that askew. While they are not perfect they are definitely not of the full-on hillbilly back-room dentistry variety that Monaghan created. Sadly Monaghan hasn’t updated her blog or website since 2012 and at that time it did not appear as though she was interesting in selling any of her clay Torrances. Which leaves us to revel in her curiously weird sculptures of three of cinema’s most famous faces frozen in time—just like Jack. 
 

 

Jack and Wendy Torrance together forever!
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Comedy of Terrors: Hammer Horror Trading Cards from 1976
08.04.2016
09:03 am

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In 1976 Topps released a set of Shock Theatre trading cards that featuring gory stills from classic Hammer horror films. Each pack sold contained three cards and one stick of chewing gum. On the front cover was a cartoon of Christopher Lee as Dracula. A speech bubble from his blood-splattered mouth said “It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice!” It set the tone for the cards inside.

Each card had a still from one of Hammer’s famous movies. For some reason there were more vampires than man-made monsters. The films featured were Dracula Has Risen for the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972, The Satanic Rites of Dracula and Frankenstein Must be Destroyed. The images were framed in red with a truly godawful joke across the bottom. There were fifty cards in total to collect. Though apparently there was no #47 and two #17s.

I remember when these came out—but was too busy spending my hard-earned pocket money on books, records and single cigarettes. I loved horror movies. I was a cheerleader for Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. But I didn’t take to this particular series because of the dumbass quips plastered across each card. With that earnestness only a child can muster I thought the “jokes” demeaned the artistry of Hammer movies. Yeah, I know…

But now: I’m older. And know a little better. Enough to admit I should have bought them just for the money these babies fetch on the collectors’ market.

View the full set of Hammer Horror trading cards over at The Reprobabte.
 
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More gory Hammer horror trading cards, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Japan’s most mysterious band, Les Rallizes Dénudés
08.04.2016
08:33 am

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Takashi Mizutani, leader of Les Rallizes Dénudés
 
Best Buy doesn’t stock Les Rallizes Dénudés. Then again, for a long time, nobody did. My own introduction to the band came in the form of a CD-R my friend Max handed me sometime around the end of W.‘s first term. Though their force was undeniable, the recordings were murky; I resolved to find authorized Rallizes releases, best quality, straight from the source. But when I started digging through CDs and LPs at L.A. record stores, I was surprised how hard it was to find Rallizes product of any kind, legit or no. The few items my search did turn up were shoddily packaged bootlegs with hideous cover art. Have you seen the jacket of Blind Baby Has Its Mother’s Eyes? It is a masterpiece of graphic design by comparison with most Rallizes product.

As usual, I had to wait for Julian Cope to come along and turn confusion into sense. The chapter on Les Rallizes Dénudés in Cope’s Japrocksampler explains that the band, between forming in 1967 and busting in 1996, never recorded in a studio or put out albums. Like, on principle. All product was counterfeit:

So how do we actually know of Les Razilles Dénudés if they don’t even release records? Through bootlegs, bootlegs and more bootlegs. Indeed, Les Razilles Dénudés has operated in this manner for so long now that both musicians and fans know so far in advance what to expect from each other that there’s even a caste system within that world of bootlegs. Yup, while certain Rallizes LPs are considered so much less bootleggy than others that they’ve almost become official in the minds of fans, others are just dismissed as cash-ins, re-runs and ... well, just plain bootlegs.

 

 
(Technically, they did record in the studio, and they apparently sanctioned a release or two. Red Bull Music Academy’s Grayson Currin, writing about his recent attempts to track down the group’s reclusive leader, Takashi Mizutani, says the Rallizes did eventually put out an official record—in 1991, some five years before they finally hung it up. And the Rallizes’ side of 1973’s double live compilation Oz Days Live is also alleged to be official. These are quibbles: If Cope is exaggerating, it’s in the service of truth.) 

Those seeking a fleshed-out version of the Rallizes’ skeletal bio are directed to Japrocksampler, but briefly: radical Francophile Takashi Mizutani formed the group as a college student in the ‘60s, when, Cope writes, French culture still found devotees among postwar Japanese youth looking for a revolutionary alternative to Uncle Sam. That means: Cool for these guys was ice cold. Deadpan as the Velvets or Spacemen 3, Mizutani and his bandmates identified with the loudest, darkest and most destructive aspects of psych-rock. Cope quotes this cryptic text from the Rallizes’ late ‘60s flyers:

For those young people – including you – who live this modern agonising adolescence and who are wanting the true radical music, I sincerely wish the dialogue accompanied by piercing pain will be born and fill this recital hall.

 

 
The deep alienation in their art spilled over into the headlines on March 31, 1970, when one of the Rallizes’ founding members, bassist Moriaki Wakabayashi, took part in the Japanese Red Army Faction’s hijacking of a plane. (Wakabayashi and three other hijackers still live in North Korea, which offered asylum.) The association with Communist terrorism did not exactly do wonders for the band’s career, and according to Cope, Mizutani never recovered from the catastrophe of the hijacking, retreating into deeper and darker isolation.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘LET ME DIE IN DRAG!’: The sleazy pulp paperbacks of ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ director Ed Wood
08.03.2016
09:07 am

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During the 1960s, several years after he’d begun making himself infamous as one of the greatest terrible auteurs in the history of cinema, Edward D. Wood Jr. moonlit as the author of lurid pulp novels, many about gay men, which he wasn’t, and cross-dressers, which he rather famously was, with a fixation on angora so powerful it made its way into his film Glen or Glenda. (That last detail is actually Ed Wood 101 stuff, and if you haven’t seen the wonderful Tim Burton biopic about him, by all means, you should—the direction and performances are superb. If you’re more the bookish type, I’d suggest reading Nightmare of Ecstasy.)

Per SIN-A-RAMA, Feral House’s excellent survey of trashy sex novels (my DM colleague Chris Bickel told you all about it not long ago), Wood wrote not just under his own name, but under at least eight pseudonyms, and according to the outstanding 2011 exhibition catalog Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks, there were more than that—they list a few books as Wood’s that are credited to I shit you not Norman Bates.

This points to a big problem in identifying Wood’s work. Some pulp pseudonyms were shared by more than one author, and the possibility exists that some books attributed to Wood were falsely credited by unscrupulous vintage resellers seeking to increase their sale price. It seems odd that Wood used pseudonyms at all—he relished in being credited under his own name, and since many of his more scandalous pulps were published under his given name, it’s hard to imagine that the tamer stuff could serve as a blow to his reputation!

If you’d care to actually read this stuff, brace yourself for collector pricing—an asking price of $200 is on the low end for some of these. A few of them have been reprinted, though, and the collection Blood Splatters Quickly compiles short stories Wood wrote for adult magazines.
 

 

 
More of Ed Wood Jr.‘s pulp fiction, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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