30 March 2009

Rules

When writing about Roman history, DO NOT do any of the following:

1) Do not begin any sentence with "Throughout history...." or any similar sentiment.
2) Do not make universal generalizations about human nature or the behavior of human beings.
3) Do not make ANY comparisons to contemporary society—not a single one.
4) Do not discuss or describe your feelings.
5) Do not claim that any work is "great" or of universal, undying value.
6) Do not assert that any work "teaches" us lessons about humanity.

That is all.

Teenage Monster

As I mentioned in my last blog about juvenile delinquency as supernatural phenomenon I Was A Teenage Werewolf it would appear that blaming juvenile behavior is a twofold denial, denial of adult/parent responsibility for raising children to dults, and 2; a denial that adults have gone through the same adolescent aging experience.

Nevertheless, it is important not to forget who these movies are marketed at - the juveniles.
You can tell why just by looking at this poster, it pretty much explains everything. The biological changes a teenager experiences often make them feel uncomfortable with their physical bodies, hence the "monstrous form" and suddenly aware of sex clearly indicated by the monsters victim, who in this case is already in bed.
The disapproving gaze of the adults at the bottom of the poster clearly shows their "inability" to comprehend juvenile behavior.
Essentially this poster says "Look, you feel different, have urges you've never had before, and your parents treat you like a recalcitrant leper, same goes for the Teenage Monster."

Girls have their movies too, but I'm pretty sure that they weren't marketed as much to the same demographic the portray, the choice of imagery would indicate that when it all comes out in the wash, men are pretty much the audience these movies are shooting for, whether they're juvenile or not. The entire girl delinquent subgenre in fact appears to be marketed primarily at men, since the plot is just young girls, sex and violence. Although this has changed to some extent, there are movies released specifically for the teenage girl demographic, they are still far less in number than those for boys. All this should make it pretty clear that American culture is a patriarchy that caters to the power and desires of men. As juveniles discovering sex, and lashing out, boys are rejected by adult society as "monsters". Yet as adults, those same desires are pandered to.
In effect it's the ultimate cultural hypocrisy, castigating adolescent boys for learning to behave the same way we reward and coddle men for doing.
No wonder boys are confused monsters.



Read my friends output inspired by the same b-movie poster at Gone to Croatoan

27 March 2009

Bronson Family


I'd like to point out that Zulieka Bronson is tied with a rope to her dads wrist.

26 March 2009

Once A Child

Released in 1996 as a portion of the documentation of German prisoners of war in World War II, Soviet archives reveal the fate of some American born "Heimat" returnees who were recruited into the German Wehrmacht by nationalist pleas from the Nazi Party:

Eirich Remmelmann was born in 1919, his family was part of the small community of Blair, Nebraska where a large population of Austrians had settled in the years immediately following World War I when the Austro-Hungarian Empire fractured into its constituent states. Although Eirich and his parents spoke English, almost everyone in town spoke German to each other, and the tight-knit community was very much like it might have been at home.

In 1938 after the Anschluss, when the branch of Hitler's National Socialist Workers Party in Austria took over government, a decree was sent out that ethnic Germans from abroad should return and help build the homeland. Encouraged by his parents and the community, Eirich and fourteen other young men from Blair returned to Austria by the end of the year.
As a member of the XXVII Corps of the 4th Army, Eirich participated in Unternehmen Fall Weiss in September of 1939 and remained on the Eastern front throughout the early Russian campaigns. Though they did not participate in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the Corps advanced on Moscow late in the year.
Within sight of the city, the winter stopped them dead, and the Soviets finally struck back.
Remmelmann was captured sometime between the 14th and 17th of December on the Kalinin front with a number of his comrades who were too starved and cold to offer resistance. Transported back to Russia proper, nothing is known of Remmelmann until his death of "Gulag fever" at Sevvostlag in 1956. He was 37.


Read my friends piece insoired by a surprise photo at Gone to Croatoan

Screamin'



Preliminary sketches for THIS tattoo design for a friend.

