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Grim postcards of executions and dead bodies from the Mexican Revolution 1910-17
02.16.2017
10:23 am
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The Mexican Revolution began as a middle-class protest against the oppressive dictatorship of the country’s President Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911). In 1910, wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero (1873-1913) stood against Diaz in the presidential election. The election was rigged by Diaz and his cronies who then attempted to have Madero arrested and imprisoned. Madero escaped to San Antonio, Texas, where he wrote Plan de San Luis (Plan of San Luis de Potosí), a political pamphlet that denounced Diaz explaining why he should no longer be president.

Madero’s Plan was a rallying cry that asked the Mexican people to rise up against Diaz on Sunday, November 20, 1910, at 6:00 pm and overthrow his government. This is how the Mexican Revolution began. What followed was a bloody and ferocious civil war and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. An estimated 1.5 million people died. Two-hundred-thousand were made refugees.

During the revolution (1910-20) hundreds of commercial and amateur photographers documented the events on both sides of the war.

Using glass plate cameras and early cut film cameras, primitive by today’s standards, the photographers faced injury and death to obtain negatives which would be printed on postcard stock and sold to the soldiers and general public on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Some of the views were obviously posed, and others showed the death and destruction resulting from the violence of a nation involved in a bloody civil war.

The following postcards are part of a collection held by the Southern Methodist University archive.
 
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More postcards from the Mexican Revolution, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.16.2017
10:23 am
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Tim Buckley and Jean Renoir meet Beau Bridges in 1971’s ‘The Christian Licorice Store’
02.16.2017
09:50 am
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After The Monkees TV series ended, 33-year-old director James Frawley went to work on his very first motion picture. The Criterion-worthy Christian Licorice Store stars Beau Bridges as floppy hair, bushy-browed, tennis superstar Franklin Cane and follows the ups and downs of his turbulent Hollywood lifestyle. Inspired by the great French New Wave and Italian neorealists of the late 1950s and 1960s, the film sadly never reached an audience and was shelved by Cinema Center Films just after a few screenings in Boston and Greenwich Village in 1971.

Director James Frawley spoke with me over the phone from his retirement home just outside Palm Springs this week and we discussed the rarely seen film that is still near and dear to his heart. “I came to L.A. first as an actor in an improvisational group called The Premise which was Buck Henry, Ted Flicker, George Segal, and Joan Darling. So the introduction to directing was very improvisational one in which we had a great camera, great writers, terrific young guys, and I had two years of apprenticeship directing with The Monkees. So when I went to make The Christian Licorice Store we took a very improvisational approach to it.”

The story follows Beau Bridges success in the professional tennis world: competing for prize money, entertaining the press, and fielding endorsement offers by day. By night he attends superficial Hollywood parties where he meets love interest, photographer and socialite Cynthia Viestrom (played by Swedish actress and future James Bond girl Maud Adams). For the party scenes, Frawley called on favors from several friends to come in and play themselves as party goers. “The party is full of show business celebrities, producers, writers, psychiatrists, and different characters from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. I pretty much just improvised the scene and then put it together in the editing room. But it really catches the flavor, I think very much of L.A. Everybody kind of agreed to do it, I looked at the list last night and it’s amazing, I mean Mike Medavoy for chrissakes, Howard Hesseman who’s a friend of mine that was in the second party, George Kirgo, Robert Kaufman, a lot of really amazing people. And it was fun, we did it in one night.” Director Monte Hellman of Two-Lane Blacktop and future Barney Miller creator Ted Flicker also make an appearance.

