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Fantastically realistic sculptures of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Batgirl, Eddie Munster and more
05:42 am



Nick Cave sculpture by Trevor Grove
Nick Cave bust by Trevor Grove
The incredible work of sculptor Trevor Grove has been featured here on DM previously, and it’s my pleasure to be able to share more creations from this talented artist with our readers.
Nick Cave bust sculpture side view
Nick Cave Grinderman era sculpture
Nick Cave “Grinderman” version
The So-Cal based Grove has been at the hand-sculpting game for about seven years. He primarily creates his pieces with hard wax and the results are nothing less than startling. I’m especially fond of Grove’s two sculptures of Nick Cave (above) which includes a Grinderman version of Cave sporting his handlebar mustache, as well as his two sculpts of everyone’s favorite avante growler,Tom Waits.

And since I know you may be wondering, you can purchase some of Grove’s sculptures over at his site, Tweeterhead such as his sculpt of the late Yvonne Craig as Batgirl that were personally signed by Craig before she passed away last month.
Tom Waits sculpture by Trevor Grove
Tom Waits
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy and Skinny Puppy’s Nivek Ogre to star in horror film
07:03 am



Variety has announced some news that should be mighty tantalizing to fans of the darker expressions of post-punk: Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy will star in the forthcoming horror film BlackGloveKiller, by the Canadian composer/Fangoria editor/film director Chris Alexander.

The duo is set to begin later this year filming a story that they described as “an erotic, violent fever dream driven by mood, music and atmosphere.” BlackGloveKiller tells the story of a beautiful predator named Miranda who hunts for prey at night.

Alexander, who also wrote the film, said it “really aims to be a horror film like no other horror film, one that nods to its influence but is still distinctly the product of my own imagination.” The director previously made the horror pics Blood For Irina and Female Werewolf.

Both Ogre (née Kevin Ogilvie) and Murphy have prior acting credits. Ogre memorably played a character called, um, “Ogre” in Repo! The Genetic Opera, and had a role in Alexander’s 2014 film Queen of Blood. Murphy had a small role in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, credited as “the Cold One.” He also appeared, uncredited, in the classic vampire film The Hunger, in his capacity as Bauhuas’ singer, in club scene wherein he mimed the band’s signature song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘The Juniper Tree’: A twenty-year-old Björk stars in dark fairy tale of magic and witchcraft
10:14 am



The Juniper Tree is an austere, black and white 1986 Icelandic art house film based on one of the grimmer of the German fairy tales collected the by Brothers Grimm. The five-member cast includes a then twenty-year-old Björk Guðmundsdóttir. The film wasn’t released until 1990, by which point, of course, the singer was an internationally known artist. It was premiered at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival where it screened for the “Grand Jury Prize.”

The Juniper Tree tells the story of two sisters who have escaped after their mother has been stoned and burned as a witch. Baby-faced Björk plays teenaged Margit, who comes along when her sister bewitches and marries a widower with a young son.

The film is plotted and paced in a manner that demands careful attention. If you just pay it half-mind, you won’t appreciate what it has to offer, but if you give it your undivided attention, it’s quite a fascinating (and skillfully made considering the obviously low budget) little film.

Thank you Linc Kinnicutt!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Art film made from behind-the-scenes footage of ‘Blue Velvet’
11:50 am



If I had to pick my favorite movie from the 1980s, it’d be a good long while before I thought of a better candidate than David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, which came out in 1986. Blue Velvet was Lynch’s redemptive triumph after the time-consuming and expensive flop Dune, which was based on Frank Herbert’s tortuous sci-fi novel.

For reasons unknown, Lynch invited a German photographer named Peter Braatz to Wilmington, North Carolina (yes, that’s right, not Oregon or Washington) to come and document the shooting of Blue Velvet. Braatz titled his nearly hour-long movie “No Frank in Lumberton”; any fans of the movie will instantly understand “Frank” to mean the malevolent character played by Dennis Hopper and “Lumberton” to mean the idyllic logging community in which the action takes place.