25 March 2009

Bronson



Trying to get the face right at an early stage of the Saint Bronson project.

24 March 2009

4th Poster

Not entirely sure if this will work, if it conveys the wrong message about KFG or not. Any feedback?

Japanese Paratroop

23 March 2009

Asian Baseball

Clearly there is something more that just "baseball is cool and fun" that makes it so popular in Asia, particularly formerly American ocuupied/colonized countries like Korea and Japan, because baseball is neither fun or cool, it is actually really boring.
So why is it so damn pupular in formerly occupied/colonised countries in Asia? We occupied Germany, and they don't seem to be too impressed with baseball.
Lets also look at cricket in Pakistan and India.
OK, fuck cool or fun, it's colonisation.

My Good Buddy


I hope Phill will forgive me for perhaps jumping on his bandwagon before he has fully got the reigns in his hands, but I want to make it clear that he is an awesome artist whom I perpetually attempt to imitate.
I suggest thus that you visit his art blog Lines That Make Things today, and frequently thereafter, you will always like it.

Stone Breakers

"The Stone Breakers" Gustave Courbet, 1849

Below

I know this has probably been brought up in a few places, but I don't recall seeing it anywhere so I'll bring it up here.
There is obviously a lot of talk about people losing their retirement savings, their kids college savings, their houses, and that's obviously a serious problem for them and their kids, but it also has some further ramifications that kindof go unspoken because they are less dramatic, or at least less "newsworthy," and less easy to measure. NPR did a story about a portion of it when the Bernard Madoff thing first broke, when they discussed the number of Jewish charities that had lost their endowment or whatever because of Madoff.
What I'm getting at though is a little more depressing. Sorry.
There are entire populations that survive solely on relief aid because there is no other way for them to survive, no food, no water, nowhere and nothing to work at, and quite possibly people with assault rifles looking for them. The aid organizations that they rely on, where do they get their money?
Here's another one that was only touched on by mention of the Salvation Army food centers being hard pressed to keep up with demand. A lot of aid organization in the US depend on donations from individuals for their operating budgets. That is, they get big money or donations from corporations or NGO's or the state or federal government which covers their materiel while private individual donations cover their personnel costs. (or vice versa).
When individuals see their savings dissapear, they cut their non-essential costs, i.e. charitable donations (among others).
So, there's a whole spectrum of people who are going to get less of the essential help they need to survive because of this whole capital collapse. This doesn't even begin to touch on the people who don't have any charity income and are trying to get by on what little they have and the increasingly small amount it will buy.
So, those of you who still have jobs and an extra 10, 20, 25 bucks, I dare you to donate it to an organization that helps the poor, because they need it now more than ever, and hopefully worse than they'll need it tomorrow.
Don't know an organization to donate to? Drop a line, I volunteer to find one for you, and I will add 5$ to your donation.

22 March 2009

Brain From the Planet Arous

Whenever I see any media for this film I think of the first time I watched it which was about 1997, when I was 17 or so. There's really nothing remarkable about the fact that I watched it, or my reaction upon watching it, which was boredom, but rather, what my rection then, and what my reaction now says about it.
To be honest, I have not re-watched it, but I'm putting in the context of the black and white science fiction movies I have watched recently and rather liked (despite their lack of subtlety).

Back in 1997, Brain from the Planet Arous meant "B-Movie" which translated into "shameless tits and ass or graphic bloodshed" either of which was satisfying in one way or another, and both of which together was vaguely transcendental and made my adolescent life at that time seem somewhat less worth ending prematurely.

Brain From the Planet Arous (despite my bleakest hopes) sadly had neither, and so, even though I'm pretty sure I finished it, (and am pretty sure it took place in New Mexico and featured an atomically stimulated brain which could knock aircraft out of the sky), I didn't like it and don't remember what happened.

