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Audiodrome #15

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With its groundbreaking amalgamation of cyberpunk aesthetics and film noir conventions, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of the most revered and influential sci-fi films of all time. Just as central to its continuing appeal as Scott’s breathtaking visuals and its provocative themes of identity, is Vangelis’s ‘symphonic electronic’ score. Given that Blade Runner is essentially a story about what it means to be human; his music underpins the more spiritual aspects of the narrative, and serves as the heart of the film. It’s synthesised, effervescent soundscapes effortlessly convey the alienation and longing of the characters - ‘human’ or otherwise.

Head over to Paracinema.net to read my full review of this immensely evocative soundtrack and listen to an excerpt.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Paracinema Magazine, now available to pre-order. Issue 19 includes essays and articles on films such as Kill Bill, John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, The Innk…

RIP James Herbert

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British horror author James Herbert, whose blood-curdling novels include The Rats and The Fog, passed away last night at the age of 69. The writer died at his home in Sussex, and is survived by is wife and three daughters. The cause of death has yet to be disclosed.

Herbert exploded onto the horror scene in 1974 with his debut novel The Rats - the nightmarish tale of mutant, flesh-eating rats and the bloody havoc they wreck throughout a squalidly depicted London. It sold 100,000 copies in the two weeks after it was published. His follow up, The Fog (completely unrelated to the John Carpenter film) told of a mysterious fog that spreads across Britain mutating those unfortunate enough to encounter it into homicidal maniacs. Often bleak and downbeat, Herbert’s stories were uncompromising in their depiction of the violent demise of humankind in the face of unspeakable evil - often of an environmentally created bent.

Born in London in 1943, Herbert studied graphic design at college before…

Paracinema 19

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Issue 19 of Paracinema Magazine is now available to pre-order.

Inside this strikingly covered issue – which includes not one, but two features on Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revenge saga Kill Bill (It’s Complicated: An In Depth Look at the Evolution of Bill and The Bride’s Turbulent Relationship by Matthew House and The Devil’s in The DeVAS: The Many Foes of Beatrix Kiddo by Zachary Kelley) – you’ll also find the likes of John Carpenter and the Apocalypse: A Study of Four Films by Justin LaLiberty, Aural Enigmas: Sound Design in Ti West’s The Innkeepers by Todd Garbarini and Corpse Fucking Art: A Guide to Necrophilia in Horror Cinema by Samm Deighan.

There’s also What’s In A Name? The Rise and Decline of Hollywood Fall Guy Alan Smithee by yours truly.

If you desire to pick up a copy (and why wouldn’t you!?), head over to Paracinema.net to do just that. Support Independent Publishing! It's what Bill would want.

Mama

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2013
Dir. Andrés Muschietti

Imagine, if you will, that Hansel and Gretel were too little girls who were saved by the wicked witch before their father – utterly unhinged because of the stresses and strains of the recession – could kill them. Surviving for five years in the witch’s house deep in the dark woods, they are eventually discovered by their uncle and his rock-chick girlfriend, who bring them back to civilisation and attempt to lovingly reintegrate them back into society. Imagine then, that the witch, who had reared them as her own feral offspring, was having none of this, and followed them into suburbia to claim them back. This is the central premise of Andrés Muschietti’s darkly beautiful fairytale horror, Mama.

The matriarch has always been a central figure in fairytales. Sometimes she is a protective, loving figure, willing to go to any lengths to protect her young. Usually though, in the shape of a step-mother, she is cruel, wicked and intends to harm the helpless innocen…

Dracula

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1958
Dir. Terence Fisher

Perfectly epitomising the brand of lurid horror Hammer is now famed for, Dracula is one of the most important titles in the history of British horror cinema. Despite its low budget, it boasts a rich gothic atmosphere, impressive production design and iconic performances from Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Jimmy Sangster’s screenplay, coupled with Fisher’s agile direction, not only streamlines Bram Stoker’s original novel, but accentuates the underlying sexual themes evident within it. Lee’s incarnation of Dracula emerges as a sexual predator, stealthily corrupting the morals of those he encounters. With feral ferocity he pierces the heart of polite Victorian society, unveiling repressed desires and creating lustful, hideously grinning she-demons in his wake...

This new cut of the film includes previously excised moments such as Dracula’s bloody seduction of Mina and his decomposition in a shaft of sunlight at the film’s riveting denouement. Head over to