You won’t “learn” anything in the ordinary sense from the movie, it’s an impressionistic tone-poem on Lynch and Blue Velvet that uses grainy footage of Lynch, Isabella Rossellini, Jack Nance, Kyle MacLachlan, et al.; unmotivated cutaways to exercising football players; and plenty of asynchronous sound and music. Sometimes, just for fun, Braatz uses actual dialogue from the movie as the vocal track, such as Dorothy Vallens’ pained cry to “Frank!” to leave poor Jeffrey alone.

This kind of movie strikes me as being very 1980s, it’s “experimental” and self-indulgent and kind of… drunk of video cutting techniques in a way that a movie like this would never be today. But I definitely enjoyed watching it—it’s an “audiovisual experience” first and foremost that just happens to take as its subject one of the most vivid films of American cinema. To Braatz’s credit, the movie does have something of the creepy audio gestalt that Lynch achieved so many times in his work.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Of Spiders, Pin-up girls and Silent Movie Mad Men: The Legacy of ‘Hollywood Imp’ Jack McDermott
07:30 am



Pin Up Model Betty Blue in front of the Spider Tile
There is something so delightfully decadent and downright pagan about Hollywood in the 1920’s. Maybe it was the heat and the transformation of desert wasteland to an arena of dreams and star making machines or perhaps the country’s overall shedding of prudish Victoriana morals and decor. Social and creative mores were pushed, at times, in the most delicious and evocative of ways. (As anyone who has studied pre-Hays Code films can probably assure you!) Sitting in the Hollywood Hills, like some pastiche Abbey of Thelema meets Silver Screen ambiance was the “Crazy House.”
Jack McDermott-Handsome Devil
“Crazy House” belonged to silent film writer/director Jack McDermott. McDermott was born in 1893 and originally from Green River, Wyoming, a mining town known for being one of the first in the country to ban door-to-door solicitation. When his family moved to Los Angeles in the protean days of filmmaking, it was kismet for an unrestrained soul like McDermott’s. Settling in the desert landscape like a holy burning bush as witnessed by a tribe of mescaline-dosed fops, McDermott’s reputation would soon grow legion. With directing credits dating back to at least 1916 and the last credited film of his being released in 1926, intriguingly titled The Love Thief, McDermott’s legacy in Hollywood mythos has become less solidified in silver nitrate and more in surreal antics and architectural wonderment.

Stories about McDermott the Hollywood Imp would soon circulate by the 1920’s. Gags such as giving guests a ride in his Model T in some of the rockier parts of the landscape, only to pull the steering wheel completely off and throw it out whenever his company started getting nervous, were just the tip of the iceberg. (McDermott’s car had foot controls installed that helped prevent certain auto-crash doom.) Driving shenanigans aside, it would ultimately be, as described in a 1927 issue of Picture-Play magazine as “The Strangest House in Hollywood,” that would make him a whispered name decades past his expiration date on this mortal plane.
Exterior of
Described by McDermott himself as his “crazy house,” what the structure lacked in modern cohesive design, it more than made up for with slackful ingenuity and a mega-ton of studio sets and props. Not just a few odds and ends here and there, but that the house itself was largely composed of set-pieces and what would now be viewed as Hollywood artifacts and relics.

The “Crazy House” featured rugs, furniture and walls straight off the sets of films like the 1924 Raoul Walsh actioner The Thief of Baghdad, a roof constructed from Lon Chaney Sr.‘s classic Phantom of the Opera, fencing from one of Rudolph Valentino’s last films, 1925’s The Eagle, among many others. McDermott even reportedly utilized the tombstones used in the 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame to form part of a stone wall on the property.
More on Jack McDermott’s crazy house, after the jump…

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
‘The Sinful Dwarf’: Four feet of pure, deranged, nightmare-inducing evil
03:01 pm



In a way I feel kind of bad about calling your attention to what I am about to call your attention to. Normally I prefer to highlight unusual “gems” of the outsider arts here, you know, marquee things we feel positively about.