The Christian Licorice Store makes fun of the superficial showbiz side of Hollywood, while also painting a beautiful portrait of the city using incredible locations from William Pereira‘s LACMA and Theme Building, Johnie’s Coffee Shop, and up the Pacific Coast Highway to the scenic views of Soledad Canyon and Morro Rock. To add to the realism, Frawley used urban, guerrilla filmmaking to capture real L.A. pedestrians walking down the street, driving around, and going about their everyday business. “You put a camera out on a street and just shoot some stuff and just intercut it with the scenes just to get the flavor of L.A.” Then there are nighttime scenes in the film that perfectly capture the strange emptiness of the city after dark. “I love their kind of romantic ballet in the cars coming down the hill from the party. It was kind of a very romantic feeling I had about Los Angeles and, being a New Yorker, you know, the light, the romance, the sexuality. I love the architecture, I mean La La Land, the recent movie, is very much like that in terms of its appreciation of L.A.”
 

 
Frawley tells screenwriter Floyd Mutrix’s story using a very unconventional, avant-garde approach. “I’m a film buff and I grew up with European movies. I loved Godard, 400 Blows, Breathless, Fellini, all of the Italian realists. That was my education and my influence because it does have a very European feeling to it.” The director and screenwriter make many bold decisions, such as opening the film with the dramatic ending scene of the film, a gull-winged Mercedes-Benz wiping out in a tunnel alongside the PCH. Frawley accomplished this with a delicate style of filmmaking that does not spoil the entire movie. “I wanted to frame the film in a way so that you had a sense of foreboding that kind of holds over this whole movie. There’s kind of a sadness to the picture too, a sense of things are not going to turn out well here.” In yet another bold move, the opening credits don’t appear until nearly twelve minutes into the picture and are contained in the movie-within-the-movie when the party-goers are summoned to the screening room of the swanky, modern house.

It certainly helps to make a European influenced film in Hollywood when you have the approval and participation of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Executive producer Michael Laughlin was then married to the French movie star Leslie Caron, who knew Jean Renoir‘s family in France. They asked him if he would agree to make a cameo appearance in The Christian Licorice Store and surprisingly, he said yes… it would end up being the final feature film Renoir was ever involved in before his passing.

“There’s a lot of things I love about the movie, and there are some things that feel awkward because it’s a first film, but the presence of Jean Renoir in the movie is unbelievable. If the movie existed only for Jean Renoir it would be enough for me. A lot of this movie was about people saying yes when we asked them, ‘Would you do this?’ Because a lot of it was favors, and Jean Renoir was a favor, and he’s like Picasso, one of the great men of all time and a great filmmaker. And so we were allowed to be in his house for an afternoon, and again this is totally improvised. As we drove up the hill to his house and drove down afterward, you see those shots, and he talked about film, and he talked about Beau and Maud, and what he did so brilliantly, he talked about how attractive they were to one another in real life. He said, ‘You two could be lovers in real life’ which was wonderful because he acknowledged the fact that we were making a movie.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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02.16.2017
09:50 am
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‘Sex Pistols Number 1,’ the punk propaganda reel from 1977
02.16.2017
09:36 am
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Poster by Jamie Reid, via Recordmecca
 
Lordy, lordy, look who’s 40! Before The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle—before The Punk Rock Movie, D.O.A., Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Rude Boy, for that matter—there was Sex Pistols Number 1, a “show reel” of the Pistols’ TV appearances compiled in 1977.

Julien Temple reused much of this footage in his features about the Sex Pistols, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle and The Filth and the Fury, but this is the movie that opened for the Pistols and the Slits at the Screen on the Green and was projected before the last show at Winterland. Russ Meyer signed on to direct Who Killed Bambi? after seeing it.

IMDB credits Temple and soundman John “Boogie” Tiberi as the film’s directors. In England’s Dreaming, Jon Savage sheds light on what that actually meant, and how Number 1 came to be:

After the EMI sacking, McLaren began to assemble news and performance footage of the Sex Pistols for a possible short film. ‘Malcolm asked me to get hold of these bits of footage from the Anarchy tour to make a show reel,’ says Tiberi. ‘He had this idea to sell the group as a visual act. We were very aware of the group’s potential to get fired from record companies, and TV was a new direction. That’s why I was there, knocking on the door.

