25 August 2015

ASSORTED CREEPY ANIMATED GIFS (IN B/W, BECAUSE B/W IS REALLY SCARY)

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ASSORTED VHS COVERS

 
 
 
 

KRISTY/2014

A Satanic cult with cells across the USA are killing off college aged girls in a ritualistic fashion. The ritual involves the particular cult group chasing the girl down and filing it and then killing them off. Much more sporting than tying the girl up and stabbing her on a sacrificial alter. And it would seem problematic as well as surely now and then a girl or two will get away and report the incident to the cops. But putting away that tiny piece of illogic the film Kristy (2014) is not too bad for the stalked girl/terrorized horror genre. And if you think about it there is hardly any other genre in horror more popular than seeing a teenage or twenty something girl stalked and tormented by an individual psycho or band of them. Justine (Haley Bennett) stays on campus during the long Thanksgiving holiday and while on a munchie run at the convenient store she has the misfortune of crossing paths with nasty Violet (played by super beautiful Ashley Green from Twilight –the baseball pitcher-  who keeps her pierced face pretty much covered throughout the film) and she is designated as the next “Kristy” victim. In no time you have Justine being chased around the campus by Violet and three other male  cult members. It follows the standard formula where Justin is bruised and bashed and on the edge of defeat until a particular event pushes her just too far and she starts to fight back with a vengeance. As I have said in the past (I think) you simply cannot dispense with the few workable horror story formulas any more than you can dispense with standard pop song formulas. Usually attempts to do so are fraught with disaster. More it is matter of what you can do with the formula that makes the story watchable, or the song listenable. Writer/director Oliver Blackburn (the creator behind the equally charming family film Donkey Punch) handles the chores well enough. The dual female lead acting roles by Bennett and Green is convincing though I felt Green’s violet could have been explored a bit more. The violence is not over the top (well, for me anyway) and never evolves into gratuitous gore or torture-porn. If you listen to scores you will like this one. I love horror movie scores myself, especially with dark synth work. You could do worse than Kristy. 






23 August 2015

SHUTTLE/2008

I noticed something interesting about the 2008 film Shuttle by writer/director Edward Anderson while doing some research on the film at IMDB.  It is the only film written and directed (there is one other writing credit)  by Edward Anderson. I do not know what that portends, if anything, but the movie was not a bad little crime thriller and over all well directed. It is rife with thriller clichés and you will be left smacking yourself on the head frequently doing an “oh come on!” But for the most part the movie holds its own if you do not get too picky. These types of movies must have clichés and standardized gimmicks. It is jus what will the cast and crew do with them that makes or breaks the story. But regardless, some of the implausibilities may get a bit annoying for jaded horror/suspense filmies as a group of four teenagers take a shuttle bus home from the airport and are soon the victims of an abduction by the shuttle driver. There is an actual little surprise in the film that I did not see coming. If you are one of those people who enjoy that sort of thing you may like it too.  I will not even allude to it here as it is well documented fact that the readers of The Uranium Café are higher in IQ than then average mortal and they will no doubt figure out what the formula twist is. The film is by no means a gore fest but there are some scenes of intense and unexpected violence. The lead actresses (especially perky Peyton List) handle the horror girl roles well enough and the role of  bad guy bus driver is creepy and menacing in the hands of Tony Curran. The film is shot in some sort of washed out lomo type technique that I like sometimes and sometimes do not. Wasn’t too crazy about it here but it did not bother me too much over all. Didn’t like the ending but I usually never do. I do not want to comment too much on it and give it away. Its just that I am old school and I like the good guy or gal to win. I feel good should triumph over evil in the movies since it usually does not in the real world. And I do not want to see the real world in movies. But I am used to it by now. This generation of nihilistic filmmakers really does not faze me anymore. I was a nihilist before it was cool to be. 




