It’s rare these days for a film to genuinely creep me out. After decades of watching horror movies, the great, the good and the intolerably bad, it takes a lot to shake me up. So when I tell you that Ben Wheatley’s Kill List got under my skin like one of those leech-like critters in David Cronenberg’s They Came From Within, it’s both a warning and a recommendation. Kill List should come with its own rating FYU (fuck you up).
Kill List manages to to do something that only really good art does: it is the thing it is about. This hellaciously unnerving film is as evil as the evil it depicts. When I reflect on some of the most disturbing films I’ve seen - Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist - I recall them not as compositions of various crafts - acting, direction, etc. - I re-experience them in their totality, a dark brand seared into the folds of my brain matter. These are not mere movies, they’re a form of magic, as arcane as alchemy and as modern as Blu Ray. They deposit the Devil’s cash in your memory bank, where it gains interest over the years, but the only checks you can write against it are in your nightmares.
Kill List has a mindbending plot, fine acting, direction and a superb score. You can find out more about the film online. The critical chatter is mostly positive. But this is not a review. It is, as I said, a warning and a recommendation. For fans of the kind of horror that sinks into you like the fangs of a blood-famished vampire, Wheatley’s infernal concoction should do the trick.
With a budget of nearly 2 million kronor, Häxan (The Witches or Witchcraft Through The Ages) is the most expensive Scandinavian silent film ever. Written and directed by Benjamin Christensen this classic horror film from 1922 was partly inspired by Christensen’s reading of Malleus Maleficarum, the 15th century guide to witch-finding. Christensen presents his film as a faux documentary, examining the hysteria around witchcraft, the occult and demonic possession.
The film splits into 4 sections, each with its own theme. The first examines demons and ideas of Hell; the second is series of stories about witchcraft and the use of magic - Christensen makes an appearance as Satan; the third part is set in the Middle Ages and follows a woman accused of witchcraft, who under torture admits to charges of witchcraft; the fourth floats the idea witchcraft and demonology are a treatable form of mental illness.
It’s a more than interesting film, one for a winter’s night - especially if you can stand to read all the caption cards (an edited version was released in 1965 with commentary from William Burroughs, which is easier on the eye) - and is famed for its incredible and powerful dramatic sequences of demons, witches, occult practices and Satan.
When Throbbing Gristle’s mission was terminated in 1981, the band split into Chris & Cosey and Psychic TV, which, for a while, included both Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Genesis P-Orridge. Other members of the group’s initial incarnation were Paula P-Orridge, Alex Fergusson (formerly of Alternative TV), John “Zos Kia” Gosling and Geff Rushton, a.k.a. John Balance. At this time, the group’s sound was a unique mix of exotic instruments, Velvet Undergroundy guitar drone, TG and elements we think of as defining the music of Coil, which, of course, Christopherson and Balance soon went on to form.
I got to see this group (and after the Coil founders left) several times in the early 80s and these shows were among the most mesmerizing, insane and just plain hair-raisingly scary concerts I’ve ever attended. I vividly remember seeing Psychic TV at the Hammersmith Town Hall in 1984 and deciding to step back from the front of the stage in case a demon materialized. I didn’t want to be too close to that action!
This show, taped at the Berlin Atonal Festival in 1982, captures that same intimidating sense of menace and dark energy.
Flying Lotus and Harry Smith, two great tastes that taste great together!
Tomorrow night, our friends at Cinefamily present this inspired avant garde pairing:
Reprising an unforgettable show commissioned for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, L.A.’s own Flying Lotus joins Animation Breakdown for a unique screening of animator/folk music archivist/string figure enthusiast/culture hound extraordinaire Harry Smith’s 66-minute animated collage film Heaven and Earth Magic. The marriage of Smith’s ‘50s folk art mindset and Flying Lotus’ genre-defying 21st century sound may seem at odds, but they are both equally brilliant alchemical cut-and-paste samplers of world culture—and as kindred as spirits can get. Heaven and Earth Magic is a testament to the ability of animators to act as magicians, breathing life into even the most static, eyeworn 19th-century imagery—and as Flying Lotus contributes audio from disparate yet familiar sources (drum machine, turntable, laptop, synthesizer), two giants of sampling unite across time, and Smith’s playful experiments are imbued with a new, positively cosmic energy. This is one-of-a-kind live pairing you are not likely to see again!