This isn’t one of those times. This is one of those “This smells like shit, here, smell this” kinda posts. No, I’m not exactly being “a good person” by posting here about the oddball/disgusting 1973 Danish cinematic trash epic known as The Sinful Dwarf... but here it is anyway!

The Sinful Dwarf, as you might have already gathered from the title alone, is not high art. It’s not low art either, it’s just appalling on every level. But funny, too! The plot, as relayed via a very brief synopsis on IMDB is… simple: “Olaf and his mother run a boarding house and a white slavery ring. They also smuggle heroin to keep the addict girls happy so they do not try and escape. A young couple move into the house and the evil landlords take a liking to the female.”

Olaf is one sick fucking dwarf. He would pretty much have to be with a title like this one, no? That’s about all you really need to know about The Sinful Dwarfother than the heroin comes in teddy bears (via a sleazy crook who calls himself “Santa Claus”) and that the mother is a bit Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Here are a few more salient details courtesy of Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies: The Blog back in 2008:

I know the LPA hates this kind of stuff, but if there is an apotheosis of the deranged, nightmare-inducing dwarf that haunts the dreams of little children everywhere, brother, I just spent 90 minutes with him. I’d like to think that’s a testament to Torben’s acting skills. Because if he’s not acting…*shudder*...

The set-up goes a little like this: Olaf’s mother is a former showgirl who was scarred in a cataclysmic fire that consumed the dance hall where she was the star, the same year that little Olaf was born. “I don’t want to think about that year,” she tells a friend. “First the terrible fire—then Olaf—one disaster after another.” Love you too, Ma.

Since the horrific end of her showbiz career, Mom has been hosting tea-parties for the Horrible Women’s Auxiliary and pining for the good old days, periodically breaking into ultra-disturbing, Nora Desmond-style dance numbers to relive her former glory. To make ends meet, she and Olaf kidnap young girls, lock them in the attic, get them hooked on smack, and pimp them out to a series of faceless johns. It’s a real cottage industry.

According to one tidbit I read online, Torben Bille, the best-known little actor in Denmark, had a good time making the film, but was ashamed that his poor sainted mother knew that her son had made a porno film, basically! (The Sinful Dwarf is not really a porn film per se, but rather something that exists in a cinematic continuum triangulated by porn, Joel Reed’s repellent grindhouse classic Bloodsucking Freaks and John Waters’ Pink Flamingos.) The freaky mother is straight out of a David Lynch film, if not Grey Gardens.

It continues, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Teenage Mother’: Nine Months of Trouble!
08:10 am



Teenage Mother is one of a small handful of what could be called “quintessential” or even canonical, if you prefer, sexploitation films of the 1960s. Which is not to say it’s all that “good,” either, but it does have a rather full quota of exploitation staples such as sleazy drug dealers, disapproving parents, gang violence, and of course, a lying slut!  (Film School Rejects called Teenage Mother a “grindhouse Juno”—I’m not sure how true that is, but it sounds good in theory, doesn’t it?)

It’s also a peculiar cultural marker of pre-“sexual revolution” American history. Beyond the scare tactics and corny drama, the film’s pièce de résistance (and the real reason for this otherwise merely “okay” movie becoming so notorious) was, of course, its full color live birth reel complete with speculum and very close close-ups. You have to marvel at the business genius of director Jerry Gross. His company Cinemation Industries—which would later release Fritz The Cat, The Cheerleaders, The Black Godfather and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song—pioneered an unusual traveling roadshow presentation with this film that included a sex education lecture at each screening. Why? Because it would make it defensible in court. It wasn’t “obscene” it was educational! In a pre-porn era, this stuff was box office boffo. Gross just wanted to show an extreme close up of woman’s vagina on-screen, but the only way he was going to be able to do it legally back then was in the guise of a “sex education” film with a ham-fisted moral message —as if he gave a damn about anything other than collecting the box office receipts—and… medical footage.

