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Can we get a NIGHTBREED reboot…please?

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It’s been close to 25 years since the movie hit the screens, but no movie has ever had the same effect on me as this one did when it arrived. At the time, I was so used to seeing Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, I don’t think I knew what to expect, but Nightbreed was a clever mix of fantasy and horror and although I normally frown on reboots, this is exactly the type of film that needs to be rebooted for today’s audience.

Sure the effects where generally top notch for the nineties, but with so much unexplained and so many character’s, who’s stories were left untold, I feel this is ripe for the picking. However, the question will come up in board meetings “Is there still a fan base?” My answer would be, if you could reboot Judge Dredd you can reboot this. It’s not about a fanbase anymore, but how you market it that matters. There are a number of films that came up from scratch and have done well and with so many horror and comic book conventions around the world, a few dollars would be all we needed to resurrect the dead.

I look at Nightbreed as the Pokemon of horror flicks. There were so many monsters in this film and all with their own unique abilities, that marketing would be a snap. Give each character their moment and a bad ass line and you’ve gotta hit. Just think of the potential.

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Another way to market this film, is give it a comic book, something that delivers the back story of every character. Did they transform or were they born that way? Are they from the U.S or from all over the world? How old is each monster and what powers do they posses? You see where I am going here?

If you’ve seen the movie, you know the lead character Boone/Cabal, is the tamest looking monster in the whole film. Well..we could beef that up…hell, give the guy some demonic looking wings even. Winged critters always make for good car chase scenes.

I’m realizing, as I write this, that a lot of you would probably like to know what this film is about.

Nightbreed is based on a book by Clive Barker called Cabal and the story goes like this…

The film features Craig Sheffer as Aaron Boone, an unstable mental patient led to believe by his doctor (David Cronenberg) that he is a serial killer. Tracked down by the police as well as by his doctor (the actual murderer) and his girlfriend (Anne Bobby), Boone eventually finds refuge in an abandoned cemetery called Midian, among a community or “tribe” of monsters and outcasts – known as the “Nightbreed” – that hides from humanity.

The film was unfortunately a flop when it released in 1991. The mistake Hollywood made with Nightbreed, was they didn’t know what kind of film it was. Clive Barker was known for his work with Hellraiser, so the tendency was to promote the film as a horror, but that’s where they went horribly wrong. The film is more fantasy than horror. Sure there are some gory moments and satanic imagery, but it’s based more in myth and ancient lore than it is in the occult. If Guillermo Del Toro, Neil Gaiman or Peter Jackson had been around back then a.k.a huge, this film would’ve been done right.

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Watching the movie now, I see so many missed opportunities, to expound on a world that, for all intents and purposes, is as vast as Middle Earth. Instead we get this hodge podge of imagery, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but you want it to. From the cave paintings in the opening credits to the dream sequence when we see the Nightbreed being persecuted “Inquisition” style.

nbcbSome of these mysteries are supposedly explained in Cabal:The Directors Cut, that just released, but according to several horror sites it does nothing to elevate the film as a whole. It’s more or less a think piece or blue print, if you will, of the differences between the story the director wanted to tell versus what the studio wanted. I also hear the quality is horrendous. It’s a slow death for a film, that should’ve been rebooted years ago

  (Via. Shock Til You Drop)

The focus is more on Boone and Lori.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say the Cabal Cut is really Lori’s film.  A lot of the emotional weight rests on her shoulders.  Boone is still all over the map and drops out of the film for a bit (when he tells Lylesberg he’s going to see Baphomet, it’s apparently a really, really long walk to go downstairs) and Decker is sidelined as one of the film’s myriad threats.  There is the introduction to a voice in Decker’s head, beckoning him to put on the mask and kill.  This detail is wildly inconsistent and comes in way too late in the film, still, it’s an interesting touch if it was established properly.

 This is what they had to say regarding the finale/raid on Median:

Another notable addition that affects the film: The extended raid on Midian which seems much more brutal now and includes more monsters getting blown away by Eigerman’s men.  This draws the whole third act action scene out and may be satisfying to some.