Tickets $12, Tuesday, February 28th, 8:00pm at Cinefamily
Below, an excerpt from Harry Smith’s “Heaven and Earth Magic.” If you aren’t lucky enough to live in LA (I love saying that) as you’re watching it, maybe listen to Cosmogramma?
Don Von Taylor’s powerful 1992 documentary Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest explores the infamous case of two teenage heavy metal fans who were allegedly driven to commit suicide by subliminal messages embedded in the songs of Judas Priest. One kid succeeded in blowing himself away with a shotgun, the other, Vance, did not. He managed only to horribly disfigure himself when the shotgun slipped from his grip as he pulled the trigger.
Fueled by religious extremism, self-deception and grief-induced ignorance, Vance and his parents found in rock and roll the perfect scapegoat for the dysfunction in their own troubled lives.
The film follows the efforts of the parents of the surviving teen to take the English heavy metal band Judas Priest to court based on their belief that the suicide was triggered by the two boys obsession with heavy metal and in particular a track by Judas Priest called “Better By You Better Than Me” from their 1978 album Stained Class which the prosecution alleged contained “satanic” backwards masking which drove the boys to suicide.
This was at a time when the right-wing Christian fundamentalists of America were focusing on the “evil” influence of music on the young and as a response in 1985 the Parents Music Resource Center was set up by politicians wives Tipper Gore (wife of Al Gore) and Susan Baker (wife of James Baker) and led to those infamous “Parental Guidance: Explicit Lyrics” stickers which basically told the kids which albums to buy if you wanted to annoy your parents!
Out of this milieu of rabid censorship came the Christian fundamentalists who believed Satanic influences were at work in the music industry and one of their key propaganda weapons was the belief that certain records contained subliminal messages that were played backwards and masked beneath the song (Stairway To Heaven is probably the most famous example of this deranged belief system).
The film is essentially the story of the court case where Judas Priest and their defense team challenged the prosecution who alleged their music “caused” the surviving teen James Vance and his deceased friend to engage in a suicide pact.
Twenty years on the court case itself may seem absurd and yet the Christian fundamentalists are as powerful as ever and a new “moral panic” is just as likely now as it was twenty-odd years ago.
In this sad and disturbing film, it is the progenitors of the Devil’s music, Judas Priest, who come off as paragons of sanity and clarity.
Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest has inexplicably never been released on video or DVD. It’s an unsettling experience but well-worth watching.
I’m drawn to The Grammy Awards much in the same way that I find myself rubbernecking at a multi-car pile up on the freeway or dropping a crisp dollar bill to see the two-headed cow at a carnival sideshow. This year’s production wasn’t much different than the usual pop star circle jerk. The Boss opened the festivities with his usual blue collar bombast (which I did find rousing) followed by….well, I can’t really remember. Disembodied heads float through my brain like balloons at a birthday party - I think that one is Brian Wilson…oh look, Paul McCartney…isn’t that a Foo Fighter…George Jones?...no, Glen Campbell. For a moment, I thought I saw James Brown but according to later reports it was Bruno Mars channeling the lost Hawaiian member of Sha Na Na.