For years I blamed this on the fact that it fell under the category "black and white", nowadays though I honestly like a lot of B & W movies. I know they're (usually) not full of bouncing bosoms or beheadings, though clearly those things still can make or break a movie, but I've managed to develop an appreciation for the things that they do have, which it turns out are far more valuable to me in the long run.

Ironically they have the exact same value as movies loaded with T & A, which is that they are in one way or another, a reflection from some facet of the culture at the time they were produced. I can watch Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers or (presumably) Brain From the Planet Arous and still get the same enjoyment out of each kernel of historical truth.

The reason Brain From the Planet Arous makes me think of all this? Nobody ever knows how it's pronounced so I always go for the short of "aroused" which just makes me think of heaving breasts.


Read my compadre's word purge inspired by the same pulp postcard at Gone To Croatoan

20 March 2009

Fuck the Pope, Fucking Racist Jerk

On his current trip to Africa, one of the first things that Pope Benedict did was proclaim that using condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS was wrong and in fact made the problem worse, inferring that people shouldn't be having sex at all.
What a fucking idiot.
If he wasn't a goddamned Nazi I might be more shocked at such overtly tactless ignorance and racism. But as far as I'm concerned, the Pope has just mandated continent-wide genocide by setting back AIDS prevention education 7 centuries.
Dick.
Pope In Africa

Caspar David Friedrich's Iceberg

Caspar David Friedrich painted Das Eismeer" (The Sea of Ice) in 1823-4 in an attempt to portray "icebergs" a phenomenon then known to very few people. Of course, we know what they look like now, but this attempt to conjure up an image to go along with a story is highly effective (if not very accurate).

19 March 2009

I Was A Teenage Werewolf

The need to conflate monstrosity and adolescence never ceases to amaze me. The idea that somehow the behavior of teens is somehow supernatural, or otherworldly stems directly from a chronic case of denial on the part of the parents and society at large.
First is the denial that children and teens are not in fact adults. Society seems for the most part to be able to acknowledge this difference in labeling, but not the underlying definition of the label. By accepting the fact that they have not reached adulthood we must also agree that they cannot therefore be expected to behave as society expects adults to behave. (it's acknowledged that teens and children do not have the mental facilities to make political or health decisions, but why does it stop there?)
In fact, it is widely acknowledged as the job of the parents (and community) to teach the child the behaviors expected from an adult. Laying the blame for a teens behavior at the feet of the supernatural is in effect a denial of ones own role in their rearing.
BUT, that leads us to a second denial...
...that as not yet adults, teens are going through a series of changes which make them into biological adults, but we are somehow completely unfamiliar with this process.
Not quite children, and not quite adults, teens are expected to behave like something that they are not, and treated as if everyone else in the world sprang from beneath a rock with a full time job and a mortgage, and then disavowed of all responsibility for explaining why.
Resorting to the "teenage monstrosity" excuse is trying to divest onesself of the consequences of sex because it's too much of a pain in the ass to accept the responsibility. Sounds pretty juvenile to me.
Blaming lycanthropy for your kid's delinquency is like trying to have an abortion 16 years too late.


Read my friends word purge inspired by the same pulp art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

18 March 2009

Middle Ground

Is integrity the booby prize for failure?

"I may have failed utterly in everything I ever tried to do, but you know what, at least I kept my integrity."

If so, it would infer that success is synonymous with corruption, and mediocrity is the mean.

16 March 2009

Crossover Cowboys

No matter how many times I hear it I still like Glenn Campbell's version Rhinestone Cowboy,which is incidentally one of the only two songs I will ever karaoke, if I ever karaoke, which will probably be never. (The other is Culture Clubs song "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" off their 1982 debut album "Kissing to Be Clever") The fact is, no matter how many times hear Rhinestone Cowboy, I cannot help think but of John Voight as Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy which was released 6 years earlier in '69. Though there is no overt relationship it can easily be inferred, which is all that matters to me.
I hear Glenn Campbell, I yell "I'm walkin' here!"