Number 1 was all re-filmed. It was very early days in home video technology. The only place we could get the Grundy programme was from a Country and Western promoter whom Sophie [Richmond, Glitterbest secretary] had phoned up to record it. Julien Temple did the refilming, he shot the video image on to film and edited it into chronological order at film school, overnight, and we showed a cutting copy the next night. It was very stirring stuff, propaganda-oriented.’

The brilliance of Number 1 was in replaying the media’s curses with a mocking laugh. The twenty-five minute short tells the story of the scandals from the group’s side, cutting supercilious youth presenters, pompous chat-show guests, mealy-mouthed academics, with simple, stark footage of the group playing and talking. It closes with ‘God Save the Queen’ playing over speeded Pathé footage of Royal Circumstance Past. The final shot pans from the glittering coach to sweepers . . . shovelling horse shit.

Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.16.2017
09:36 am
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In 1977 Paul McCartney released a cover album of ‘Ram’—and kept his involvement secret for years
02.15.2017
01:17 pm
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When it comes to someone of the staggering musical achievements of Paul McCartney, there’s a whole lot to document, and a great deal of it has indeed been exhaustively documented. If you want to know what city Paul and the other members of the Beatles were in on any given date in 1966, you just have to look it up.

And yet, some stories fall through the cracks, escape wider attention. Take for example the full instrumental cover album McCartney released in 1977 under the name Thrillington, the one that was a track-by-track cover of his 1971 album Ram. It wasn’t until 1989 that he admitted in public that he was responsible for the Thrillington album.

Remarkably, the album was recorded in 1971 during the Ram sessions but got shelved when Paul and Linda McCartney turned their attentions to the formation of Wings. Six years later the album was released to modest (very modest) fanfare—but officially, McCartney had nothing to do with it. The only hint that he might have been involved was the painted image of his face in the control room on the album’s back cover art.
 

Paul and Linda McCartney looking dapper
 
The conceit of the Thrillington album was that it was the product of a “fictitious socialite” named Percy “Thrills” Thrillington. Skiffle lover McCartney couldn’t resist reimagining Ram as an album from the 1930s, so he redid the album as something you might find in an Agatha Christie book, complete with Art Deco typeface and a cover image of a swank dude in a tuxedo (and a ram’s head) playing the violin.

As stated, all of the songs lack a lead vocal track, but some of them employed a chorus along the lines of a barbershop quartet or a Swingle Singers-type outfit—the group McCartney used called the Mike Sammes Singers. McCartney was quite familiar with their work, as they had contributed background vocals for “I Am the Walrus” and “Good Night,” the last song on the White Album.

There’s not a thing wrong with this album from a musical standpoint. For instance, “Monkberry Moon Delight” isn’t the only track to feature some truly ass-kicking horn work, and “Dear Boy” sounds uncannily like a Pet Sounds outtake. McCartney was arguably the most gifted producer of pop music of his generation, and this album certainly reflects that.

Wikipedia states that many people had a strong suspicion that this was a weird McCartney lark. There’s a report on the album in a June 1977 issue of Rolling Stone that seems to wink its understanding of the real creator of the music. For instance, the article states that the PR bio “claims” Thrillington to have been born in 1939 and to have studied in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for several years. “Percy Thrillington” is such an obviously invented name that it’s not quite clear whether the author knows that Thrillington is McCartney or just that something hinky is up. The item ends with what might be taken as a knowing reference to McCartney’s image on the back cover.
 

Back cover, Thrillington
 
Obviously a lot of people had their suspicions and then some, but the real story of the Thrillington album is that it mostly ... just got forgotten. In late 1989 journalist Peter Palmiere asked McCartney about it at a press conference in Los Angeles. Paul cried, “What a great question to end the conference! The world needs to know! But seriously, it was me and Linda—and we kept it a secret for a long time but now the world knows! You blew it!”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.15.2017
01:17 pm
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This national park in India protects rhinos—by killing the poachers
02.15.2017
11:55 am
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The recovery of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros since its near-extinction in the early 20th century has been a remarkable boon for our planet’s ecosystem—even as it has generated considerable financial opportunities in a part of the world where most of the people have very little. Certain parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, has somehow come to believe that the rhino horn has almost magical curative properties, and that has driven the price of the commodity sky-high on the black market—as much as $6,000 for 100 grams. One-horned rhinos have smaller horns than most rhinos, but their horns are especially prized as being extraordinarily potent.