Alright, I’m fucking around here. No one expects much of the Grammys and it always pretty much lives up to our diminished expectations even in a year when the ghost of Whitney Houston hovered above the ceremony, stuck in some kind of twisted Bardo Plane, a malignant magnetic field that humans create to entrap the vestiges of the ones they love, as if the dead are paying attention to any of it. If Whitney managed to make it to heaven she had to bypass the purgatory of media hype. Among the dead, this is known as tabloid turbulence. As I’m not a fan of the long wail that follows a pop stars death, that doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate Houston’s talents. But I save my hue and cry and gnashing of teeth for Syria, Libya, Greece and the radiated folks who lived near the Fukishima power plant. You know what I mean? Or maybe you don’t. Go ahead tell me that I’ve somehow disrespected Whitney in our national hour of mourning. Fine. I can dig it.
So where is all this leading? Well, it leads to the performance that managed to transform the banalities of award ceremonies into something so awesomely tacky, cheesy and sublime that it makes Madonna’s appearance at the Super Bowl look like a classy outtake from Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra. I’m talking about Nicki Minaj’s delirious take on her hit “Roman Holiday,” a spectacle so staggeringly unhinged that I thought I had taken some Ambien and wandered into a theater where a triple bill of Showgirls, Flaming Creatures and The Exorcist were playing simultaneously while a popcorn machine was ejaculating giant buttered nuggets into my lap causing my scrotum to pulsate like a vibrating bed in a sleazy motel somewhere on Route 666. And I loved it!
Dave Grohl may have worn a Slayer t-shirt but it was Minaj that brought the dark stuff to the Grammys.
A trippy alchemical potion of a movie, Space Is The Place inhabits an alternative reality that could only exist in the Afrodelic cosmology of Saturnian jazz priest Sun Ra.
Directed by John Coney in 1974, the movie is a hybrid of B-grade sci-fi, Blaxploitation flix (on shrooms), the films of Kenneth Anger and surrealist head trips like El Topo and the electric western Zachariah.
In the film, as in life, Sun Ra is the quintessential outsider and space is a metaphorical Eden for this much put upon black man. The plot is threadbare, involving villainous pimps and dealers, Black Panther avenger protagonists, local nightclubs, pool halls, cat houses, and, of course, an Outer Space Employment Agency that Sun Ra sets up after coming to Earth from a faraway planet. To recruit a new colony, he espouses racial freedom through Egyptian epigrams, Stockhausen-like jazz and a spirit filled Rocket Ship. Of course, Ra is challenged by establishment agents and a supreme villain, the Overseer (Ray Johnson), who lures impressionable black men away from Ra’s brand of truth with the vices of sex and money. Ra preaches against decadence and hits a nerve when showing the pimp and his followers that they are no different than the White Man (Nixon, here) they rage against. Ra promises a land of racial harmony and social justice lies within the Milky Way’s stars, and who are we to argue?” - Alfred Eaker
The cinematic equivalent of one of Sun Ra’s free jazz improvs, Space Is The Place is all over the cosmic map so it helps to find that Zen spot where you just lock into the frequency and go with the flow. As Sun Ray instructs, get in tune with the universe.
“The people have no music that is in coordination with their spirits. Because of this, they’re out of tune with the universe. Since they don’t have money, they don’t have anything. If the planet takes hold of an alter destiny, there’s hope for all of us. But otherwise the death sentence upon this planet still stands. Everyone must die.” - Sun Ra
Hollywood Illuminati’s website blows the cover off of Madonna’s half-time spectacle revealing it to be a lavish Lucifer worshiping group grope fueled by cosmic lunar forces in synchronization with ancient Illuminati rituals. It seems that Madonna was voguing with the Devil.
According to Lucifer Freemason Texts, Lucifer is the lord of light and to worship Lucifer one would wear a black robe (like Madonna had on) and by her having the entire stadium participate with her in this ritual by holding up lights to her ritual, she basically did a classic musician performance of casting a spell on her audience and fooling them into Satanic Worship.
Dont forget that before Madonna put on the black robe, her dancers were in red, gold & black outfits and some were in red & white, which are colors that one uses to worship Lucifer. The entire show had a Lucifer color theme.