Devil Girl From Mars

No matter how much I try and focus on any other part of this poster, alien robots, spaceships, even the taglines, "Fantastic Night of Terror", "Invasion blah blah blah too monstrous to escape," the one thing I keep coming back to is the first half of the title.
Devil girl.

I think the problem is that I too closely associate those words in my mind anyway, to be able to disassociate them, or co-associate them with a non-terrestrial concept like Mars or robots.

I've been in too many relationships with women who have been mean, either because they were, or because I needed to perceive them that way to cope with the pain, to be able to read anything but "Devil girl." Alien robots be damned.

The worst part about this is that now all those Devil Girls I've known have made it difficult for me to enjoy a simple cheesy movie, which as far as I'm concerned, confirms my assessment.



Check out my friends word purge on the same pulp-art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

13 March 2009

A Farewell



This is something of a memorial for my Uncle Rick Grass who served in Vietnam as a helicopter mechanic with the 9th Infantry Division.

12 March 2009

Juvenile Jungle

I love dated pop-culture. (one of my favorite examples is the 1962 Elvis film It Happened at the Worlds Fair)

Not just a painting say, or a picture or a hair or clothing style, but something that really grabs a hold of an instant in history and flaunts it as cutting edge.
It indicates a foreknowledge of obsolescence, an awareness of imminent demise.
Mankind has for the most part never been able to predict the development of technology. Oh, we can make wild suppositions, but they are all fantasy to be sure, maybe tacking very close to contemporarily trended probability, but fantasy nonetheless.
So when you flaunt a technological marvel as paramount or critical in your sales pitch, you knowingly invite future bemused pity.

There must then be a payoff to justify such shortsightedness. If it's going to be gone, or at least laughable in a few short years, there must be some motive for grabbing a hold of a short moment in pop culture and running with it.
What could it be?



Read my friends spontaneous purge of verbiage inspired by this pulp-art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

Late Fees

I have a problem with bothering people about things I loan them.
Ironically it is not because I want it back right away or I don't trust them.
It's because I really want some feedback on the material.
So I ask over and over, "Have you watched Eaten Alive yet?" and I come across as pushy and impatient when really what I want is to hear what you thought about one of my favorite movies. Sure I want the thing back in a timely fashion (and certainly before I forget who has it!) but I want you to watch it and react, and tell me about it.
OK. It is pressure and impatience.
Why the hell are you waiting so long to experience something that is awesome?
Isn't my recommendation good enough, let's get moving.
Really, I'm just impatient for you to have fun and be excited about it. Because you will.

10 March 2009

Woodrow Wilson Speeches

Should you feel so inclined, here is the complete text of my argument on my final paper in HISTEU435 History of World War 1.
The instructor, an amusing elderly gentleman discussed the results of the class papers in general in class before lecture on Friday and specifically mentioned mine, (though not by name), concluding essentially that my argument had been long since discredited by historians as "revisionist".
The original speeches I was to analyze:
January 22, 1917
April 2, 1917

“For Us, The World”

Between his speech of January 22nd, 1917 which called for American neutrality, and that of April 2nd in which he urged the Congress to go to war, Woodrow Wilson maintains a constant pro-intervention message. In the January speech he proposes that the United States make peace between the belligerents, and in the second speech he argues that the United States must join the war to protect democracy and liberty. In both speeches, though veiled in political rhetoric, he repeatedly refers to international commercial trade suggesting what amounts to an American economic hegemony, in effect, global free commerce.

The most important and consistent implication in the first speech is that the United States has a unique ability and position to be at the forefront of establishing a lasting peace. Without the United States, “no covenant of co-operative peace…can suffice to keep the future safe…” Not only that, but there is “only one sort of peace that the peoples of America can join in guaranteeing…” one that “…satisfies the principles of the American governments.” What Wilson means then when he says that offering such a service would be “the opportunity for which they have sought to prepare themselves by the very principles and purposes of their polity and the approved practices of their Government…” he effectively means the promotion of American capitalism and products onto the global market. Democracy and liberty are not services and opportunities that people can prepare for with “approval” from a government, they are the natural evolutionary outcomes of struggle against restrictive government. Industrialization and the exploitation of resources on the other hand are, and clearly Wilson is eager to open the world to American industry which is coming into its own by the beginning of the 20th Century. Any terms of peace which he proposes, leagues and a “guarantor force”, while they are certainly fundamental and desirable, are Wilson’s means to an end.

