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  • Category Archives I Watch Other Genres
  • The Horror Influences of True Detective

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    True Detective follows Rust Cohle (Mathew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they attempt to solve the murder of a woman in Louisiana. It contains many elements, from classical horror stories, to modern horror stories, and from old and new horror films and shows.

    There are many references to the classic Robert W. Chambers series of horror stories, “The King in Yellow.” The main reference is through the visual use of something somewhat similar to “The Yellow Sign,” on the victim in the first episode, though I’m not sure yet whether or not this show is in a universe where the stories were published. The first victim in episode 1, former prostitute Dora Kelly Lange, has something that appears to be “The Yellow Sign,” on her back.

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    However, when looking for a picture of the design on Lange’s back, I discovered an article which says it is actually derived from the Illuminati. I know nothing about the Illuminati, so I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to make your own judgement call on what the sign is supposed to be. It could easily just be a spiral, representing the cyclical nature the killer thinks life and time exist within.

    Any time you hear about “The Yellow King,” or “Carcossa,” or even “The Black Stars,” that’s the show drawing from “The King in Yellow.” Indeed, “The King in Yellow” was before it’s time. First published in 1895, most of the stories revolve around a fictional play, aptly named “The King in Yellow” that drove readers to madness.

    As the show progresses, Cohle’s character grows increasingly unsettling. We start to really question his sanity. This doubt fits perfectly with the theme of the most influential of stories in, “The King in Yellow,” namely that of “The Repairer of Reputations.” In “The Repairer” a man named Hildred meets with Mr. Wilde, who has a book that contains shocking truths about lots of people. Mr. Wilde uses this book, with its secrets, to blackmail individuals, makes his money in this fashion. I’ve talked about these stories on one of the podcasts I contribute to, Miskatonic Musings, on the episode entitled The King of Creol
    so if you want to hear more about my thoughts on the stories, listen to that.

    Recently, I was thrilled to read in an interview at The Wall Street Journal with Nic Pizzolatto that he is a fan of the work of Thomas Ligotti, and indeed some lines in the show are almost word for word from Ligotti’s books. Pizzolatto even references other modern day weird fiction writers I’ve yet to even take in. It’s a really great interview, and has made me an even bigger fan of Pizzolatto, and even more excited for the next season of True Detective.

    Visually, there are of course other influences, which dare I say are borderline derivative. The devil’s Trap is a Southern thing, I haven’t checked yet whether they are a legit thing, but they remind me an awful lot of the little stick designs and people from The Blair Witch Project.

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    There’s also the glaringly obvious comparisons to be made between all the antler stuff on True Detective which also features prominently in Hannibal.

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    And, the use of the gas mask on Ledue reminds me of the character Bing from Joe Hill’s Nos4a2. The description of Bing as a gas mask wearing killer is a hard one to escape, when you compare him to the gas mask wearing killer in True Detective.

    No matter what, the show True Detective is great for horror. It is just police procedural enough to draw in the mainstream audience who wouldn’t normally indulge in these horrific things (Well, save for the Hannibal crowd), on their own. It combines the mystery and thriller genres with horror in a seamless and beautiful blend. And at the end of the day, who cares what the genre is classified as, as long as it’s good.


  • A Review of A Film With Me In It

    So, I’m on the fence about whether this belongs in “I Watch Other Genres.” Much like Dead Hooker in a Trunk is borderline not a horror movie, so to is A Film With Me In It bordering on being a horror film. I guess the question is, what’s the difference between a horror comedy, and a black comedy? Each type of film blends humor with horror, dismemberment with guffaws. Damn you genre, why must you exist. Only to annoy me, I say!
    In an aside which is completely useless, I’d like to point out Dylan Moran would probably hate the shit out of me, and I don’t care. I still think he’s the funniest motherfucker around. And really, who gives a shit whether he would or wouldn’t, this is a review damn it!
    Okay, anyway, directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, and written by Mark Doherty, A Film With Me In It tells the story of an unemployed screenwriter, and unemployed actor, who end up in a ridiculously awful scenario involving people who kick the bucket in their flat due to accidental deaths.
    Its morbid, its shocking, and its hysterical. Do yourself a favor and check this one out, if you’re a fan of dry British comedy, and can laugh at mortality.


  • The Wild Bunch, Hahaha!

    Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 Western seems to consist mostly of shoot outs, and groups engaged in maniacal laughter. So, it’s a blast, if at times an inexplicably strange one. Quite a lot of squibs, with that fun old red paint looking blood.
    Oh, and it has Ernest Borgnine, in the role of a lifetime. If you want a bloody western with lots of Mexican whores, and echoing flashbacks, give it a gander.


  • Here’s Charlie! : Bronson Review

    This one is for the LAMB. Bahhhhhhhh.

    I loved Bronson, and I love the real man the film is based upon. That’s not to say I’d like to meet him on the street; fuck that, and no thank you. But, there is something beautiful about a person so anti-social. And there is a freedom in relating to such a man, who shits upon civility and smiles a toothy grin.
    I found myself loving the character on the screen, despite the fact this is the exact type of person that scares me the most in real life. A man who would beat you to a pulp just because; what the hells more frightening than that? But, as I watched Bronson, I found myself laughing, and smiling. Somehow, I began to really enjoy this man. To further complicate matters, he is down right nice to certain people in the film. And he has a delightfully quirky sense of humor. Perhaps, he isn’t as one dimensional as I thought. This being Tom Hardy as Charlie Bronson, of course. Not speaking of the real Bronson. I’m sure you assumed that, I’m just reiterating.
    This is suppose to be a review of a film, so I guess I’ll get into an actual critique of the movie. It’s quite bizarre, switching from real time events, to Bronson in make up on a stage in front of a fictional audience for his many monologues. This style works very well for this type of narrative. After all, without it, it’d just be a film where you watch a guy kick the shit out of people, and then get put in a cell for hours of isolation.
    The score is fun, with a lot of electronic and rock tunes. I dare you not to get Digital Versicolor by Glass Candy stuck in your head. “This is yellow…this is yellow,” through out intervals of my day, sporadically, for a few weeks.
    The shots are well framed, and the pacing is great. It’s a subdued kind of pace, a lot of slow motion, many slow dissolves, and not a lot of quick cuts. It’s a style choice that makes the film unique, especially during the action scenes. We see all the violence and insanity in detail, and without the quick cuts, we can actually tell what’s happening.
    Tom Hardy owns this film. He bends the film over, and makes it his prison bitch. This film made me want to watch other films with Tom Hardy in it; it’s one of those kind of performances. He spends a lot of time in the buff, so for the ladies and admirers of the male form of the male persuasion, take heed.
    I did wonder what happened to Bronson’s first wife and child in the flick. Doesn’t appear that he bothers to get in touch with them once he is released from the “slammah.”
    Bronson is the story of a man who only found his place in the world once he was locked outside of it. So go watch it, you “cunts.”