With about 2,400 one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam in northeastern India is home to a majority of the world’s one-horned rhino population, about two-thirds of the total. The inflated prices for rhino horn have created an incentive for the population of Assam that is all but impossible to ignore. This means that Kaziranga has a serious poaching problem—one that more than doubled in 2013. After several years in which the average number of rhino killings was in single digits, in 2013 and 2014 the number suddenly skyrocketed to more than 25 per year.

As a response to the problem, officials at Kaziranga National Park have adopted an almost unthinkable measure—they permit their park’s security guards to shoot poachers on sight. Such killings of poachers was an uncommon occurrence before 2013—22 documented kills in the eight years before 2014—but it’s spiraled totally out of control, with 22 poachers killed in 2014 and another 23 in 2015. Last year the trend seems to have ebbed, with “only” five poachers meeting their untimely demise at the hands of park security. If you’re keeping track, that’s 72 dead poachers in the span of eleven years.


 
Everybody thinks that rhinos should be protected from poachers, but this seems seriously out of control.

On top of everything else, not all of the casualties were actually guilty of doing anything wrong.

Justin Rowlatt, South Asia correspondent for the BBC, has done some excellent reporting to shine a light on this shocking situation. He asked Avdesh, a guard at Kaziranga, what he is supposed to do if he spots a poacher off in the distance going after a rhino. “The instruction is whenever you see the poachers or hunters, we should start our guns and hunt them,” he said instantly.

“You shoot them?”

“Yah, yah. Fully ordered to shoot them. Whenever you see the poachers or any people during night-time we are ordered to shoot them.”

Avdesh says that he has never been involved in an incident in which anybody was killed, but he has taken stray shots at poachers twice.

Dr. Satyendra Singh, the director of the park, concedes the basic situation as described above but demurs that the phrase “shoot on sight” is perhaps an exaggeration. Guards are supposed to call out and make inquiries as to who the people are before taking that step. According to Singh, the guards only shoot after they have been fired upon themselves. He says that the goal of any encounter is to achieve an arrest because that is the only way to get further information on the identity of the gangs who undertake poaching.

On one occasion last summer, guards shot a seven-year-old boy named Akash Orang was making his way home along the main track through the village, which borders the park—the blast seriously compromised much of the calf muscle of his right leg.
 
via Bored Panda

Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.15.2017
11:55 am
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Photographing Demons: The ‘brutal’ photographer who rivaled Francis Bacon
02.15.2017
10:23 am
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Portrait of Francis Bacon.
 
The photographer John Deakin was usually pissed as a fart. He haunted the bars and after-hours drinking dens in and around Soho during the fifties and sixties. He cadged booze and on occasion hawked “dirty pictures” to sailors at ten-bob a throw. Most who saw this shabby character drifting through the London streets dismissed him as a bit-player, a hanger-on, part of the alcoholic detritus heaved-up on the sidewalk. To those who knew him Deakin was either loved or loathed—there was no halfway house.

Lucian Freud described Deakin as:

Like Cinderella and the Ugly Sisters at the same time.

While socialite and Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton said he was:

The second nastiest man I ever met.

Who the first was, we can only imagine. No matter the divisive response Deakin’s personality engendered, there was one thing about John Deakin everyone agreed upon—he was a genius photographer whose work was uncompromising, almost brutal in its full-frontal honesty.

As the art critic John Russell noted this fact after Deakin’s death in 1972:

When John Deakin died, there was lost a photographer who often rivaled [Francis] Bacon in his ability to make a likeness in which truth came unwrapped and unpackaged. His portraits like Bacon’s, had a dead-centred, unrhetorical quality. A complete human being was set before us, without additives.