In the April 2 speech, Wilson has disposed of the pretext of enforcing the only peace that “satisfies the American governments” but still freely declares that he has “exactly the same things in mind” as the previous speech of January 22. Instead he justifies intervention, this time aggressive, by invoking Germany’s declaration of resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, an “outlaw” act Wilson is fully aware has been ongoing for several years, and was provoked by his own abrogation of the Sussex Pledge. Wilson again reveals the motivations behind his polemic by calling submarine attacks “an immense and serious loss of property”, a statement abridged by professions of concern for loss of life, genuine concerns to be sure, but overshadowed by his immediate return to the issue of “warfare against commerce”, which is according to Wilson “warfare against mankind.” If then, as Wilson claims, the lives lost are “engaged in pursuits…deemed innocent and legitimate…were supposed to underlie the intercourse of the world” then he also infers that the reverse must also be true, war against innocent individuals is war against international trade.

How then can war be ended and “free, constant, unthreatened intercourse of nations” restored? If the government of the United States does not step in something Wilson considers “inconceivable”, and force it to a conclusion herself, “mere terms of peace between the belligerents will not satisfy even the belligerents themselves.” This is the great “service” for which the Americans have been preparing themselves “ever since they set up a new nation in the high and honorable hope that it might in all that it was and did show mankind the way to liberty.” Wilson is claiming then that the American democratic experiment is the sole beacon of peace that can lead the world away from war. The United States is the only party that can end the war because she alone is endowed with the unique gift of liberty toward which they have the “honor” of “leading” mankind.

Wilson’s arguments for neutrality and war are essentially the same argument in different guise, for international trade centered on America. He understands the moral dilemma between liberal philosophy and power but also that trade to and from warring states especially across armed seas is severely limited, and for a non colonial power like the US, commerce and affluence is the only way to exert power and influence.

09 March 2009

Hoagy Carmichael Endorsement



If you've ever seen a film called Blood Beach, and chances are you have not, you may remember a character named Hoagie (seen getting snuffed in the pic to the left). Pretty stupid name, but in the context of the film it might be fitting, y'know, stoner beach-bum time likes to eat sandwiches or whatever so his friends nickname him Hoagie right?. Apparently people are actually named that, or anyway that is a familiar shortening of the name Hoagland, which is just a little to close to hog-land among other things for me to take it even remotely serious.
If you are trying to find pictures on Google of our foggy brained friend of said moniker, you will not find them, but instead, pictures of America's favorite Hoagy (spelled differently than I had assumed), Hoagland Carmichael composer of music for films among other things. To his credit is the heartwarming classic "Heart and Soul" which played such an integral part in that effervescent and enucleating classic Big.
Nevertheless, should you pursue the matter, and I don't recommend it (everything interesting is written here as far as I'm concerned)you will find that Hoagy Carmichael does indeed like sandwiches. Preferably those consisting of canned lunchmeat Treet, raw white onions and mustard.
Happy eating.

The She Creature

I think it's rather telling that the woman, the human woman has to transform into an evil monster. Why can't she just be evil? Or for that matter, why cant women in general be depicted as evil? Why is it that she has to change her physical form?
I think it's probably more frightening if she maintains her physical form, but changes from a beautiful shapely seductress into vindictive poisonous harpy without any notice whatsoever.
Furthermore, why does she transform into a masculine creature? I think it's because it's important to separate her two personalities, her attractive femininity has to be distinctly separate from her scaly monstrosity, that separation is made clearer by desexualizing the creature even more by making it masculine. In fact it would take another 35 years before Hollywood was able to deal properly with female sexuality and power outside of the male-as-victim of womans sexual evil. You know, the classic forbidden fruit original sin thing.
To be honest, western cultures still have a long way to go in dealing with the issue of patriarchy but as compared to 1956, at least now we can watch movies about men who have "feelings". Which presumably they actually do.


