February 26, 2009

Actors Needed - "Julius Caesar" on the Ides of March, Live From Central Park!

February 25, 2009

Greetings, Haunted Late-Night Googlers Of The World!

Nothing makes me feel more cozily connected to the world's freaks and strangers than my web-traffic doohickey that logs all the Google searches which lead people to this site. Thanks to the wide range of subjects I've discussed with my many interviewees and contributers, I pop up --rather misleadingly, I'm ashamed to admit -- in all kinds of searches related to things that most people probably shouldn't look at during work hours.

Here's a collection of these search keywords from this last week. I omitted repeats, of which there were many -- especially when it came to "castration fantasy" and "asphyxiation video." As is, this list is a nice little poem channeled from the world's brainstem, composed of nuggets that for the most part you should NOT Google yourself under unless you're feeling pretty adventurous:

"Big taranchula eating people parking lot"

"3d fantasy castration"

"Bloody valentine 3d vulva"

"Scholarly articles on Zombies"

"Spongebob fan club phone number"

"Judi dench + stroke the others arm"

"Plastic bag asphyxiation video"

"Really gross hairy spiders"

"Love my oral surgeon"

"Grab ankles horror movie"

"African slaves overboard children become water creatures"

"Slavery through hypnosis"

I'd like to imagine each Googler as a maniac, outfitted in threadbare underpants and slurping corn chowder out of a plastic doll-head, desperately killing time until the next twitching, sweaty bout of slumber. Or worse, a thirteen-year-old with his dad's credit card hoping to score some badly faked snuff-porn before his 9PM bedtime, just like at the end of Demonlover. (OMG Demonlover!!)

But as a writer who constantly finds himself Googling really sketchy, antisocial-sounding phrases nearly every day as a matter of occupational necessity, I know better (my own browser history reveals particularly damning searches such as "pound puppies cartoon"). I'm sure "slavery through hypnosis" guy (or gal. I sort of hope it's a gal...) is actually just a lot like me! And I hope that next time they're looking for "deathmask lizard erotica" -- for some sort of doctorate thesis of great cultural relevance, no doubt -- that they'll stick around for a while, read a few interviews, say howdy. I sure do enjoy seeing new faces around here.

MMMM, chowder.

February 24, 2009

Arcanalogue: New Cycle of Cards Underway!

Maybe you haven't noticed, but it's been a little dead around here! I've been taking a break from posting to hermitosis so that I can get my Tarot site, Arcanalogue, up and running once more; in December I finished a full cycle of 78 cards, and after a short break on that front I'm already ankle-deep in a brand new cycle.

Everything's a little bit different over there; the cards have a new look, the "Draw One Card" feature has been rolled out, there's a blogroll on my resources page, and perhaps best of all, I started a new sideblog on the Readings/Events page where I can post about upcoming events, notes from readings, and answers to questions about the Tarot that I get from people all over the place.

Don't be sad, things will pick up again over here at hermitosis eventually. In the meantime I'm going great guns over on Arcanalogue and you should visit me there. Draw one card, it'll make you feel better!

February 2, 2009

Seen Between Fingers - The Final Chapter...?

In this regular feature, wimp and noted horror non-enthusiast Chris Kelly has reported back with his first-impressions of memorable scary movies. Having given the original My Bloody Valentine a whirl, it seemed appropriate for him to give the 3-D remake a go. What a trooper!

This will be the last installment of SEEN BETWEEN FINGERS for the time being. Chris has been a good sport, but I fear that if I don't give him time to rehabilitate and re-sensitize, he could wind up brandishing a pick-axe himself. Thanks to those of you who have expressed your enjoyment of this feature, perhaps we'll revisit it in the future.

My Bloody Valentine 3-D is, first and foremost, the least memorable film ever screened for an audience. Honestly, I would have written this review sooner, but I am continually forgetting that I actually saw the movie. It flew from my mind within minutes of leaving the theater. Despite occasionally excessive gore and intermittently interesting forays into the third dimension, it was by and large a waste of time for all involved.

Not that an effort wasn't made -- the film's opening goes out of its way to outdo its predecessor. Harry Warden, formerly just a ghost story, gets one hell of a prologue. Probably still bristling at the notion that nine gory minutes had been removed from the source material, the filmmakers pack the first nine minutes of their remake with the pick-axiest, eye-gougingest, head-shovelingest footage you have ever seen. Take that, MPAA. It was actually an interesting way to begin the story: without context or background, it was suddenly unclear who the main characters were. I had no formulaic plot devices to cling to: anyone could be the star, and anyone could be the next victim.

We then jump ten years into the future. This had potential to be a smart choice; the Valentine's Day Massacre is no longer a distant memory for our leads, but a formative trauma from their teenage years. Unfortunately, no one really signed onto this project to do any of that pesky acting, so we're treated to several open-mouthed gawks from the pouty heroines and brooding, flexy stares from the attractive-ish man-heros. We're also repeatedly told that mining is important to this town. (People have trouble articulating how, though, as no one under the age of sixty seems to be actually working in or around the mine.)

Just when all the talking and explaining and emoting are starting to wear you down, the movie remembers how to have a good time. Let me tell you, I might not recall 75 percent of what went down on that screen, but I will never unsee the three-dimensional projection of a naked, gun-toting blonde in porn heels parading her shaved vulva across a motel parking lot. Where 1981 viewers had to content themselves with a flash of bra, the new generation can use their depth perception to gauge just how fake those bouncing boobies might be. By the time the murderer has dangled an electrocuted midget from the ceiling, I was prepared to give this movie a second chance. I mean, at least we're trying something different, right?

Wrong. It's all routine from here, kids. Sure, the murders are gross. But though I had to close my eyes a couple times, the noteworthy fact is that I kept them open for most of it. Even with the benefit of three dimensions and an ever-loosening set of standards for acceptable on-screen violence, this one couldn't convince me (me!) to look away while people were beheaded and eviscerated for sport. There were also some decent attempts at plot twists, but the love triangle (square?) was kind of hokey and overdone, and in the end, do I really care who they're all sleeping with or which bland, biceped studlet did the actual killing?

I guess everyone did their best. The goal, to make the same mediocre movie with more red ooze, was more than achieved. Body parts jumped right off the screen, and that bespectacled dwarf practically chased her dog right into my lap. There was actual sex and constant, punishing death. People said words with ostensible meaning. A body was found in a dryer and a girl was tormented with coveralls, just like the last time OMG!!! But why does any of that matter if I found myself browsing a bookstore thirty minutes later, honestly unable to recall what I had done with my afternoon?*

*Full disclosure: I checked my shower for three days to see if the miner was there.