july 2023

july beasts
active landscapes
wattle trees
meat art
wet horror sfx
time as a labyrinth
anatomical dolls
blade (1998)
1. we are IN the meat factory baby
2. vampire club blood rave
3. some motherfuckers always trying to ice skate uphill climactic one liner of all time

hellraiser ii: hellbound (1988)
IT’S WET IT’S MEATY ITS BLOODY. its a little bit of a mess but like. what else do you want. entranced by helen skinless bleeding through her white suit.

dead end drive in (1986)
drive in cinema that is also a TRAP and a concentration camp and a microcosm of society and also an ozploitation film with so many cars.

the thing (1982)
everyone was so right about this movie its so soooo good . gorgeous awful goopy practical effects i love you so much….. sadly some key moments were spoiled for me on account of watching pingu’s ‘the thing’ so many times but like. my god. strong alien 1979 vibes while also being entirely its own beast. would rank as one of the best horror movies i’ve seen.

barbie (2023)
idk. it was fine? thought the set design/costume design/ overall stylisation was phenomenal- really enjoyed the oversaturated artificiality, plasticity, mishmash of genres, use of cut outs, facades and practical effects, cartoonish violence and incredible range of references it pulled from. LOVED the joke about ‘Proustian Barbie’. who was that for! but the actual text of the film, the storyline, the dialogue, the character arcs and relationships, all felt so incredibly tepid in every regard. and really, no amount of glossy high budget production and fun outfits and chase scenes set to charli xcx songs were ever gonna be enough to distract from the fact that it was quite literally a feature length commercial, and so obvious, and so tacky about it. i think meta comments about selling a 'depressed barbie' and 'archival outfits' and potential sequels and ken spin offs ring very hollow when they're coming straight from the mouth of Mattel, to say nothing of it's framing as a 'feminist masterpiece'. at a base level it really just failed to elicit any strong emotions from me at all. kinda meatless.
[for a more articulate critique: charlie squire's article 'mattel, malibu stacy, and the dialectics of the barbie polemic']

a nightmare on elm street (1984)
slowly slowly getting around to some of the old horror classics. i liked this one a lot! huge fan of surreal horror imagery and dreamscapes and found the aspects of horror as generational trauma (especially as something that perseveres long after the inciting incident, even though justice was served, even though the children were never involved, even though it was kept a secret, etc) really interesting and well executed.

dark is so much bc its like what if you grew up hating your town and hating everyone in it and you couldn’t wait to get out and leave it all behind and then 30 years later you’re still there and all the people you grew up with are still your neighbours and now your kids go to school together and you’re still all tied up in the same relationships and open wounds that are literally decades old at this point. riverdale’s ‘this town is inescapable and so are your parents’ + borges ‘time is a labyrinth’ garden of forking paths.


comic to come! maybe!

radiance, catherynne m valente
[see last august] reread this because i started twin peaks and was thinking about characters whose death/disappearance means they are largely absent from the story but are also the whole point of it. both a narrative hole and the pin that holds it all together.

my favourite thing is monsters
recently read the first chapter of a terrified child played by jeremy strong (highly recommend) and at the end the author mentions this as an influence and I picked it up from the library literally the next day. such an incredible work of art, I don't even know how to talk about it. especially loved the interweaving of such varied yet obviously very deliberate art and media forms- particularly classical art, pulp horror, film noir and comic books- to create something so deeply layered in meaning and so piercingly engaging.

jane eyre, charlotte bronte
FINALLY getting into what was supposed to be the autumn/winter of gothic classics.