Read the other spontaneous purge of verbiage inspired by this pulp-art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

05 March 2009

The Brain Eaters

You do not want to cross these people. I don't know what else to say, I mean, zombies, o.k. Feral dogs, o.k., a dead body or a developmentally disabled hillbilly, O.K., but this is something completely unlike any of that.
I can't explain to you the chilling revulsion that you feel when you see someone you know in this condition, much less someone you love. It's not even revulsion, it's a body shock, it is a downright plain and simple, cellular body shock. Your flesh and bones recoil, there's more than a knot tying in your stomach, your intestines suddenly slip across each other and constrict like a cold snake, and your fingers curl, your limbs recoil and try to cover your vitals. At that moment, your lungs spasm, letting out a choked gasp, you are pretty much on the precipice of a sob, a moan or a tattered wail.
This is recognition of the monster. This is knowing intimately the lurching, grasping disfigured beast which is grabbing at you and that it is someone you love, but now wants to taste you, for real. This is the dysfunction of reflex, the clash of animal and human, the great tragedy of emotion clashing with instinct.


My co-conspirators spin of this same pulp-art postcard is at Gone to Croatoan

Sick of Remakes

(This is also posted on my film blog Lost Video Archive)
There has been some talk about the remake of Last House on the Left, mostly negative. (I'll grant you I am very much out of the loop when it comes to feedback, I get zero media coverage so when I say "some talk" I mean I read probably one or two things online and then talked to myself). But I think I've come to a watershed as far as remakes go, at least in the United States, and I'd like to share it with whomever might be inclined to humor me for a moment or two.
I've seen a few of the recent remakes of classic American slasher horror, most notably Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween.

I have heard many times uttered from the mouths of splatter fans, including my own, "I know it's going to suck, but I want to see what they're going to do with it." or "It'll never be as good as the original but...(add lame justification)."
Often the same people who say the above, (including myself) also say things like, "These idiots don't have any new ideas that's why they have to ruin all our good classics with remakes." and "Who's giving these people money, what a stupid idea, how could they possibly improve on the original?"

The answer is that we are giving them money to re-make our good memories into garbage, because we "are just curious what they're going to do with it."
We know it's going to suck, and we're insulted by remakes, yet we fuel the fire with our 10 dollar tickets.
No excuse.
But, I have decided I won't go and see any more remakes. (even though I've liked a few in the past)
I want to keep what good memories I have left, (not to mention my hard earned dollars)and I want to send those capitalist bastards in Movielandplace a message; "Come up with something new! Quit paying marketing agents to script remakes and hire actual creative people with new ideas, there are some left, (I know they're hard to find since they've been ignored for so long) otherwise you get no more money from me. (and this also goes for Asian films you imperialists of originality!)"

So, if you want originality and creativity and you mean it, stand up for it and don't back down, otherwise, quit complaining. It also means that if a movie comes out that looks weird or cheesy or dumb, but is unprecedented, go see it.

Support creativity and independance.

That is all.

04 March 2009

On Liberty

John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, thus far one of the better philosophy texts I've read, I'm just a fledgling philosophy student though so give it time, everyhting I read seems to have elements of truth and of falacy. For this reason I keep reading, to test each idea against others and forge a comprehensive and articulate philosophy of my own.

I take this (among many other things) from Mill, who proposes that any truth that rejects challenges to its validity cannot claim to be a truth. "Instead of a vivid conception and a living belief, there remain only a few phrases retained by rote, or, if any part, the shell and husk only of the meaning is retained, the finer essence being lost."
Simply, that doctrines oft repeated and taken on faith have no relationship to their reason for being, they lack the vigor of struggle and defense. "The fatal tendency of mankind to leave of thinking [reasoning] about a thin when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors. A contemporary author has well spoken of ""the deep slumber of a decided opinion.""

