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Beyond The Black Rainbow is true 80′s horror


Originally I had intended to watch this movie at a local art house theater, but I saw that it was available on Amazon on Demand, so I decided to enjoy the movie in bed with my wife, dog and laptop. What you notice immediately about Beyond The Black Rainbow is that it draws heavily upon the 80′s science fiction horror aesthetic. It’s easy to see why it has been compared to such films as THX 1138, A Clockwork Orange, The Hunger and pretty much all the works of David Cronenberg, but not to be caught up in the smoke and mirrors there still has to be a good story…right? Searching for a viable plot in such artistry can sometimes be a daunting task, but you soon realize that the formula is the same, but it’s just being presented like a sarcophagus at a museum or vestige of some by-gone era that the director Panos Cosmatos (son of George P. Cosmatos, who directed Tombstone, Cobra, and Rambo: First Blood Part II) has meticulously decided to pay homage to. BTBR speaks in metaphors, the viewer is meant to take something from every single frame, the director even goes as far as beginning these super short scenes with fade in and outs of the grittiest red instead of the usual black.

Right now’s when you’d probably like for me to explain what the fuck this film’s about…


Deep within the mysterious Arboria Institute, a beautiful girl (Eva Allan) is held captive by a scientist, Dr. Barry Nyle (Michael Rogers). Her mind is controlled by a sinister technology (a mysterious pyramid-shaped light). Speechlessly, she waits for her next session with the deranged Dr. Nyle. She escapes her cell under the watchful eye of Dr. Nyle peering through video monitors. She journeys through the darkest reaches of the Institute but Nyle wonʼt easily part with his most gifted and dangerous creation.


It all makes for some amazing vintage horror done with a committed cast and one hell of an art director Antonio Colin and costume designer Kathi Moore. Shot entirely in Vancouver, the story travels along an analog path of science verging on insanity. As we learn more about the Arboria Institute we find out about or at least we think we find out about what the institutes real mission is and that’s when BTBR begins tinkering with the idea of the occult and going places with the storyline that all good 80′s horrors can’t do without. Like Alejandro Jodorowsky’s psychedelic masterpiece Holy Mountain, BTBR toys, ever so slightly, with god/devil themes in the form of glowing masonic style triangles and the Sentionauts (ominous albino baby faced worker bees or minions for the Arboria Institute) but doesn’t try to be what it’s not thus elevating the films level of genius by acknowledging the Satanic prime directive and moving on. It has to be said before I continue that the soundtrack is near flawless. Panos obviously knew that if the image was the vehicle the music had to be the engine so he did what any film/indie video director does and enlist the help of none other than Jeremy Schimdt from the synth rock band Black Mountain to pepper this art piece in a blanket of moogness, add that sound to the brilliant cinematography of Norm Li and you have a film fit for any classic VHS library.

The following Interview with Panos Cosmatos in it’s entirety is available @ Dork Shelf

DS: How involved were you with the score because it felt so integral to the mood and tone? I’d imagine it was something you wanted to be heavily involved in.

PC: Well, Jeremy Schmidt from Black Mountain wrote the score and has an amazing record collection of soundtracks Panos Cosmatosand synth music from the 70s and 80s. He’s very influenced by that time and writes this amazing music that he records on analogue synthesizers. Once I discovered him, I really wanted him to score it. I showed him a rough cut and he really wanted to do it. I think he drew influences from a lot of not just soundtracks, but different artists from that era. John Carpenter was definitely part of that, but there were so many. I don’t know, our musical sensibilities were so close that I gave him some guidance, but generally I just let him create and it was like Christmas. Because I’m a fan of his, it was amazing to just to get to hear him create music and put it on my movie.

Overall the film’s formula isn’t anything something we’ve never seen before, but what Panos has done was added more to an era of films that had no idea what is was then or what it would become.

DS: How difficult was it to find financing for a project as experimental and out there as this? I’d imagine there would have been a lot of scratched heads while you were pitching it around.

PC: Well, I self financed it, but that didn’t stop people from scratching their heads when I was trying to talk them into working on it (laughs). The people that responded to it responded to it very strongly and wanted to be involved. It was just hard to find those people at times. The only reference they had for my work was a music video that was online. So that would show them that perhaps that mentality combined the script could be something interesting.

BTBR is what was to be expected of the son of the director of COBRA and seeing the world through his goggles and knowing the urge to go totally modern and sell this to the studios and not doing it, is a feat within itself and should be celebrated in this age of overdone. I bet no one could have seen this rebirth of 80′s coming and most won’t understand it or they think they will, but due to their lack of love for films, won’t be able to place a proper finger on it and that’s what I believe directors like Panos Cosmatos and Ti West (House Of The Devil) has set out to create…enigmas. Films without a home, but stand alone as works of art never to be looked upon as a movies in the Hollywood sense. BTBR is pure aural and eye candy for lovers of great science fiction (notice how I didn’t write 80′s science fiction). You won’t find me trying to even coddle those less likely to watch this movie cause there’s a time and place for everything and unlike some films from the past this one harnesses it’s own power, and because of modern technology, will be less susceptible to degradation/wear and tear unlike it’s 80′s predecessors, and that’s a bit of next gen that I’m sure even Panos Cosmatos is happy with.

