Well it’s February which means shitty weather, buying last minute cards for your sweetheart, and, of course, Black History Month. To celebrate the latter I’ve put together a special tribute to some of the baddest brothers and sweet soul sisters of exploitation cinema. Dig it!
Yes folks, it’s that time of year again. The season of the witch is upon us and if you’re a horror fan there’s a good chance at some point this month you’ll be sitting down with a bowl of candy corn and a six-pack of something delish (or at the very least cheap) and watching the granddaddy of modern slashers, John Carpenter’s Halloween. For many it’s THE go-to flick for the season, and rightfully so. It’s personally my favorite film (horror or otherwise) of all time, and I look forward to my annual viewing of it and a few of its sequels. Which brings me to the point of this. I want to know what your favorite entry in the franchise is, besides the original. Maybe you’re a first-night purist and love Halloween II. Perhaps you like to shake it up a bit and dig Season Of The Witch. Or maybe the Thorn curse bent middle entries tickle your fancy. Hell, maybe you’re a complete fucking moron and really like H20 or Resurrection. I’m not here to judge (much), I just want to know. So take a second and vote in the poll below and let us know which Haddonfield (or Santa Mira) horror is top of your list. I even threw in the Rob Zombie remakes for fun (or something).
If you haven’t seen the 2006 documentary American Hardcore, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Chronicling the US hardcore punk scene’s heyday from 1980 through 1986, American Hardcore features interviews and vault video and photo footage from pretty much every US punk band that mattered at the time (at least the ones that were responsible for creating the “hardcore” sub genre.) I know there are a lot of differing opinions as to who the best band from this era was, so it’s in that spirit I present the American Hardcore frontman survey! I’ve chosen the four frontmen from (arguably, sort of) the four best bands of the time, and it’s up to you choose who will be victorious! Your choices are…
Henry Rollins of Black Flag!
Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat!
H.R. of Bad Brains!
Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks!!
Not an easy choice for anyone, I know. If you need help deciding, might I suggest you give Damaged, Out Of Step, Bad Brains S/T and Group Sex all a spin around the turntable. That should help (or at least remind you how fucking amazing each of these bands really were.) Do it, punk!
Today’s entry in our ongoing exploration of punks on film is brought to you by our good friend Eric D. Leach from The Cult Movie Reviews, where you can find Eric waxing nostalgic about all manners of classic and contemporary horror films. Find that HERE…
When Basement Screams offered me the opportunity to review a punk orientated movie I chose Alex Cox and his wonderful, no holds barred 1986 biopic film Sid & Nancy, based on two of the most unlikely but important iconic punk figures of the mid era of the 1970’s music scene, it was a ‘no brainer’ really. There are ample reasons for appreciating this fine piece of movie glory on many structured levels besides what the films obvious title infers in its biographical context. This film is not just a feature based on two famous but extremely damaged characters, (Nancy Spungen in particular) but what this gem offers us in the first part of Alex Cox direction is a fantastic recapturing atmosphere of a very specific, important and retrospective moment of historical musical provenance and how and what the ‘punk’ scene ultimately came to epitomise for both the right reasoning but sadly and more oftly for the wrong reasons which in the main and particularly in the case of The Sex Pistols seemed inevitable. Those interested in the punk phenomenon who were either not born, too young, or cared little at the time (after the event) for what many would in later years appreciate for being part of a very important cultural uprising. Sadly those who wanted to gain in financial terms e.g. Malcolm McLaren who often used aggressive manipulation methods as a marketing ploy and the use of nurturing self publicising exercises that deliberately courted controversial media coverage that included numerous record labels throwing silly money at the band in order to entice them to sign for them, glaring example being (EMI). Cox in this early reminisce deals with two major points of memorable significance which included the now famous live early evening Thames television broadcast of the Today Programme that became known by the press in particular as ‘The Filth and the Fury’ incident which saw Pistols lead guitarist Steve Jones use abusive language in a pre-watershed verbal tirade during Bill Grundy’s (condescending and provocative) interview of the band and their entourage that included amongst its brethren one Siouxsie Sioux, she of the Banshees. Then there was the very famous barge on the Thames incident during the 1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II June 7th celebrations which ended in the high-profile arrest of guests, band members, and Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren by the London constabulary, all incidents well documented here by Cox who does well to segregate the film into well proportioned retellings of the tale and the different strands that made the bands story so unique and excitable for the time. What makes the direction of Cox so plush and vibrant is how he deals with the band issues as well as using important juxtapositions to integrate the main focal point before eventually concentrating in greater detail on Vicious and Spungen and their descent into eventual oblivion. Before the movie moves into drug addiction and violence, Alex Cox starts at the beginning by highlighting the events that started it all and early on provides answers to why The Sex Pistols became public enemy number one and gained the punk rock movement it’s often negative stereotypical notoriety. Continue reading
Back in December I was privileged to take part in the Desert Island Films series on Head In A Vice. I figured I’d reblog the post here on the site for those who missed it over there. Head In A Vice is a great site, and Tyson who runs it is a top-notch guy so I strongly urge everyone to go check the site out. But before you do, check out what films I’ll be watching before I plunge myself into the ocean! Cheers.
Alright, boils and ghouls, the time has finally arrived to don your best attire and go out and beg for some sweets! I have to apologise for the lack of posts lately, between real world obligations and preparing for Halloween there just hasn’t been much time. So this is just a quick hello to wish you all a happy holiday, and remember , whether you’re out trick or treating, enjoying a pumpkin ale or twelve, or heading back home to stalk and kill your long-lost sister or niece, please be safe… and don’t blow out the candles!
I’ll leave you with a scene from one of my favorites to watch this time a year, and a dance that’s primed to sweep the nation!
Bonfires burning bright, pumpkin faces in the night, I remember Halloween…
Schlock rocker/Halloween franchise abortionist Rob Zombie has taken time out from his busy schedule of rocking and schlocking mildly retarded teenagers to bring us… a fucking detergent commercial!?!? Yep… watch below then pour some Woolite over your monitor and wash the ridiculousness off.
If you are a regular reader of Basement Screams (are there any of you left?) you may have noticed there’s been a little (read: fucking huge) lack in posts the past month and a half. Shit’s been super crazy hectic in the real world and I honestly just haven’t had the time, energy or patience to deal with the cyberworld. However, fear not, faithful fright fan (there is someone out there still reading this, right?), Basement Screams will return in a couple of weeks time with a shit ton of reviews that have been piling up and more of the usual crap! So, until then drop me a line, let me know if you’re still out there, and enjoy the following video from Mater Suspiria Vision. It’s called Exorcism Of The Hippies, its banned from YouTube, and it’s just about the freakiest music video I’ve seen in quite a while. See you soon, I promise…