In the context of democratic philosophy:
Without weighing the benefits and shortcomings of an idea or for that matter an action, how can we know if it is true or right. If we cannot justify ourselves by confronting a counterargument, can we be justified at all? Can something be proven right if it is not also proven to be not-wrong? If the idea that we hold up then is freedom and democracy, how can we be “too busy to take notice” what our government is doing?

Here though is a paragraph that takes a couple of reads to decipher:
"If, however, the mischevous operation of the absence of free discussion, when the recieved opinions are true, were confined to leaving men ignorant of the grounds of those opinions, it might be thought that this, if an intellectual, is no moral evil, and does no affect the worth of the opinions regarded in their influence on the character. The fact, however, is that not only the grounds of the opinion are forgotten in the absence of discussion, but to often the meaning of th opinion itself."

Whew, thats a mouthful, but a delicious one.

03 March 2009

A Welsh Coal Mine


The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster also known as the Universal Pit Disaster, or as in the above photo postcard, The Welsh Pit Disaster occured in Senghenydd, near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, South Wales on 14 October 1913, killing 439 miners. It is the worst Mining accident in the United Kingdom, and one of the most serious in terms of loss of life globally since.
It is called The Welsh Pit Disaster on this card because it was the worst coal mining disaster to that date in 1913. There were literally hundreds of collieries in Wales, so clearly the card was intended for foreign consumption.
In addition, it was not just one, but a whole series of picture postcards dedicated to The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster which you can see at the National Library of Wales website.

I found all this while looking for images of coal mines because I am researching for an illustration of Charles Bronson who came from a Polish coal mining family in Pennsylvania.

I could find no information on the photographer "Benson, 138 George St., Glasgow".

01 March 2009

Plan 9 From Outer Space


I have watched this movie, I think I either stopped halfway through because it was boring, or I fastforwarded it.
A lot of people, or at least, I've read it in several places that people consider Plan 9 to be one of the worst, if not the worst film of all time. I'd like to offer an explanation as to why that is not true.

First we have to look (briefly) at what it is about Plan 9 that people think is so bad:
Low production values is the key. Visibly shoddy and fake sets, tombstones made out of cardboard, actors who may or may not be perceptibly drunk, plotlines that make no sense and in all likelyhood were cobbled together on the spot (be that on the "set" or in the editing room), stupid dialogue delivered by actors who were hired simply because they were cheap or drunk or looked creepy... ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Ed Wood Jr. is very good at this, very good at being bad, so actually, he has a niche. Far be it from me to call anybody the somebody else of their time, but lets say he was the predecessor to Herschell Gordon Lewis and Roger Corman. He came from a different time, the film industry operated differently and so he didnt have the same MO. But listen here, he wanted to make films, and he wanted to make money at it, ultimately he was a pragmatist. Art is fine in these circumstanes, but incedental.

It would probably be easy for me to offer a set of examples of movies that are equally bad, and there are plenty, but that's not the point. The fact that so many people know about Plan 9, revere it for it's cheapness, make it a success, therefore it did its job, like Blood Feast or Death Race 2000.

That's just exploitation folks, and if it works there aint nothin bad about it.

Read my co-conspirators spin on the same pulp-art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland

Google Image searching for Charles Bronson you will not find these pictures. You have to search his wife Jill Ireland's name and you'll come up with all kinds of interesting pictures of the couple together. That may or may not say a lot about our cultural assignment of gender roles, I tend to lean towards "Says a lot". It should go without saying that I knew neither of these people but I like Bronson movies a lot (understatement) and I find their relationship interesting because in my mind they seem kindof like opposites, he the quiet reserved type, and her the prissy high maintenance type. I have no idea, I'm just guessing here. I also find it interesting because they worked together on numerous movies during their marriage, more than one of which involved scenes of Bronson raping her, or nearly so.