While Deakin said of himself, that he was:

...fatally drawn to the human race, what I want to do when I photograph it is to make a revelation about it. So my sitters turn into my victims. But I would like to add that it is only those with a daemon, whose faces lend themselves to be victimized at all.

Born in Liverpool in 1912, Deakin was educated at West Kirby Grammar School, which he left at the age of sixteen to travel across Ireland and Spain. On his return to England he met up and started a relationship with gallery owner Arthur Jeffress, who bankrolled Deakin until after the Second World War when the pair split up.

Deakin started taking photographs in 1938. During the war he served as a photographer with the British Army Film Unit, documenting the Allies’ campaign at El Alamein. During one briefing given by Field Marshall Montgomery in which “Monty” warned the assembled soldiers they were vastly outnumbered by “Wommel” and his superior German tanks, Deakin could be heard anxiously asking one of his comrades, “Do you think we are on the right side?”

After the war, Deakin started his career as a photographer in earnest achieving considerable success and notoriety as a fashion photographer for Vogue. He was fired from Vogue twice: once for losing his camera equipment (which some alleged Deakin sold to pay for booze); and a second time for his “blistering” personality. He worked at various jobs—including a stint at the Observer newspaper.

Most significantly, he was regularly hired by the artist Francis Bacon to take photographs of his models—Henrietta Moraes, Isabel Rawsthorn, Lucian Freud and George Dyer. It was his “pornographic” photographs of Henrietta Moraes that Deakin hawked around Soho’s bars for beer money. Bacon said Deakin was “the best portrait photographer since Nadar and Julia Margaret Cameron.”

Though Deakin was an alcoholic, he didn’t piss his talent up against the wall. After his death, the large portfolio of photographs and negatives he left behind revealed the extent of Deakin’s talent and utter dedication to his craft. He was a genius who never received the acclaim he rightly deserved. Critic Robin Muir wrote that Deakin’s “portraits still look starkly modern, half a century on.” While his friend the writer Dan Farson considered Deakin’s place would be:

...as one of the most disturbing photographers of the century. The expressions of his victims look suitably appalled for Deakin had no time for such niceties as “cheese” and the effect was magnified by huge contrasty blow-ups with every pore, blemish, and blood-shot eyeball exposed. In this way, he combined the instant horror of a passport photo with a shock value all his own.

In 1991, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary The Life and Unsteady Times of John Deakin which brought together all of the key players in Deakin’s life (now all sadly dead) to discuss this strange and talented photographer’s incredible career.
 
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Francis Bacon, 1952.
 
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Girl in a cafe, circa late 1950s.
 
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Jeffrey Bernard, London 1950s.
 
Watch the documentary, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.15.2017
10:23 am
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Marijuana bouquet delivery service
02.15.2017
10:04 am
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Okay, so it’s the day after Valentine’s Day and I’m sorta late blogging about this glorious cannabis bouquet by Californian weed farmers Lowell Herb. But does it really only have to be Valentine’s Day to send someone you care a bouquet of cannabis? No. This is perfect for any occasion, if you ask me. Any occasion.

Apparently, the bouquets were going for $400/ounce. I’m uncertain which strain they’re using. I wonder if you can choose from a sativa, indica or hybrid bouquet? Something in a Strawbery Cough, please. That would be excellent.

From what I understand, this was only meant for Valentine’s Day. BUT, they’re still featuring the bouquets on their website with a contact email. Perhaps this will be a year-round gift? I sure do hope so!