So it basically sounds like what needed to happen is the film needed to be re-shot and more character development and that’s what I’m saying could happen with a proper reboot people.

In closing, if you decide to rent this film and feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s fine and I appreciate you giving it a chance, but if you agree with me and can see this film for what it could truly be…you’re welcome. Fuck Robocop…give us NIGHTBREED.

Want to know more about NIGHTBREED or The CABAL CUT? Checkout these websites!

Occupy Midian

AMAZON

Kanye West – Yeezus Review

There’s a lot to mention leading up to the sixth album released by the American rapper, Kanye West. The SNL performance, the birth of his first child, the world wide projections, the album artwork. West’s mind is all over the place. I’d also like to remind the public the importance of the album title itself; Yeezus. As a play on words with ‘Jesus’, he’s referring to himself as the holiest, the highest, the greatest, and the meaning to life. It seems his messiah effect has gotten hugely out of hand, but that also plays a large role in his musical success as well. This album is the formal follow-up to the amazing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which I’d argue is one the greatest contemporary releases ever.

How do you start a review to an album that is rumored to not even be finished? That’s the difficulty with West’s music because there’s always a trick up his sleeve. The album opens with the hard-hitting “On Sight”, which sounds oddly enough like “Come Up and Get Me” by Death Grips. There’s an experimental side to Kanye’s music, and it’s showed here. The distorted bass lines and minimalist structure is signature Rick Rubin style, who stepped up last minute to give these songs that boost of sound. The renown style of minimalism can be found on the amazing track, “Black Skinhead”, and the unique “New Slaves”.

Both of these tracks were in the polarizing SNL performance, and the sound is remarkably different. “New Slaves” sounds the same, but the atmosphere is completely different. The SNL was quite darker and had more tension, while the album version is more prominent with the bass, and there is more of a dynamic shift when the chorus kicks in. “Black Skinhead” definitely feels toned down on the album, which disappointed me hugely. Nonetheless, both songs are highlights on the album thanks to the production by Daft Punk. Even the features by artists like Justin Vernon, Hudson Mohawke, Frank Ocean, and Chief Keef bring a new dynamic to these songs.

Tracks like “Hold My Liquor” and ‘Blood On The Leaves” feel like aggressive versions of songs on his 2008 album, 808′s & Heartbreak. These songs are remarkably better than 808′s, but compared to MBDTF, I feel cheated with them. They don’t have the same creativeness and watchful eye that was on the previous album. There isn’t amount of carefulness put into this album. It almost feels rushed, with a lot of the tracks jumping into one another without any sort of connections.

The song that I enjoyed the most out of any other’s off Yeezus was “Bound 2″. The sample is grade-A typical Kanye, and he kills it lyrically, unlike a lot of songs off this album. What this song does is sum up the entire album up into 3 minutes and 49 seconds. It’s disjointed, melodic, odd, minimal, feels unfinished, and has the most abrupt ending to any album I’ve heard this year. Like the album cover, maybe that’s the point. All there is to the cover is a red rectangular sticker that keeps the album closed. Once broken to listen to the CD, there’s nothing but a blank cover. Kanye leaves it up to us to decide what we think of the music, but more importantly, it shows that he doesn’t care about any outsiders opinion on him. In an interview with The New York Times, he calls himself an outsider as well. I truly get that aspect on Yeezus.

At 40 minutes and 10 tracks, there is no filler found on this album. Before I knew it started, the album was already over. That’s what Kanye West was going for on Yeezus. He’s a man I’ll never understand, but I respect for his ability to stay on top of an industry that eats artists alive. Yeezus is no My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but it’s an album that will definitely garner a large number of new listeners because of the change in sound compared to older releases. It’s darker, more aggressive, and it’s extremely minimal sound perfected by Rick Rubin is very enjoyable throughout the album. Sadly, tracks like “Hold My Liquor”, “Blood On The Leaves”, and “Guilt Trip” don’t hold up to the bar set by the early songs on the album. The unconventional structure can’t compete against the inconsistency of Yeezus. The highest amount of respect goes out to Kanye for pushing the boundaries, but sadly, the album falls short of the expectations I had. That being said, this is a follow up to the amazing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. If another artist released this album, it be highly praised, but that means there must be another Kanye West, and we all know there’s only one in the world.