The existence of Teenage Mother is a reminder, not of a more innocent age, in my opinion, but an era just more ignorant of sex in general (not all that long ago, either). The film jumps through several very odd hoops at once, but If you know the backstory, it makes it an even more interesting cinematic curio… I guess! Incidentally according to IMDB, Gross paid a hospital just $50 for the birth footage.

The hottie in the lead role is actress Arlene Sue Farber—undoubtedly a grandmother by now—who a few years later starred (as “Arlene Tyger”) in Gross’s fake Italian sexploitation flick Female Animal (which God help me, I own the soundtrack for). Teenage Mother also has an unexpected cameo from a baby-faced Fred Willard as the gym teacher.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Slasher sweaters: The perfect gift for the psychopath in your life
12:37 pm



Holiday fun from Austin’s Mondo Gallery. Curators and retailers of limited edition screen-printed posters, movie soundtracks on vinyl, VHS re-issues, toys, and clothing, the freaks at Mondo are always on the cutting edge of pop culture weirdness.

This collection of Mondo Slasher Sweaters was inspired by Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Designed by Middle of Beyond, these spooky threads are on sale right now. Just in time for Halloween.

The Freddy cardigan is perfect for the demented stepfather or creepy old uncle in your life. Or perhaps your math teacher, the one with the twisted smile and the tombstone eyes.




Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Alternate universe ‘Pulp Fictions’: Who else did Quentin Tarantino consider for these iconic roles?
08:29 am



Casting in movies or TV is a difficult job for the ordinary viewer to get his or her head around, because the tendency to regard the finished performance as “the only way” it could have been done is so powerful, and this is true even for quite ordinary movies. When it comes to a movie as iconic as Pulp Fiction, however, it’s almost impossible to think of Vincent Vega as anybody other than John Travolta, and likewise for Jules Winnfield and Samuel L. Jackson (indeed, both actors were nominated for the Academy Award for their work in Pulp Fiction).

But such things are always more flexible than they appear, and it’s the job of casting directors to try to guess what the combination of this actor and that role is likely to produce. Yesterday there appeared on reddit an intriguing document that apparently represents Quentin Tarantino’s “wish list” for Pulp Fiction, which was to be his second feature after his successful 1992 debut, Reservoir Dogs. The list naturally contains some expected choices—including the actors that were eventually cast—but also some surprises.

On Reservoir Dogs Tarantino worked with Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, and Tim Roth, and it’s not super surprising that all three of those actors were Tarantino’s choice for the roles of Vincent, the Wolf, and Pumpkin, respectively—Keitel and Roth, of course, did end up playing those roles. For Vincent, Tarantino wanted Madsen for the part but effectively considered Travolta to be a co-front-runner for the role. Tarantino’s list reads as follows: “Wrote part for Michael. ... John Travolta (strong, strong, strong second choice).” It turned out that Madsen was committed to Lawrence Kasdan’s Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner, which freed up Travolta for his career-altering turn as Vincent. 

(click for a larger view)
The application of image filters on the page reveals some hidden text behind the page, specifically:

Harvey Keitel***
Wrote part for Harvey, if unavailable other possibilities:
Warren Beatty


The main image on reddit, which covered the casting of Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, Vincent, and drug dealer Lance and his wife Jody, did not include the key roles of Mia Wallace, Marsellus Wallace, the Wolf, and Butch and his girlfriend Fabienne. In the comments on the same page on reddit, however, is a four-page fax dated July 14, 1993 (faxing a document apparently typed up on July 2, 1993), which included Tarantino’s cast list for those parts as well as others. Surprisingly, an actor who played a career-defining role in Pulp Fiction and is well known as one of Tarantino’s very favorites, Uma Thurman, was not on the director’s original list for Mia. Rather, Tarantino wanted Virginia Madsen (Michael’s younger sister), with Marisa Tomei, Patricia Arquette, and Bridget Fonda also mentioned—Thurman’s name is nowhere to be found.