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.15.2017
10:04 am
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Kate Bush’s first live appearance on American TV, 1978
02.15.2017
09:50 am
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Once upon a time, way back in the late seventies, Kate Bush seemed to be a regular feature on British television. Turn on some late night talk show and there was Kate singing two tracks from her debut album or chatting with zoologist Dr. Desmond Morris. Or tune-in to the breakfast news and there was Kate discussing her thoughts on music and dance or giving a list of the authors (Kurt Vonnegut, C.S. Lewis) who influenced her writing. Hard to imagine the reclusive star doing this today. Not that she even needs to do this of course. But there was something quite delightful, quite wonderful, in all of Kate’s TV appearances back then. She later said circa 1982 that all this media attention was down to the fact that when she first appeared:

...it was incredibly unusual for a young female to be writing her own songs and singing them…

Which shows how far we’ve come and how pioneering and exotic Kate Bush seemed to the media at the start of her career. Admittedly there was Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and even Lynsey de Paul but nothing quite like Kate Bush. There was something different, ethereal and downright odd about her. Nobody sang like her. Nobody looked quite like her. And nobody quite mixed music, dance, mime and performance the way Kate did.

She also seemed incredibly innocent and vulnerable—which was probably a lot of male projection as Kate was hardworking, ambitious and driven. She was sixteen when she signed to the world’s largest record company EMI. She was nineteen when she had her first number one and conquered a large swathe of the pop music world with “Wuthering Heights.” And just twenty when she had EMI bankroll her first (and until very recently her only) tour in 1979. There’s not many stars who ever managed that.  Kate eventually gave up touring as there wasn’t then the technology to give her the full artistic control she desired. That’s either true perfectionism or control freakery. Or a decent enough excuse?

In December 1978, Eric Idle introduced Kate Bush to America on Saturday Night Live. This was Kate’s first appearance on a US broadcaster, where she performed “The Man With the Child in His Eyes” and “Them Heavy People” live. This was rather daring and risky as Kate had failed to chart with either her debut album The Kick Inside or her first two singles in the US. In part due to this appearance “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” made #85 in the Billboard chart and America sound discovered what the rest of the world loved about Kate Bush.
 
Watch Kate Bush in early appearances on American, German and UK TV, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.15.2017
09:50 am
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Terrifying stills & chilling images from Joan Crawford’s bonkers axe-murderer film ‘Strait-Jacket’
02.15.2017
09:49 am
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A terrifying still of Joan Crawford and her best friend, an axe, from the 1964 film, ‘Strait-Jacket.’

Though she was widely vilified by the gossip columnists of her time and is best recalled today for being a very bad mommie, it is impossible to dispute the fact that Joan Crawford was one hell of an actress. She was a talented dancer and worked as a showgirl before starting her long career in Hollywood during which she became one of the most iconic actresses of all time. She also served on the board of directors of the Pepsi-Cola Company for well over a decade. Even Blue Öyster Cult wrote a song about her. And for yours truly, street credibility just doesn’t get any better than being immortalized by the mighty BÖC.

Joan Crawford was tough—a defense mechanism that she likely developed during her difficult childhood. While attending a private school she paid her tuition by doing jobs at the school such as washing dishes; cooking; making beds, and waitressing. Due to this overload of work, her studies suffered. Crawford dropped out of school in the sixth grade—something that the actress allegedly deeply regretted. However, the event would also signal the beginning of Crawford’s aspirations to become an actress and after taking a strong interest in dance, her luck finally started to change when she took off for Chicago and landed a gig as a showgirl in a vaudeville act. She was quickly discovered and within a short period of time, she was under contract by MGM by way of producer Harry Rapf.

After a successful early run with her films, Crawford’s star began to fade, leading her to part ways with MGM in the mid-1940s for Warner Brothers who would gift her with one of the greatest roles she would ever play as the star of the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. Crawford would receive the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946 for the role—her only Oscar in her entire career—which she accepted while at home in bed after skipping the ceremony. Then in 1962, she went head-to-head in the dark cinematic masterpiece What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? with her real-life nemesis, Bette Davis. Two years later Crawford would star in another bleak masterpiece of sorts—which is the subject of this post—the 1964 film Strait-Jacket which was scripted by the same man who authored the 1960 novel-turned-film Psycho, Robert Bloch. It was directed and produced by the master of scary movie gimmicks William Castle. The film’s byline read “FROM THE DIRECTOR OF HOMICIDAL, THE AUTHOR OF PSYCHO, AND THE CO-STAR OF WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
During the film’s original release, moviegoers were given cardboard axes by movie ushers and Castle provided an “animated” moving movie poster to exhibitors. At the end of the film, the Columbia logo’s torch-bearing woman is shown decapitated, with her head resting beside her feet.
 