22 August 2015

ROADSIDE/2013

Writer/Director Eric England’s 2013 anti-vagina film Contracted was an interesting though slow paced twist on the zombie story. Over all a decent though, for some, disgusting horror movie.  His also released in  2013 film Roadside seems more like a take off on the Colin Farrell thriller Phone Booth, only without the tension and good acting. Some people remark that it started off good but petered out. I did not find it started off that all great myself. Others found the ending to be enough to redeem the entirety of the film that came before it because it was such a shock or something. I did not find the ending to be any such thing and I actually guessed correctly who the killer would be from the first time he is introduced at the film’s beginning. When there is only about half a dozen characters in a film and two of them are the protagonists it is not hard. Usually you focus on the one the director/writer is trying to have NOT appear like a psycho the most. The bulk of the film consists of the character Dan Summers standing on the side of a desolate road in freezing weather talking back and forth to a rather annoying sounding disembodied voice that belongs to a psycho with a scoped rifle. A big problem with the film is the voice of the perpetrator of evil. It sounds like the voice a TV commercial actor might assume for an insurance sales man. There is even an attempt on the part of the psycho to achieve the moral high ground by tormenting Dan over an infidelity Dan had engaged in. All the while Dan’s wife Mindy is in the SUV about to go into labor. There really is not enough drama or tension to keep the story afloat, what little story there is to begin with. In fact after about the midway point of the film I began fast forwarding it to the end just to get it all over with. But the opening title sequence was pretty good I guess. 


14 August 2015

THE URANIUM CAFE PODCAST/EPISODE 11


Oops, this is actually episode ten, not eleven. There will most like never be a ten now. My neurotic nature would not allow me to do something like that. In this UCafe reboot post I discuss TV shows I have watched recently, such as Dexter, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. I have had a hellish night with my Internet here in China trying to get all of this uploaded to various blocked site like Blogger and Internet Archives. Totally wiped out and I want to get this up before it goes bad again. Enjoy.



THE URANIUM CAFE PODCAST/EPISODE 11
FIND  MORE AUDIO PODCASTS AND AUDIO FILES OF MINE AT
THE INTERNET ARCHIVES

16 June 2015

LAST DITCH EFFORT TO PRESERVE THIS MEASELY ASS BLOG

I have to admit it, I am not enthusiastic about writing for this site anymore. There are reasons for that and basically it boils down to a continual lack of comments or reader interaction. If people are not going to leave comments then what is the fucking point, you know? And I have tried all the wimpy ass suggestions to get more comments and in the end I just am not, for example, going to leave comments at ten or twenty other blogs in the hopes that half of those people may return a comment to mine. That is not what I want, and to be honest I even tried that and it did not even work anyway. And yet, at the end of the day,  still have some interest in the topics here, if for no one else then just for myself. But I have to be honest with myself, I am burned out with writing and posting tons of images and getting zilch in return. In fact a recent comment I got is what pushed me into this bleak miasma of bitter doubt. A commenter actually said he was amazed that a particular well worked out post had gotten no comments until his. years after I hd published the post! I felt he was right. There is more to all of this, but in a nutshell, as they say, that is it. 

So what is my big master plan to get the blog a little active? I am going to convert it to being a mostly podcast only site. I have the hardware and software now to do a decent podcast, as well as a good free file hosting service over at The Internet Archives. I am playing a lot with audio these days on my own, with doing original songs and the like. It is where my head is at and a podcast would fit in to all of that, and I can belt a few out with ease actually. My earlier experiments with podcasting were fairly rough but I learned a lot and no need to let all that go to waste. And there is a type of enjoyment I get I from doing audio that demands less from readers (or listeners in this case). If I make a song I like or a podcast I like I can personally listen to it over and over later. I seldom, if ever, reread a blog post unless it is find and correct typos. 

And with that I will end this post and hopefully the next time I return here it will be with a new podcast. Maybe by this weekend? Now, where's that fancy ass microphone I bought?

01 May 2015

BEYOND THE GRAVE/PORTOS DOS MORTOS/2010

I have been meaning to get around to saying something about this interesting film from Brazil for a long time, but I am just not an enthusiastic blogger these days. But I am trying my best. I want to first thank producer Isidoro B. Guggiana for trying so hard to get me a screener of Beyond the Grave for me to try out. The guy sent me two DVDs and one was lost here in China and the other was returned to him. The mail system here is a joke and I am frustrated over never getting important papers from the IRS I need. Well, lets not get off onto a China tirade right now. He finally got me an online screener version though a hard copy of the movie would have been great.  I have been offered a couple screeners but after the people promoting the movies found out I was in China they gave up and never sent it to me because of the high postage rates and my warnings to them that stuff vanishes here in the mail. But Isidoro came through and this is my first ever screener review here at The Uranium Café.

