Posts Tagged ‘cult’

twin-peaks-posterAn F.B.I Agent is tasked with solving a young girls murder that appears to be linked to his previous case.

There’s not much to add. Over the last 25 years or more, Twin Peaks has shoehorned a place in cult TV history, there are countless reviews, blogs and websites out there that give in-depth analysis and no doubt with season 3 on the way it’ll find more fans along the way.

Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls, Alan Parker’s Angel Heart, Ray Bradbury’s anthology shows, The Fugitive, Outer Limits, The Twilight Light Zone, to name a few all touched on the themes contained in Mark Frost and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. In 1990 for TV it was ahead of its time, its atmosphere mixed with mystery and symbolism hadn’t been merged in quite the same way. The horror and ‘who is the killer?’ plot was stretched over two seasons, even popping in an abundance of subplots including a who shot J.R-like story – it was also followed by Fire Walk with Me a prequel, part sequel film.

In retrospect it was ground breaking cult TV. It’s unorthodox, somewhat non linear storytelling with a supernatural element is now mainstream, common place and has been tuned and honed since. That said, it’s quirky, operatic, coffee, log and stool humour, maniacal creepy moments, red suited dwarf, a giant and retro 50s style has not been equaled since.

It’s slow paced and off beat. Nevertheless, to its credit it’s impact undoubtedly still resonates right through into the likes of Bates Motel and Hannibal. It’s difficult to judge performances given its nature and script style, but it’s a show that contained some of the prettiest and most wonderfully odd looking characters to grace the tubes of television. Coffee drinking FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper was Kyle MacLachlan’s defining role, dual role Sheryl Lee played homecoming queen Laura Palmer and Madeleine Ferguson who featured briefly throughout. The excellent supporting casting included the likes of Ray Wise, Sherilyn Fenn,Lara Flynn Boyle and Mädchen Amick to name just a few.

Some critic’s and fans have since grumbled it ended on an unforgiving cliffhanger. Personally I never thought that, and liked the bleak ending, you know who killed Laura Palmer and that Agent Cooper is trapped in the Red Room having been replaced by Bob. Yes it does leave loose ends, what happens to this character? What happened to that character? And so on, but none pressing to the main story thread. If you like, Fire Walk with Me gives Cooper’s character hope of escape in the clues that lay in Laura’s foresight laced diary.

Twin Peaks is not as polished as the likes of Mullholland Drive (what originally was intended as another spin off film) and neither should it be coming 11 years later. If there is a crime it’s that it didn’t conclude sooner, rather meandering through a drawn out second season which alienated new viewers and those who wanted focus on the killer plot, not the subplots of minor characters.

The thing is with Lynch’s work, and Twin Peaks with its rural population is no exception – you either buy into it or you don’t.

Recommended slice of TV history for its intended type of viewer only.

Italian director Lucio Fulci had varied directing ventures prior to Zombi 2, with a visual style of his own arguably less art house and more appealing than Dario Argento.
Lucio’s fan base grows and grows even after his death in 1996  due to his ability to create gory, yet, beautiful atmospheric films. Surprisingly, Fulci didn’t realise how well known and celebrated he was in the rest of the world until stuck in a snowstorm in New York surrounded by fans not long before his death.
Many of his fantastic framed films images linger in your mind long after the credits, notably The Beyond (1981) a.k.a E tu vivrai nel terrore – L’aldilà and City of the Living Dead (1980) a.k.a Paura nella città dei morti viventi.
Zombi 2 brought him world cult status while it’s sequels dissipated into dust. Nevertheless, they have a small fan following but I feel they fail as follow-ups, lack cult stature and Fulci’s style so much so I haven’t comment on Zombi 5 (even with actor Robert Vaughan being a personal favourite of mine).

Zombie Flesheaters (1979) a.ka. Zombi 2

Zombi 2 (25th Anniversary Special Edition 2-Disc Set)After an incident in New York bay a reporter and a scientist’s daughter travel to an Island aided by two locals. However, the dead are returning to life on the Island… The zombies long for human flesh and the pair find themselves in hopeless situation.

Not to be confused with Bruno Mattei’s Zombie Creeping Flesh (1980) (a.k.a Virus, Hell of the Living Dead to name a few) Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesheaters (1979) is far superior. Repots say it was written prior to Dawn of the Dead (a.ka. Zombi) (this maybe unfounded) either way most horror fans are aware that the name Flesheaters was changed to Zombi 2 and a new ending was tagged on to cash in on Romero success. You could argue that the talked about soundtrack is as intrusive as Dawn of the Dead music themes and that the eye scene is better than Argento’s vocational displays.

