Cripes, it’s already nearing the end of January.. so I thought I would catch up on the things I really liked in 2017…
Music wise, it was a good year. Much of it (for me) was on Bandcamp.. with some great synth / soundtrack music…
Spun out of Control had some cracking releases… Maine IV was another great album, loved Repeated Viewing’s Street Force 2, but perhaps my fave was Anomaly on Meadow Lane by Stefan Bachmeier (loved the art on that too). Reminded me slightly of Paddy Kingsland’s music for HHGTTG (where is that album!).
Gavino Moretti (who I interviewed for the Weekend of the Dead Programme) gave us the sublime The Satan Complex. Yet another great soundtrack and also a different vibe to his previous album.
OGRE continued to put out amazing music, lovely synth work, and as well as mopping up his back catalogue, I loved Murals, great music to work to.
Europaweite Aussichten had a busy year, releasing Magma, and The Engine of Ugly, I love the hard edge their music has, some nice hard synthwork.
Dissolved have a huge back catalogue, and it’s like listening to lots of unreleased Warp records music. Hallucino Attics got me hooked this year, also Paul’s artwork is always wonderful (as is he).
Last, but my no means least, The Southern Tenant released The Horror of the Right, which is a terrific (and political) album. The Sleeper Awakens holds a special place in my heart, as I saw them perform it live in Edinburgh before a screening of Prince of Darkness.
I would suggest anyone with a love of synthy / soundtracky music to give these guys a listen, and look them up on Twitter and Facebook…
Been a busy year otherwise, myself and Ash (Loydon) under the moniker Profondo Mondo had our first DJ / VJ gig at Cinexcess, where I also met Sergio Martino (as we screened Your Vice before the gig, which was great) and I am pleased to say we have a few more gigs lined up this year.
We also finally finished our Three Mothers book (albeit) a week ago…. but that was our big project in 2017. Plus we have a couple more fun things planned for this year.
I also had the pleasure of attending / helping with The Weekend of the Dead, meeting Tom Savini, Gaylen Ross, Lori Cardille amongst others. The WOD is a great show, run by a really nice bunch of people, if you are Romero fan, you need to check them out.
The official poster for WOD (as opposed to my temporary effort above) was done by the amazing Graham Humphreys, with whom I have had some great nights out (albeit with a shabby head the next morning). Graham’s work is just extraordinary (as it always has been) and his amazing Halloween print now hangs in my house. Just perfect.
I really loved this (I love them all truth be told) and he seems able to produce these interesting, warm, socially aware thrillers with no drop in quality or invention. Please keep it up Chris. I also recommend fillowing Chris on Twitter, always interesting and never tedious…
Kim Newman, gave us Video Dungeon (surely every film fan has bought this) and Anno Dracula 1899 and other stories. I LOVE a good short story, and this collection has plenty. If you haven’t read Newman’s fiction yet, dive in!
The Diogenes Club is a great place to start, and of course his excellent Anno Dracula novels. You have all read Nightmare Movies haven’t you?
On the subject of film books, Anne Billson, author of the essential ‘Billson Film Database‘ gave us the brilliant ‘Cats on Film‘ , and it is just that, if you are a cat lover who watches films, surely that’s all cat lovers, then you kind need this book…it is SO much fun, and informative!
I am not going to go into all the TV and Film I saw this year, as lots of people write lots of words about this, far better than I do.
I did catch up finally with Stranger Things (LOVED IT) and Stranger Things 2.. (liked it) and also X files Season 10.. which was a mixed bag (personally I thought Duchovny was great like a kind of laid back Matthau character) but the Darin Morgan Were-Monster episode.. was just… well more than wonderful.
Reports seem to say Season 11 is better and Morgan again scripted a killer episode, so we will see.. perhaps they can bring Krycek back..