Similarly, Bruce Willis was not on Tarantino’s mind for the role of Butch: Matt Dillon was Tarantino’s first choice, with Sean Penn, “Nick” Cage, and Johnny Depp on the list as well. Depp, who filmed Ed Wood around the same time as Pulp Fiction was filmed, was Tarantino’s second choice for Lance, the drug dealer played by Eric Stoltz.

Samuel L. Jackson was not Tarantino’s first choice for Jules Winnfield—Laurence Fishburne was. Tarantino sprinkled Jackson’s name all over the document, considering him as possible for Marsellus, Captain Koons, the Wolf, and Lance. For Vincent, the Wolf, and Captain Koons, Tarantino let his imagination run wild, with some big-ticket casting ideas. Tarantino threw out the names Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton, Denzel Washington, and Sean Penn, while for Capt. Koons, Tarantino considered Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Tommy Lee Jones.

It’s awfully fun to imagine a version of Pulp Fiction with Denzel Washington as Vincent, Eddie Murphy as Jules, Johnny Depp as Butch, Danny DeVito as the Wolf, Marisa Tomei as Mia, Michael Keaton as Lance, Pam Grier as Jody, and Robert De Niro as Capt. Koons. One wonders if such a movie would ever have gotten nominated for seven Oscars…...





Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘The Key to Immortal Consciousness’: The 82 Commandments of Alejandro Jodorowsky
01:10 pm



We’ve posted here before Captain Beefheart’s 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing, but this list of the eighty-two “commandments” of the great film director Alejandro Jodorowsky makes that look like a fortune cookie.

In the book The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky, the author describes meeting Reyna d’Assia, daughter of the influential spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, who was quite prominent in the early part of the 20th century and died in 1949, when Jodorowsky was 20 years old. (It is interesting to note that Wikipedia does not list Reyna d’Assia as one of Gurdjieff’s “known natural children,” of which Wikipedia lists seven.) Among Gurdjieff’s fans were such DM faves as Robert Fripp, Kate Bush, Keith Jarrett, and Timothy Leary.

Collin Cleary’s account of this section of the book is well worth reading. He calls this chapter, “Work on the Essence,” the “highpoint” of the book, saying that it simultaneously “comes quite close in many places to being pornographic” and “is also probably the best brief account—and critique—of the ideas of Gurdjieff that I have ever come across.” Based on what I read of this chapter, Jodorowsky’s writing (and possibly Reyna d’Assia’s way of speaking) sounds a lot like the dialogue in a Jodorowsky movie.

Jodorowsky and Reyna d’Assia met in Mexico City after a screening of El Topo, at which, for some reason, Jodorowsky was wearing the outfit of the mole character he plays in the movie. They went back to her hotel, where they had sex, with Jodorowsky still wearing the black leather cowboy outfit.

Alejandro Jodorowsky and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

According to Cleary, Reyna “never stops talking.” In one torrent of verbiage she discloses her father’s maxims of life. Here is the exchange that leads up to her list:

Jodorowsky: Reyna, you are telling me fairy tales! Such goals are 100% utopian—and even if they were true, what is the first step on this path?

Reyna d’Assia: Whoever wishes to attain the supreme goal must first change his habits, conquer laziness, and become a morally sound human being. To be strong in the great things, we must also be strong in the small ones.

Jodorowsky: How?

Reyna d’Assia: We have been badly educated. We live in a world of competition in which honesty is synonymous with naïveté. We must first develop good habits. Some of them may seem simple, but they are very difficult to realize. Believing them to be obvious, we fail to see that they are the key to immortal consciousness. Now I shall offer you a dictation of the commandments that my blessed father taught me….

Then comes her list of commandments. In the way of natural speech, it is (of course) not set up like a list—in fact, it looks like this. The whole thing takes up the better part of three pages.

In what follows we have formatted it so that it is easier to read.

