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Showing posts from April, 2012

Belfast City Cemetery

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I recently took a stroll through Belfast City Cemetery. I’ve lived in Belfast for about seven or eight years now and this was the first time I set foot in the place. I was immediately taken by how big it was, and how overgrown the majority of the older graves were. Ivy chokes and cascades over everything, rendering the whole place immensely atmospheric.

The cemetery was founded in the mid 19th century, at a time when Belfast saw a drastic rise in its population. The Great Famine drove people out of rural areas and into the city in search of work. As the population rose, more burial space was needed for the increasing numbers of the dead. Up until this stage, the majority of burial grounds in Belfast were controlled by religious denominations. Plans for a municipal cemetery for all religious denominations were made and in 1866, Belfast Corporation (now Belfast City Council) purchased land from a prominent family on Falls Road, with a view to turning it into a burial ground and a park.…

Audiodrome#7: Tetsuo I & II

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It’s that time of the month again to head over to Paracinema.net and check out the latest instalment of Audiodrome. This month my ears have been getting rather bloody, indulging in the onslaught of Chu Ishikawa’s cacophonous industrial soundtrack for Tetsuo: The Iron Man and its equally brutal follow up, Body Hammer.

Shinya Tsukamoto’s searingly visceralfilmis the graphic tale of a lowly salary man’s descent into a metal-encased nightmare, as his body suddenly begins to turn into scrap metal. Tetsuo combines Cronenbergian body horror with Lynchian existentialism and filters it all through a gritty, William Gibson-esque cyberpunk aesthetic. Ishikawa’s ferocious soundtrack perfectly enhances the disturbing imagery, frantic editing and dystopian vision of the films.

While you’re over at Paracinema’s online lair, why not pick up the latest issue? It’s really rather good and all the articles address the theme of revenge in genre cinema…

The Spider Labyrinth

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1988
Dir. Gianfranco Giagni

A professor of languages working on a project translating ancient tablets from a pre-Christian religion travels to Budapest to find a colleague who has ceased communication, and return with his research. Shortly after he arrives, his ailing and strangely paranoid colleague is found dead. As the young professor delves deeper into the research, he finds himself increasingly entangled in a web of paranoia, grotesque murders and a bizarre cult determined to keep their existence a secret.

The Spider Labyrinth is an obscure oddity of Italian horror cinema. Made in the late Eighties, at a time when lets face it, many Italian horror films, save for the work of Argento and Soavi perhaps, was wildly uneven at best, and down right dire at worst. It manages to subvert expectations as it emerges as a curious entwinement of HP Lovecraft-inspired mythos, giallo trimmings, gothic horror atmospherics and occult conspiracy narratives, creating a highly moody and surprisingly…

The Cabin in the Woods

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2012
Dir. Drew Goddard

Five friends go to stay in a creepy cabin in the woods. Sinister occurrences, bloodshed and something called ‘game changing’ ensure. However as the tagline suggests, if you think you know the rules, think again; The Cabin in the Woods has more than a few surprises and twists to reinvigorate even the most jaded horror fan. A word of warning though; if you’re in any way interested in seeing this film, don’t read anymore of this review. As much I begrudge adding to the hype of anything, I simply believe that films such as this really benefit from the audience not knowing anything about them. Having said that, I think that even if you do spoil the surprise, The Cabin in the Woods should still serve as a highly enjoyable and playful ride in the way it addresses the conventions of horror cinema and turns them on their head.

The narrative follows a typical slasher scenario with teens being menaced and murderlised in an isolated cabin. So far, so Evil Dead. From the be…

The Black Cat

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1989
Dir. Luigi Cozzi
AKA Demons 6: De Profundis
When a horror film based on the same source material as Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Inferno goes into production, the evil witch the story is based upon manifests herself and not only begins to terrorise the actress set to portray her on screen, but reveals plans to wreck havoc and bloodshed throughout the world.
Luigi Cozzi’s The Black Cat was conceived as an unofficial finale to Dario Argento's then still unfinished Three Mothers Trilogy, which began with Suspiria and Inferno, and was eventually completed in 2007 with Mother of Tears. The Three Mothers’ films chart the exploits of three ancient witches, Mater Suspiriorum (the Mother of Sighs), Mater Tenebrarum (the Mother of Darkness) and Mater Lachrymarum (the Mother of Tears) determined to inflict untold suffering upon the world. The Black Cat focuses on the third mother, Mater Lachrymarum – Levana - as she attempts to return from the dead when a screenplay based on her blood…