 
In the film, Crawford plays Lucy Harbin, a woman who has just been released from an insane asylum after a twenty-year bid as punishment for chopping up her husband (marking the first role for TV’s future Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors) and his mistress with an axe in a fit of jealous rage, an act witnessed by her three-year-old daughter. Things go south pretty quickly in Strait-Jacket as we soon see Crawford sucking down bourbon, chain-smoking and acting as though she’s about to have a complete psychotic break from reality at any moment. It’s rumored that when she took on the challenge of playing Crawford in Mommie Dearest, actress Faye Dunaway got much of her inspiration for her spot-on portrayal of a completely unhinged Crawford straight from Strait-Jacket.

If you have never seen this film I can say with complete confidence that it is as remarkable as it is abjectly horrifying at times. In fact, it is also my humble opinion that Crawford’s performance is on par with fellow axe-aficionado Jack Nicholson and his portrayal of “Jack Torrance” in The Shining. I’ve included some great artifacts from the film including stills, vintage lobby cards, and some sinister posters that will help prove my point about Crawford’s baleful performance in this wickedly frightening film below. Sleep tight!
 

Crawford inside a striped dressing room featured in the film that has her recalling her days in the asylum.
 

A ‘Strait-Jacket’ lobby card.
 
More Joan Crawford after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.15.2017
09:49 am
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They live? Vampires, werewolves & more mythological creatures from the Cryptid Museum
02.14.2017
01:51 pm
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‘Werewolf’ specimens or Homo Lupus/Lycanthrope by artist Alex CF.

The fascinating photos you see here of the all-too-realistic looking remains of vampires, werewolves, and everyone’s favorite mythological creature Cthulhu, are actually the creations of London-based artist, illustrator, and sculptor Alex CF. Alex’s bizarre cabinets of curiosity are chock full of authentic-looking artifacts that would even make the most skeptical among us question their legitimacy.

At the website for the fictional Merrylin Cryptid Museum Alex tells the story of Thomas Merrilyn—who the artist cleverly refers to as a “Crypto-naturalist, Fringe Zoologist and Xeno -Archeologist.” According to Alex, he has been entrusted with the care and curation of the oddities that were found in the basement of a home in London in 2006. Here’s more on that:

In 2006, a trust was set up to analyze and collate a huge number of wooden crates found sealed in the basement of a London townhouse that was due for demolition. Seemingly untouched since the 1940′s, the crates contained over 5000 specimens of flora and fauna, collected, dissected, and preserved by many forgotten scientists, professors, and explorers of obscure cultures and species. The collection also housed many artifacts of curious origin, fragments of civilizations that once ruled the earth, of ideas and belief systems perhaps better left in the past.

The various mythological “specimens” that were found were attributed to Merrilyn who had traveled the “four corners of the earth” in search of evidence that would help support the existence of dragons, and other types of oddities such as goblins and a preserved baby werewolf. The backstory on each discovery is so detailed it seems a shame to debunk it. The same goes for the “specimens” and “artifacts” that Alex has created which are so impeccable that they almost seem to demand you believe in them. There are over 50 categories of specimens on virtual display over at the Cryptid Museum that will leave you scratching your head and perhaps reconsidering the idea that werewolves aren’t real. I’ve included a stellar array of Alex CF’s incredibly imaginative work for you to check out below. Though they are pieces of art, much of what follows is NSFW. 
 

Cthulhu specimens and artifacts.
 

The remains and artifacts attributed to Rasputin, the mystical advisor to Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
 

The mummified remains of Maria Rosenthal who conceived a child via immaculate conception in 1942 by Sister Josephine Rosenthal.
 
More mythical monsters and creatures after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.14.2017
01:51 pm
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