1. Ground your attention on yourself. Be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling, desiring, and doing.
2. Always finish what you have begun.
3. Whatever you are doing, do it as well as possible.
4. Do not become attached to anything that can destroy you in the course of time.
5. Develop your generosity ‒ but secretly.
6. Treat everyone as if he or she was a close relative.
7. Organize what you have disorganized.
8. Learn to receive and give thanks for every gift.
9. Stop defining yourself.
10. Do not lie or steal, for you lie to yourself and steal from yourself.
11. Help your neighbor, but do not make him dependent.
12. Do not encourage others to imitate you.
13. Make work plans and accomplish them.
14. Do not take up too much space.
15. Make no useless movements or sounds.
16. If you lack faith, pretend to have it.
17. Do not allow yourself to be impressed by strong personalities.
18. Do not regard anyone or anything as your possession.
19. Share fairly.
20. Do not seduce.
21. Sleep and eat only as much as necessary.
22. Do not speak of your personal problems.
23. Do not express judgment or criticism when you are ignorant of most of the factors involved.
24. Do not establish useless friendships.
25. Do not follow fashions.
26. Do not sell yourself.
27. Respect contracts you have signed.
28. Be on time.
29. Never envy the luck or success of anyone.
30. Say no more than necessary.
31. Do not think of the profits your work will engender.
32. Never threaten anyone.
33. Keep your promises.
34. In any discussion, put yourself in the other person’s place.
35. Admit that someone else may be superior to you.
36. Do not eliminate, but transmute.
37. Conquer your fears, for each of them represents a camouflaged desire.
38. Help others to help themselves.
39. Conquer your aversions and come closer to those who inspire rejection in you.
40. Do not react to what others say about you, whether praise or blame.
41. Transform your pride into dignity.
42. Transform your anger into creativity.
43. Transform your greed into respect for beauty.
44. Transform your envy into admiration for the values of the other.
45. Transform your hate into charity.
46. Neither praise nor insult yourself.
47. Regard what does not belong to you as if it did belong to you.
48. Do not complain.
49. Develop your imagination.
50. Never give orders to gain the satisfaction of being obeyed.
51. Pay for services performed for you.
52. Do not proselytize your work or ideas.
53. Do not try to make others feel for you emotions such as pity, admiration, sympathy, or complicity.
54. Do not try to distinguish yourself by your appearance.
55. Never contradict; instead, be silent.
56. Do not contract debts; acquire and pay immediately.
57. If you offend someone, ask his or her pardon; if you have offended a person publicly, apologize publicly.
58. When you realize you have said something that is mistaken, do not persist in error through pride; instead, immediately retract it.
59. Never defend your old ideas simply because you are the one who expressed them.
60. Do not keep useless objects.
61. Do not adorn yourself with exotic ideas.
62. Do not have your photograph taken with famous people.
63. Justify yourself to no one, and keep your own counsel.
64. Never define yourself by what you possess.
65. Never speak of yourself without considering that you might change.
66. Accept that nothing belongs to you.
67. When someone asks your opinion about something or someone, speak only of his or her qualities.
68. When you become ill, regard your illness as your teacher, not as something to be hated.
69. Look directly, and do not hide yourself.
70. Do not forget your dead, but accord them a limited place and do not allow them to invade your life.
71. Wherever you live, always find a space that you devote to the sacred.
72. When you perform a service, make your effort inconspicuous.
73. If you decide to work to help others, do it with pleasure.
74. If you are hesitating between doing and not doing, take the risk of doing.
75. Do not try to be everything to your spouse; accept that there are things that you cannot give him or her but which others can.
76. When someone is speaking to an interested audience, do not contradict that person and steal his or her audience.
77. Live on money you have earned.
78. Never brag about amorous adventures.
79. Never glorify your weaknesses.
80. Never visit someone only to pass the time.
81. Obtain things in order to share them.
82. If you are meditating and a devil appears, make the devil meditate too.


via The Arcane Front

Thanks to Lawrence Daniel Caswell!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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