Beyond the Grave is written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro and while it does not on the one offer anything totally new (what can anymore) it actually takes a few motifs from horror and action films and tires into a strange little bundle that might described as a “spaghetti zombie” film. And while there are zombies in the film I would not really say the movie was focused on zombies and zombie killings. The story is more of an occult or Satanic type drama than a “shoot ‘em in the head” zombie thriller. The story is set in the near future and the world is in a shambles for reasons I never quite understood. I am not certain if it is due to something nuclear, chemical/biological or even other-wordly. Riding through the back roads of Brazil in a sleek looking black Ford Maverick is the vigilante hero we only get to know as The Officer. He is searching someone or something known only as the Dark Rider. The Dark Rider is able to inhabit the bodies of people and is released upon death of the person to go into a new body. Actually, I am never clear on who the Dark Rider is but it does not matter. The element of uncertainty does not detract from the story. He hooks up with and befriends as best he can a couple of wandering teenagers. Together they team up with a trio of survivors in what seems to be an abandoned school and united they seek to face and destroy the Dark Rider. While the story does not center on the zombies (or “Returners”) they are an issue and contribute to death and tension when one least expects it.

The film is directed and shot well enough and the music score works with what is happening on the screen. It has an old school Italian horror movie feel to it and the version I saw was subtitled from (I assume) Portuguese into English. I am certain the references to old Westerns and even Samurai films are intentional homage’s. In fact, really, the film seems to be more of a modern Western and even crime film than a horror movie most of the time. But make no mistake, there are monsters and evil spirits enough to make this one creepy enough for the underground horror crowd. Do not know how easy or difficult this may be to find in the States but if you can find it give it a viewing. I am including the official Lockheart Films trailer to give you a sense of what it is about.






BEYOND THE GRAVE TRAILER

25 April 2015

THE POSSIBLE RISING FROM THE DEAD OF NECROTIC CINEMA


I have no idea what is up, but I am just getting more and more followers to this blog over at its Facebook Page. I tried to kill it but it won't stay dead. In fact it has more followers than The Uranium cafe has there. While I am really not in the mood to blog the way I used to it seems there is a market out there still Necrotic movie reviews, with the emphasis being on newer, modern horror films, with an often scathing tone running through the reviews. It is a bit odd. I have moved over half of the reviews here over to the UCafe and was considering disabling this blog when all of that was done. But I dunno, seems like I may continue with some blogging here after all. everyday NC has a follower or two. I like it. While the glory days of my manic blogging binges are over I still like to write and the next time I want to do a modern horror review it will be posted here. May still double post stuff over to the UCafe, to had some color to that site which is suffering from my blogging apathy as well. I am not writing much have I have yet to swear off blogging. The day may come. But I still enjoy it. Have watched gobs of stuff, most of total drek and deserving of an Uncle Bill review. Yea. I think Necrotic Cinema is alive again. In an undead sense of course. 

SEEMS JIMMY HAS FLOWN OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

The point of this post is simple and direct and it may offend some people out there. I am about to tread on sacred ground. For about a year or more, maybe two or so, I just can’t help thinking to myself “what the fuck has happened to Jimmy Page!?” It is not really what the fuck has happened to him in the last couple years, but what has been the issue with this guy that  I simply did not notice before. I am an old guy myself now and he is about 70. So there will be changes in perception of course. I really only had two rock idols to speak of of. One was Paul McCartney (yup, my favorite Beatle) and the other was Jimmy Page. Sure I like lots of others, and they are all mostly dead or super old now. But those two guys really had an impact on me growing up. My fan worship with Paul McCartney ended long ago to be honest, with an album called Wings at the Speed of Sound. It was too sappy for me and he only got worse as time went on. But I still like the guy. My fascination with Jimmy Page went deeper and lasted much longer, but now I am wondering why. What am I getting at?  First, let me make clear I was a huge Led Zeppelin fan. I camped out and got tickets to their April 17, 1977 show in Cincinnati Ohio. In fact, I bought the very last ticket in Lexington Ky. I took the bus up there and back. Saw them front row. The stuff legends are made of indeed. I sported super long black hair and had all the cool Led Zep and Page posters of the time. I read all I could on him and the band. I was one of those disenfranchised American teenage guys who made the band what they are with my allegiance and devotion. They could do not wrong in my eyes and if Jimmy Page did quaaludes then by God it was okay for me to do quaaludes too. If he studied Aleister Crowley then Aleister Crowley must be studied. It was typical fan stuff an by my mid twenties it had mostly waned and I was listening to Brian Eno and Philip Glass more, but I still always kept fresh versions of vinyl copies of all Led Zeppelin albums and, by then, any solo material from any of the members. I read interviews by Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones when I could get them and collected magazines that had articles on them. I was a “super” fan and it is important I preface things with that. Given the chance I may have had homosexual sex with the man at one point in my life. Now how devoted a fan is that!