 

Here’s a link to the SNL performance of ‘Black Skinhead”: 

Same for “New Slaves”: 

Teenagers are total Animals in director Marçal Forés new flick

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By all outward appearances, Pol (Oriol Pla), is just an average teenager.  Living with his brother in the countryside, Pol rides his bike to school every day where he struggles to understand who he really is and where he fits in.

Animals is the first feature film of Marçal Forés and after seeing it, I’m excited to know he’s at the beginning of what will hopefully be a long career.

animals_2The film’s dark narrative is stippled with elements of the fantastic – a teddy bear named “Deerhoof” is Pol’s best friend.  Deerhoof can walk and talk, albeit in an English speaking computerized  voice that even Pol finds odd.

From the moment Deerhoof is shown onscreen, there is a feeling of strangeness, of wondering how much of what you’re seeing is real or just conjured by Pol.  Is Deerhoof just Pol’s imaginary friend or is he more?  In this way, the filmmakers challenge their audience to consider realities and possibilities, to remember their own youthful imaginations.  For Pol, Deerhoof is as real as his older brother, Llorenç (Javier Beltrán).

The relationship between the brothers is powerfully complicated.  Seen as a sort of sell out for becoming a police officer, the meek Pol still cannot find the strength to say or do anything that conflicts with the wishes or will of his brother.  Pol stands idly by one evening, watching through a window, as his brother digs a hole and buries Deerhoof in the back yard.  Part of him clearly happy someone has done the deed for him.  Part of him clearly despondent, thinking of Deerhoof being buried alive.

Deerhoof comes to represent everything about Pol that he wants to sequester from the world.  When he meets a handsome school newcomer named Ikari (Augustus Prew),animals_3 Pol is at once excited and terrified by him.  Pol’s pushy friend Marc (Dimitri Leonidas) immediately senses the attraction and takes every opportunity to dig in about Pol’s failure to approach him.

This dynamic between Pol and his friends, Marc and Laia (Roser Tapias), is reminiscent of other teen dramas where attraction and curiosity weave dangerously to create an anything-could-happen atmosphere.  Confused, or perhaps made nervous, by his attraction to Ikari, Pol begins to lash out in the only way he knows how.  He takes Deerhoof to the center of a tall bridge, ties him to a rock, and pushes him over.

This moment in Animals is  singularly powerful.
As Pol struggles in the chaotic landscape that stands between childhood and manhood, imagination and reason, he feels he must kill all that represents his youth, innocence, imagination, his safety.  Pol has projected all of these things onto Deerhoof, an entity that is so real to him it walks and talks and holds him when he cries.  What’s so dramatic and disconcerting about this moment, as Pol topples the rock onto which Deerhoof is tied into the watery depths below, is that, even for the audience, it can feel like a type of murder, a type of death.  We know that Pol isn’t necessarily moving into a better part of his life, even with the promise of love awaiting him.

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With Deerhoof at the bottom of the lake, an unfamiliar sense of liberty overcomes Pol.  He pursues Laia and Ikari, trying them both on to see which will fit.  Amidst a string of strange events and an inexplicable death, Pol soon learns it takes more than just desire to grow up.  But, how far will Pol be able to go?

Pla’s performance is strong in the role of Pol, interjecting a mix of sensitivity and curiosity that creates a character that is richly complicated and interesting rather than weak.  Featuring a great international soundtrack the film also stars Martin Freeman as Albert, a professor at St. James High School where Pol and his friends attend school.

Aspects of Animals are bound to be seen as controversial.  I see them as timely. Animals attempts to disclose the realities of life for today’s youth in a sensitive and direct way without shying away from the pain often associated with it.  In this way, the film is occasionally brutal not only for its cast of characters but also for its audience.

The pacing is oft times lethargic, reflecting Pol’s general indecisiveness and a sense of youthful timelessness, of expanding possibilities.  The end result is a strange and poetic film focusing on that moment in our lives when opposing forces collide and we are left in the middle.

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Official site: Animals

 

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