Comparisons to other movies aside Zombie Flesheaters (1979) suffers from Lucio Fulci’s own trappings – including badly written dialogue, choppy editing and bad dubbing. That said, there are very few directors that capture atmosphere you can taste. Fulci’s cinematic look is heightened by Giorgio Cascio and Fabio Frizzi’s excellent eerie and foreboding score.

The cast are more than sufficient, Tisa Farrow and Ian McCulloch surpass adequate, note worthy is Richard Johnson as Dr. David Menard. Notorious for the shark/zombie scene Flesheaters is so much more, Fulci creates some unmatched ambiance, the visuals are as lingering as the dead, dusty paths, an old Spanish cemetery, darkness lit up by Molotov cocktails and so on.

Zombie Flesheaters with all its low-budget faults is a creepy, slow paced, effective zombie film.

Zombi 3 (1988) a.k.a Zombie Flesheaters 2

Zombi 3

Not really linked to its predecessor zombi 2, a virus outbreak (similar to Return of the Living Dead) causes the dead to rise and the military must stop the contaminated. Trapped in the zone are a few soldiers and civilians that must fight to survive.

Although billed as directed by Italian directing maestro Lucio Fulci who supposedly shot approximately 70 minutes of footage, second unit director Bruno Mattei and writer Claudio Fragasso took over and only used 50 minutes of Fulci’s footage. On viewing this lovable travesty it is very debatable how much of Fulic’s footage really appears. There only appears smudgings of the Italians magic as it feels more like Mattei’s Hell of the Living Dead/Night of the Zombies/Zombie Creeping Flesh.

Like its follow up, zombi 4 there’s talking zombies, jumping undead and zombies that want to fight rather than attack and eat flesh. Also there’s two crazy standout scenes, a flying head and a baby zombie birth. It may all sound like fun but it’s zombie scenes with the civilians and regular soldiers fighting the government’s hazardous white suit army that stand out, sadly not the wacky ones.

The zombie gore, blood, make-up and effects are inconsistent, sometimes effective and at other time revealing poor. There’s overuse of a fog machine, laughable dialogue especially from the scientists and military personnel. The synthesised soundtrack is great but like the broadcasting DJ ill-fitting at times. As a sequel to Zombie Flesheaters it’s below average, meandering from one silly setup to the next but it’s still plenty of fun.

Zombi 3/Zombie Flesheaters 2 at times is more a virus flick, reminiscent of The Crazies or Nightmare City than Fulics cult film Zombi 2. Overall, with its gooey opening restored despite it’s short falls Zombie 3 remains none the less entertaining.

Zombi 4 : After Death (1989) a.k.a Zombie Flesheaters 3

Zombie 4 - After DeathA woman inadvertently goes back to a zombie infested island where her parents were killed.

Writer /director Claudio Fragasso wild abysmal sequel has very little link to Fulci’s Zombi. Fragasso’s film seems predominantly like Mattei’s Virus/ Hell of the living Dead / Night of the Zombies (1980). Like Night of the Zombies was a Dawn of the Dead wannabe, this is another bad cheese festival of zombie nonsense.

While the phrase so bad it’s good can be be applied to Night of the Zombies, Zombi 4 is plain borderline with a few redeeming features. Mainly some make up effects and lead cast. There’s awfully executed effects, shoddy lighting, sub-par directing, illogical storytelling and coupled with daft exposition dialogue in every scene at times its simply cheap but not cheerful. While fun, talking zombies, guns, candles falling over, jumping undead add up to very little.

The 80’s rock soundtrack of is probably its best redeeming feature. As another cash-in follow up to Zombie Flesheaters it’s slightly disappointing.

Hundreds of bodies have been found and recovered from peat wetlands across Northern Europe. The earliest finds recorded date back to the 18th Century. The unique chemistry of peat bogs essentially mummifies bodies. That said, a body being found encased in ice is quite rare especially one that is around 500 years old. Please read  the article for more information.

Due to the location of the find, the heart of The Carpathian Mountains Romania, it has sparked rumours that this body may indeed be that of a vampire. Pressured for a response by Twilight/Buffy fans and alleged blood cultists one  Archaeologist joked stating, “Well when we thaw him out, we’ll soon find out…”

Blood Hunger is out now.

Audiobook on iTunes

Exclusive, Clips on wordpress! Two Previews of  Terminus Coming soon from Innerface Films Directed by Sean Parsons, Starring Katherine DuBois. Visit: http://www.terminusfilm.co.cc http://www.innerfacefilms.com Written by Sean Parsons losely based on an A.M. Esmonde Breathing Dead Novel.