But something has changed slightly lately. I still like the Zeppelin catalogue and Page's guitar style and right now I am listening, for inspiration, to the Jimmy Page soundtrack album for Death wish II. Shitty movie to be frank but this was the first solo release by a Zeppelin member and, in my opinion, not a bad album. The two Firm albums weren’t too bad and neither was the Jimmy Page Outrider album. By no means great, but okay. There was also the barely known Page/Plant collaboration called Walking into Clarksdale which sounds nothing like Led Zeppelin and which I like a lot. And finally there is the Coverdale Page collaboration which sounds a lot like a hybrid of White Snake and Led Zeppelin, but what would be wrong with that? Now here is a problem I have. I have just basically  named off everything Jimmy Page has done in the last 35 years. I am not talking about stuff like what he did with the Black Crows or the Unledded album. Because therein lies what most of my problem is with the guy I once held in godlike esteem. The bulk of his work, what work there has been since Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980 or so after the death of John Bonham (the greatest mediocre drummer of all time), has been him rehashing old Zep songs live and trying to relive the glory days of Led Zeppelin. With the recent reissusing of yet more Zeppelin remasters and the relatively mild feud between him and Robert Plant about a possible Zeppelin reunion and tour that Plant has made clear will not happen I have just grown sick of listening to and reading about Jimmy Page suddenly. And I will say now that  I totally back Plant on not wanting to do a Zeppelin tour and I admire the large body of original solo work he has released on a fairly consistent basis since Zep ended. Plant moved on and tried new things, much to the chagrin it seems of Zepophiles who thought he should squeal out “squeeze my lemon” even when he is in a wheelchair. 

I do not think Plant is ashamed of his Golden maned rock god image from the 70’s, and why should he be?, but I think he is also very comfortable no longer looking like a lion on the prowl and is fine with resembling the cowardly lion with a hangover.  He wants to do his own music that seems to be homages to American folk/country and psychedelic prog rock more than anything one might hear on anything he did with Zeppelin. Page on the other hand wants to do nothing else but rant and rave about Led Zeppelin and all his contributions to rock music as a musician and producer. I just read a few interviews the other night and I just got so bored with him gibbering yet again about how he did this and that with mic placement and ambient recording of drums and blah blah about guitar armies and all that. Yes he also produced the sounds on those albums and no doubt contributed to some studio innovations during the period. And I guess when you’re business savvy and got one of the best record company deals in the history of rock music and in the end became one of the richest men in the entertainment field and you do not really have to work for the rest of your natural life you reach a place in the latter years where you can only relieve what you did in your glory days, because you have not done anything else since. And once one is so filthy rich he loses contact with the rest of the world from inside his mansions and castles he does not have to really do anything new to satisfy his fans other than give another interview about the middle section in Whole Lotta Love or how brilliant he was in placing some microphones in a stairwell in Headley Grange manor to get that sound on When the Levee Breaks. Shit fuck. This guy has given the same interview for 30 years.

He was asked in an interview what he considers the high point in terms of his music has been since Zeppelin ended. I could not believe he said the 2008 Olympics performance, where he played Whole Lotta Love on top of a double decker bus with some singer I never heard of before or since in Beijing China. I caught the performance by chance here (I live in China) and thought it was cool.  I also know the Chinese Olympic committee treated him like shit, saying he was not famous enough for China and did not even give him a ticket or pass to attend the opening ceremonies and games. Why would he think this was the high point of him career, when I thought it was a low point myself. And I watched that It Might Get Loud film where he dominates and tries to steal every scene from The Edge and Jack White. When he got up and went on and on about how he wrote the riff to Kashmir I turned it off. I was embarrassed. Not for him. He is rich and powerful and lives in weird houses with bell towers and secret chambers so he do all manner of odd things and still be cool. But I felt embarrassed for myself. That I used to see this man as the coolest guy in the world. And to some degree he was of course. But he was also an arrogant, asinine drunken heroin addict and pedophile. Yup, I said pedophile. Just research the Lori Maddox incident and you will see this guy is more of perv than just someone who loves watching girls boinked with mud sharks in Seattle hotel rooms. And on top of that his fans will dismiss it all with “but he is Jimmy Page”. I have never heard any excuse Woody Allen or Roman Polanski so flippantly. 