The trailer for You’re Next, is better than the movie…trust me on this


Look I consider myself a reasonable guy and that’s why I wanted to see this film. The trailer for You’re Next looked amazing! It looked like a legitimate horror film with some super intense moments, but what director Adam Wingard (VHS, The ABC’s of Death) created was everything but. The pieces were all there, but none of it quite fit. I’ll explain, but first the synopsis…

When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

I don’t know what happens when these youthful sprites like director Ti West (House of the Devil, VHS), who makes a cameo in the film, and all the rest of the VHS crew, get together to come up with these ideas that they think are going to be so ground breaking. This film had no idea what it wanted to be. Nothing get’s explained and just when you think there’s some semblance of a story on the horizon the horrendous dialogue and bad acting come along and throws educated viewers for a loop. The real travesty of You’re Next is that it could’ve been a great film, but they break the rules of horror films all throughout this debacle and not in a good way.


As if they were rushed to put this film out, director Adam Wingard could of had a field day of believable blood and gore, but instead makes decisions that cost the films credibility early on. Case and point…the family is pinned down inside the entry way of the home, one family member has already taken an arrow through the eye at the dinner table and another is comically nursing an arrow in his back. Suddenly a family member decides the best course of action is for the fastest family member to race right out the front door (where the killers are) and to the car to try and find help. The daughter of the father of the household decides to do it and no one questions her decision, not the girls mother or father.

What happens next can only be best described as one of the dumbest film deaths of 2013. The girl backs up against the wall and does a “Six Million Dollar Man” (thanks Rich) towards the door complete with slow motion. All that was missing was the “ne ne ne ne ne” sound effect. Then, in some strange twist of fate, the killers new this was their plan and placed a steel wire, exactly to the girls height specifications, just outside the door. Door opens and she runs right into the wire slicing her own throat and as the blood spilled out of her neck, so did any hopes of suspending disbelief from that point on.

It was like watching Home Alone meets The Strangers, they even had a scene in which one of the invaders steps through a window and onto a nail. It goes on like this throughout the whole film and when the big reveal comes as to why this is all happening, it’s none too astonishing. I think about half way through the film there wasn’t a soul in the theater that didn’t have an “idea” why these murders were happening. But that’s not the strange part for me, the strange part is the murder of the neighbor and his mistress at the beginning of the film. They never explain why these intruders decided to kill the neighbor and how their death was even remotely apart of the plot of this film.

I know what Adam is trying to do, he tried to create a cult classic, but he went “the full retard” with You’re Next and we all know you never want to do that. You especially don’t want to waste precious marketing strategies by revealing the killers in a film where there anonymity was the whole reason we kinda wanted to see the film in the first place. I thought and this is probably why I was so let down, was that director Adam Wingard, was trying to create a franchise out of these animal faced killers. Somehow it struck me as a good idea and most certainly the right time for some masked villains to roll up on the scene. This was not the case, the reveal destroyed the third wall for me. Seriously, this film could have been a reheated piece of shit and I would’ve still been slightly invested had they not given the identity of those killers away. It was a stupid move, marketing wise, but this was just one of many things that was wrong with this picture.

So what’s next? How long can this next generation of hacks continue to get funded when there are some true horror auteurs out there making people piss their pants? I guess as long as nepotism will hold out, cause something tells me someones aunt or uncle works for Lionsgate Pictures. I mean how else would the company that put out SAW (the first one mind you) allow this shit to go to theaters? It doesn’t make sense. Do the folks at LGF see that level of potential in Adam Wingard? I didn’t.

My recommendation is to just keep watching the trailer below, cause that’s about as good as it gets. Just no real surprises.


Tiananman Square Dance rolls out Glow-Fi goodness with VHS WAVE Vol. Four


Whether you know it or not, you know what chillwave is, but if you don’t and are in need of some poolside sounds for the summer, this free compilation is not to be missed. This is the forth installment by Tiananmen Square Dance and having listened to it, I’d venture to say, it’s the best so far.
Volume Four features tracks by such greats as Karma Kid, Bobby Tank, Com Truise and Airbird. Whether your on the east smelling steamy garbage or on the west breathing smog, this compilation is complete escapism and the best part is… it’s FREE.

Tiananman Square Dance on Tumblr

Download Volumes 1-4

Volume One
Volume Two
Volume Three
Volume Four



1. VANGUARD echohunter
2. KARMA KID it’s always
4. GUMMYBEAR can’t go wrong
5. VHS HEAD death dimension
6. CAPO BLANCO 1980 love machine
7. MIAMI VICE valley girl
8. MIDNIGHT RUNNERS untitled emotion
9. BOBBY TANK face of love


11. LAPTI livin’ 4
12. LUXURY ELITE slideshow
13. DEZ HARLEY common scents
15. COM TRUISE WIP (‘13)
16. MACINTOSH PLUS リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー
17. MIRROR KISSES heart beats black
18. NAPOLIAN evergreen
19. LASERSHIP STEREO pole position
20. FUTURE UNLIMITED calling (intro)
21. AIRBIRD city vs mountains

The critters are coming in this awesome trailer for “You’re Next”


I’m thinking it’s because I really love the Lou Reed song “Perfect Day” that I really got sucked into this trailer, but I played the trailer on mute, a trick you oughta do sometime, and yep…still want to see this one. I’ve seen home invasion flicks before, but for some reason this feels like more. The synopsis below does give away a bit more than it should, but I’m undeterred. What do you think?

One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, YOU’RE NEXT reinvents the genre by putting a fresh yourenext32220134twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.

You’re Next is directed by Adamn Wingard (V/H/S, The ABC’s of Death) and written by Simon Barrett (The ABC’s of Death, Red Sands) and stars Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, and Nicholas Tucci, and Ti West. The film releases in theaters August 23rd.



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