In my day job, I got to go to some press junkets and premieres as a producer (including Star Wars The Last Jedi, which was great fun with Andy Serkis being particulary funny) which was kind of cool, but my cinema experiences mainly seemed to be taking my son…
On a personal note, whilst filming in Milan, I nipped to Turin and visited the Piazza C.L.N, my personal Graceland as a lover of Profondo Rosso, sitting there quietly, watching the world go by with Goblin on my ipod was a treat.
At the excellent TST gig in Edinburgh… I went dressed as Dr. Loomis .. and met Michael Myers.. chaos ensued.
So that’s my brief highlights, if any of this stuff appeals to you, look these peope up! I should probably make some effort to promote Cultzilla stuff.. but why ruin a good post!
Occasionally, rather fun things happen… such as finding out one of your fave Euro actresses is wearing your t-shirt! A cultzilla buyer from the US kindly pointed out that at a rather nice looking party, Florinda Bolkan was wearing our Florinda Bolkan tee!
Looking rather elegant in a white suit, clearly Florinda still knows how to party! So in honour of the lovely Florinda, a quick reminder of why she is our favourite Euro actress…
Although born in Brazil it was in Italy that Florinda found fame, making her debut in Candy alongside Ringo Starr. She was soon landing great roles and went on to recieve David Di Donatello award 3 times (sort of an Italian Oscar). Some highlights would be Visconti’s The Damned, A Complicated Girl and The Anonymous Venetian (which has a great score). Indeed viewing her lte 60s early 70s filmography, she was a very busy lady.
For many of us though, se will be remembered for the excellent gialli she appeared in. She was brilliant in Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, alongside Jean Sorel, Stanley Baker and, memorably, Anita Strindberg.
She gave a great performance in Don’t Torture the Ducking and comes to a painfully tragic end, in one of the most memorable parts of the film.
She was also mesmerising in my fave film of hers Le Orme, or Footprints on the Moon. A tranegly hypnotic film, which I still revisit, plus I have the loca on my studio wall!
You can of course, also see her alongside Oliver Reed, Alan Bates and Malcolm McDowell as Lola Montez in Royal Flash, and for my money, far more appealing than Britt Ekland!
Always beautiful, always intense and always dominating the screen.. I give you – Florinda Bolkan….
Not content with making the playing cards, we now have a review site (www.undeck.co.uk) , where you can read pithy comments on the films.. and a shocking trailer…
Well we have just got back from the Amazing Weekend of the Dead in Manchester, myself and Ash had a hoot on the stand, getting to meet lots of really nice people and also getting to see some of the stars of Romero’s film up close!
Everyone was so very friendly, we really did have an absolutely amazing time. Ash used his considerable sales skills (good god) on the stand!
We have some WGON related products left and we are selling these as goody bag bundles if anyone is interested!
Well I am on the train home from Edinburgh, after my first, of several, John Carpenter gigs. So now is probably a good time to set down my thoughts.
I have to say my main emotion is just one of joy, joy that I got to see John and his band onstage, performing music that has been part of my life for over 30 years.
There are so many things, because of your age, your location, you could never experience..
I never saw The Goons or ISIRTA recording their shows, never saw Janis Joplin at the Fillmore east, saw the Beatles perform on a rooftop in Saville Row.
There are many things we wish had experienced, places we had been. We can hear recordings, but we weren’t there.
Experiences are what stay with us, even if the detail fades, we were there, and the feeling of those moments remains within touching distance.
Over the years I have been to an awful lot of gigs, and this one was more like seeing Kraftwerk in Paris in 1999. It meant a great deal, this was music that has stayed with me throughout my life.
I have had an iPod since they came out (which is about 15 years ago) and I have a playlist called ‘faves’. Over the years tracks have been removed and added. I often fall asleep to it at night and it is the first thing I hear in my studio in the morning.
Throughout that time John Carpenter’s music has been a mainstay, in fact some of it has been on there since the beginning.
So what about the gig I hear you cry?
It was jaw droppingly good. Tbh John could have wandered in and pressed go on his macbook and I would been delighted, what the hell, it’s John Carpenter live!
But this gig was just so much more. I had deliberately avoided YouTube clips etc, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
What I got was a band capable of dominating the room, it was extraordinary.