Yea, yea. So what if he loves 15 year old girls and he basically abducts them and penetrates them sexually. By all accounts Maddox had already been around the block a few times for all that is worth. And lots of rockers were wasted on heroin at the time. Those are the perks of being a rock god I guess. But in the end he just comes off as a bit sinister and too arrogant and vain for me anymore. But so what. He is probably better than either Mick Jagger or Keith Richards or even John Lennon. But the deal is, I am sick and wiped out emotionally of there being nothing from this guy other than Whole Lotta Love and Since I’ve Loving You performed as a sit in guest for modern bands that are not worthy to tie his boot straps. And he is 70 now. How much rock and roll can the guy have left in him. Okay, he is a guitar player and not a singer, so maybe there are a few sparks left. He does not have to rely on rotting vocal cords. But I feel let down. I have been waiting decades for Page to get it all together and do something. I keep reading about the latest Page solo album that people in forums have dubbed No Progress. I just wish there had been more Jimmy Page and less Led Zeppelin since 1980. And no I do not hate the guy and even feel worried he may die one day soon. It will be a sad day for me when he passes on. But shit already, let Zeppelin go. Or I guess why not just milk it until it is dry. Not like there is much else on the horizon now. I recently watched Plant doing some stuff with Allison Crouch and his new band whose name I forget. He was not the Squeeze my Lemon kid at all. It was cool. He was not some old fart doing Whole Lotta Love, he was some old fart doing his own stuff and in the way an older man would do it. I guess there can be a point where one is not too old to make music, but one can be too old to rock with a bulge in his trousers and still look cool. I think the Stones have long passed the point where they should be seen on a stage doing Satisfaction but  in their defense the Stones kept going and rockin’ over the years. I love the Stones and I have to say that I listen to their stuff more than Zeppelin’s anymore. For no particular reason other than it suits me now. I think you can grow old and listen to a young Mick Jagger and not feel too weird. And there is nothing wrong with a young Robert Plant, or Jimmy Page either. But I think Plant has aged and moved on and Page just is not able to let the glory days go. And like Robert Plant once said, its not really healthy. 

I am listening to Walking into Clarksdale now. Just a great little album. Not Led IV or Physical Graffiti, but great in its own way. I waited a long time for a follow up. None. And I recall Plant telling Jimmy that while he was not up to a tour redoing Back Dog he wanted to know if Page had new material and in particular new acoustic stuff. And he even brought it up again in a later interview. But Jimmy just wanted to redo Zeppelin from the Physical Graffiti days. And what days those were. A great album with an awesome tour. And those were the end of the days when Zeppelin ruled the rock world as far as I am concerned. Jimmy had run out of those great songs long before Zep broke up. And so what. No biggie.  Presence was not a bad album (except of the deplorable Tea for One nine minute filler track at the end). I actually never felt Zep had to break up either just because of Bonham’s death myself. But maybe that was just an excuse. Use the death of Bonzo, who seemed like a real prick anyway prone to violence and destruction and was not really that versatile a drummer, to disband and not try to correct the debacle called In Through the Out Door. There were plenty of drummers who could have done the job better and the band could have grown. But the spirit was gone I guess, the air was out of the once mighty dirigible. Plant welcomed the change and thrived while Jimmy tried a few things and realized his vanity and ego really needed the whole Zep veneer to thrive. I wish there had been more experimental albums, instrumental stuff, acoustic stuff and not crap like that Black Crows live thing. I saw Plant on a solo tour in San Antonio and later saw Page and Plant do the Unledded tour in Washington State. Great stuff. But I just realize I guess I do not like the man Jimmy Page the way I used to. Hey, I do not like Keith Richards either. What a dick, but what else do you expect from Richards. But Page was good about creating a soft image of himself, that in the end I do not feel that was really him. I have read of how engineers hated to work with him and reporters dreaded him. I used to think it was their issues. But maybe not. And who cares. Most rock stars are arrogant pricks at one time or another, including Paul McCartney. In the end it is about their music that I have or maintain any interest in them. And Jimmy just has no more music. Shit. I never thought the day wold come when I wold say that. But rest assured he has another lame interview about how he changed the world of rock forever by using some old compressors on Black Dog. God, just shut up and play guitar already. Anything but Whole Lotta Love.