Saturday, May 14, 2022


Checking out Natali Papak's stunning new art exhibition, Chromesthesia, which is running until 21 May at the Alternating Current Art Space at 248 High Street, Windsor. Link for more details below. Absolutely worth checking it out if you are down that way, photos do not do justice to the beautiful colours and textures of the art, and the way it pops and speaks to you in person. A number of pieces have already been sold, not surprisingly, and I was very excited to obtain one of the pieces for myself ("Bloody Eye Scream - My Eyes Are Bleeding"), which I can't wait to put up in the apartment once the exhibition is over.



Seeing Jack Arnold's classic CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) on the big screen in 3D at ACMI last night was a real treat. The 3D effects were quite stunning at times, and incredibly immersive, much more so than the last time I watched the film in this format, which was via an 8mm print with the old anaglyph 3D glasses with the red and blue lens. The opening moment where the archaeologist uncovers the skeletal claw of a past gillman sticking out from some rocks was particularly effective, and drew audible gasps and wows from the surprisingly large felt like the hand was literally going to blanket you! The climactic scene inside the grotto was also stunning, not just for the 3D but for the way in which the big screen space highlighted just how beautiful and moody the production design and lighting of the set was. And of course, the Creature himself looked spectacular in 3D, coming at you dripping wet and gills pulsating.

ACMI are running several more sessions of the film (both 3D and flat) until mid-June, so well worth getting along and checking out. I'm tempted to take in another 3D screening myself!


Enjoying a lunchtime office read of my contributor's copy of the WE BELONG DEAD Anniversary Special, which turned up last week. For this extra-large, glossy special issue, the regular roster of WE BELONG DEAD writers were asked to write about a horror film that is particularly special and important to them. I chose to write about Jeff Lieberman's magnificent, Southern Gothic-infused nature amok horror film, SQUIRM (1976). I'll also be appearing on a panel after the upcoming Cinemaniacs screening of SQUIRM at ACMI in August. I'll be joining Michael Helms, Jarret Gahan, and Adam Ross on the panel, which I believe will be moderated by Lee Gambin. Should be a fun night seeing this movie again on the big screen after so many years!

Anyone interested in ordering the WE BELONG DEAD Anniversary Special, and seeing some more sample pages, can click on the link below. Get in quick, these tend to go very fast!

Saturday, May 7, 2022


I heard a lot of positive things about Ti West's latest film, X (2022). Not being much of a fan of the filmmaker's previous work, I kept my expectations in check when I sat down to watch it last night. It was pretty good, actually very good at times, with West delivering an excellent balance of homage and original work. Set in 1979, the plot involves a group of young filmmakers heading off to an isolated Texas farmhouse in order to shoot a dirty movie called THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (sounds like a classic Harry Novak title starring Rene Bond!). Unfortunately for this group of wannabe erotic superstars and serious filmmakers, the elderly couple they have rented the farmhouse from turn out to be quite mad, and bad. X has obvious nods to Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) and EATEN ALIVE (1976), but you can also see elements of PSYCHO (1970), and a multitude of 80s slashers. Of course, there's also the adult film angle to the story, which gives the movie plenty of opportunity to imbue it with a low-rent BOOGIE NIGHTS edge, as well as reference (and recreate) the look and feel of the XXX movies of that era, when porn was still mostly shot on film and had some semblance of a plot (even a script). But there is also a great "psycho-biddy" element to X, and it even manages to raise some intriguing questions and ideas amongst all the carnage, particularly in relation to the sexual frustrations of the very elderly, something we are not confronted with a whole lot in the movies. Some excellent sound design and editing in the film as well, and the cast are terrific, especially Mia Goth. I heard there was an after-credits sequence to X that teased Ti West's follow-up/prequel, PEARL, which was apparently shot at the same time, but sadly this sequence seems to be missing from the Australian release of the film.


Received my contributor's copy of CINEMA OF THE 70s #5 last, in time for a nice weekend read. I have a seven page article in this issue, looking at BILLY JACK series of films. Looks like another terrific effort from publishers Dawn Dabell and Jonathon Dabell, not to mention all the other talented writers involved. Available with a Vanessa Redgrave or Ollie Reed cover, 100 full-colour pages. Check Amazon in your region for ordering details and full list of contents.