We see the male dancers doing acrobats for her track “Music”. During this chaos, there were two male dancers that got down on all fours, like the Muslims do when they pray to Allah. Most cheerleading teams, do not actually assume a prostration position when building a pyramid but in Satanic Rituals, it is believed that Lucifer or the devil would assume a prostration position and the witches would line up and kiss his anus as a sign of respect. We not only saw a classic Lucifer Ritual Pose but we also saw the quick building of a pyramid by her dancers.
During the last act “Like a Prayer” we not only see lights that are made to look like Hell Fire & sometimes the beams of light even take on a giant, quick pyramid formation but also during this supposedly ”church song” she ends the show by dropping into the ground. This was a Satanic Ritual.
What did this ritual mean? This Satanic Ritual, is a classic petition to Satan, in an effort to call for chaos out of order. While many people think that the Illuminati wants order out of chaos, that is simply not true.
According to Illuminati text, the Fallen One, desires Chaos out of Order. They will take what is orderly and make it chaotic!
So, this ritual, done by Madonna along with millions of Americans, spells wars, disease and a crashing of the Old World Order. While the lights at the end said “World Peace”-it doesnt matter what you see but instead you have to look at what they do and what is their definition of “peace”
For more startling revelations visit Hollywood Illuminati’s website.
So far there is no discussion of M.I.A.‘s arcane hand gestures and their link to the occult. But I have my own theories. Born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam (oral/pray/orgasm), this deity worshiping Hindu rapper’s middle name “Maya” is Sanskrit for “illusion.” The question is, what kind of illusion was the dark-skinned Delilah trying to lure millions of unsuspecting TV viewers into? What horrible vortex of evil were we spared when NBC blotted out the “finger of death?”
Watch for yourself the whole sordid event. What has this world come to?
“You are as sensitive and sexy as Pan. Lord help women when you begin to fondle them. You are master of their bodies, master of their souls as you may consciously wish. You have no karma to pay for these acts. You cannot now accumulate karma for you are a master adept. Your voice is low and compelling to them. Singing to them, for you sing like a master, destroys their will to resist. “
If you click on this link you will be taken to a PDF of a file so gross, rancid, pathetic, ridiculous, so extraordinarily demented and just plain… hilariously fucking pitiful that it will boggle your mind.
What could possibly elicit such a complex response you ask? How’s about the alleged private—and I do mean really private, humiliatingly private diaries/affirmations/self-hypnosis journals (or whatever you’d call them…) of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard? Oh yes, folks, this is mind rot at its finest, or, if you prefer, call these sad rantings of a limp-dicked, paranoid-schizophrenia, speed-freak uh, “man god” “holy scriptures”(!).
Originally posted over a decade ago on the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup and alleged to have been both hand-written by Hubbard and read into the evidence of a 1984 California trial (‘“Church of Scientology of California vs Gerald Armstrong”), at this point this document has appeared all over the Internet in a few thousand different places, popping up again like a Wack-a-Mole every time it gets yanked.
To be fair, there’s no actual proof that this document was written by Hubbard until the hand-written copy could be produced, but it does in fact, seem totally plausible that Hubbard was the author if you know anything about him. This document was allegedly part of a cache of up to 15,000 pages of personal papers basically stolen by Armstrong, a Scientology devotee for twelve years, for “life insurance” when he left the organization and became an outspoken critic of the Church. Armstrong claims that Hubbard had permitted him to use his papers under a contract to produce a biography of Hubbard, the Church claimed otherwise. Here’s more about the “Hubbard Affirmations” at The Scientology Forum
Here are some excerpts, as posted on the Ron the Nut website, a fearless clearinghouse of some of the most bizarrely fascinating Scientology-related documents:
L. Ron Hubbard writing in his diary:
Sexual feeling has been depressed by several things amounting to a major impasse. To cure ulcers of the stomach I was given testosterone and stilbesterol. These reduced my libido to nothing. While taking these drugs I fell in love with Sara. She can be most exciting sexually to me. Because of drugs as above and a hangover from my ex-wife Polly, I sometimes am unexcited by anything sexual. This depresses me.
My wife left me while I was in a hospital with ulcers. Polly was quite cruel. She was never a woman for me. She was under-sexed and had bad sexual habits such as self-laceration done in private. She was no mate for me and yet I retained much affection for her. It was a terrible blow when she left me for I was ill and without prospects. I know, by this, she actually wanted no more than my ability to support her. This has had an effect of impotency upon me, has badly reduced my ego.
Polly was very bad for me sexually. Because of her coldness physically, the falsity of her pretensions, I believed myself a near eunuch between 1933 and 1936 or ? when I found I was attractive to other women. I had many affairs. But my failure to please Polly made me always pay so much attention to my momentary mate that I derived small pleasure myself. This was an anxiety neurosis which cut down my natural powers.
In 1938-39 I met a girl in New York, Helen, who pleased me very much physically. I loved her and she me. The affair would have lasted had not Polly found out. Polly made things so miserable that I finally detested her and became detested by Helen, who two-timed me on my return to New York in 1941. This also reduced my libido. I have had Helen since but no longer want her. She does not excite me and I do not love her.
Sara, my sweetheart, is young, beautiful, desirable. We are very gay companions. I please her physically until she weeps about any separation. I want her always. But I am 13 years older than she. She is heavily sexed. My libido is so low I hardly admire her naked.
Testosterone blends easily with your own hormones. Your glands already make plenty of needed testosterone and by adding to that store you make yourself very thrilling and sexy. Testosterone increases your sexual interest and activity. It makes erections easier and harder and makes your own joy more intense. Stilbesterol in 5 mg doses makes you thrill more to music and color and makes you kinder. You have no fear of what any woman may think of your bed conduct. You know you are a master. You know they will be thrilled. You can come many times without weariness. The act does not reduce your vitality or brain power at all. You can come several times and still write. Intercourse does not hurt your chest or make you sore. Your arms are strong and do not ache in the act. Your own pleasure is not dependent on the woman’s. You are interested only in your own sexual pleasure. If she gets any that is all right but not vital. Many women are not capable of pleasure in sex and anything adverse they say or do has no effect whatever upon your pleasure. Their bodies thrill you. If they repel you, it merely means they themselves are too frigid or prudish to be bothered with. They are unimportant in bed except as they thrill you. Your sexual power is magnificent and they know it. If they are afraid of it, that is their loss. You are not affected by it.
You have no fear if they conceive. What if they do? You do not care. Pour it into them and let fate decide.
The slipperier they are the more you enjoy it because it means their mucous is running madly with pleasure.
There is nothing wrong in the sex act. Nothing any woman may say can change your opinion. You are a master. You are as sensitive and sexy as Pan. Lord help women when you begin to fondle them. You are master of their bodies, master of their souls as you may consciously wish. You have no karma to pay for these acts. You cannot now accumulate karma for you are a master adept. Your voice is low and compelling to them. Singing to them, for you sing like a master, destroys their will to resist. You obey the conventions, you commit no crimes because you need not. You can be intelligently aware of their morals and the laws of the land and fit your campaign expertly within them.
Jack [Parsons] is also an adept. You love and respect him as a friend. He cannot take offense at what you do. You will not wrong him because you love him.
There’s more, much, much more at the Ron the Nut website. Someone even made a video of Hubbard’s “Admissions (see below) but I’m holding out for a bio-pic, or at least a comedy sketch, with Rich Fulcher (The Mighty Boosh, Snuff Box) as L. Ron…
The magus of American cinema turns 85 today. I had the good fortune to see Kenneth recently at his MOCA opening and he’s looking rather hale and hearty for a man his age, I must say.
Anger’s musical collaboration with Brian Butler, Technicolor Skull, has recently produced a limited edition blood red vinyl album available only at the Technicolor Skull website (I have one, it’s a cool looking object).
Below, Anger’s short film made for the 2010 fall/winter collection of the house of Missoni:
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.