John’s film scores were taken somewhere new, but still familiar. I already have all of his music, I don’t want to hear a reproduction of a CD, I want the music performed.
Believe me it was. His scores have never sounded bigger or more powerful, and the Lost Themes music is just fantastic live, very, very strong.
John was front and centre, but the whole band, and in particular Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, are just terrific. Tight, and capable of turning it on.
Highlights? Crikey, it was all great, loved the AV coming in at the beginning of EFNY, but probably the Fog, love the film and the score sounded just amazing. Also, the Lost Themes music really went up a notch and let Daniel Davies loose.
Surprises? Mouth of Madness, fuck that sounded amazingly good, IMHO a lot better that the soundtrack version, the melody seemed so much stronger!
Regrets? Yes, why the fuck has it taken him this long??? This should have happened a long time ago. Let’s hope John, Cody and Daniel can give us Lost Themes III and another tour next year.
Sorry to end on a cheesy note, but they really did ‘shake the pillars of heaven.’
Ash Loydon has been beavering away producing some wonderful art, which have have been turned into this retro themed pack of Zombie playing cards… The UnDeck.. featuring Zombies from dozens of films all the way up to the nineties… we think of them as VHS Zombies!
We are finishing things off at the moment, but should have them for sale in June…
UPDATE 11th May
I am delighted and AMAZED to say we raised over 1600 for charity!
UPDATE 9th May
Just a quick Giallo deck update, the cards are now SHIPPING, and we expect all orders to have been posted by this Wednesday (11th)!
Thanks for your patience, as you all know this was a pre order, that way we could maximise the profits going to the charity by minimising waste, and we sold 385 decks, which is about 285 more than we ever thought!
For those of you in the UK, the cards should be with you by the end of the week, with the overseas orders arriving next week or the week after I expect.
At the end of the week will also announce how much we have raised, you can find out here, or via twitter – @cultzilla_UK or our facebook page
UPDATE 26th April
Delighted to say, the playing cards are ordered and will be with me next week some time, at which point I will post them out.
I am overwhelmed to say we have sold 385 decks! This will raise a serious sum of money for charity, and once we have posted everyting out and worked out the exact costs, I will update this page with the amount.
So THANKS for ordering, and more importantly promoting and sharing, tweeting etc.
385 decks sold, just by word of mouth from a great community!
I am really proud to offer this set of giallo themed playing cards for sale. This is not strictly a Cultzilla product, this is a charity project I designed with support and advice from some twitter friends, @rachael_nisbet, @GiornataNera and @SignorWardh. No one is taking any profit from it, so all profits will go to the charities listed below. We discussed and debated who should be included, and they were a great sounding board whilst I designed the deck. Particular thanks to @SignorWardh, who scanned in numerous locandinas from his astonishing collection, much of the quality and variety of locandinas used on the cards is thanks to him.
You can keep up to date with the latest updates and info on the deck at:
The cards are lovely quality, with a custom box and as this is a limited run, each one will be numbered.
The point cards are all posters / locas from giallo films and the Aces, weapons.
Knaves are Testi, Sorel, Rassimov and Hilton, Queens are Fenech, Strindberg, Bolkan and Bouchet, whilst the Kings are Bava, Argento, Martino and Fulci. You will also recognise the Joker!
The box is a custom design with the title ‘Cinquanta due carte all’ombra di giallo!’
The pre order will remain open until 24th April, then I will order the decks, each one will be numbered and there will be no more print runs, so this is definitely a one off project, so if you want a deck, make sure you preorder it. I would expect to send out the decks at the beginning of May.
The reason for the pre order is simple, we want to maximise the amount of money available for the charity. The more we make, the more we can donate. But as I said, there will only be one print run!
The charities we are donating to are (we will be donating all profits):
The decks are priced at £12.50 each plus postage. Which is as follows.
USA / Canada / Australia. £6
Europe £4 (this seems OK for most European countries, but drop me a line at email@example.com and I can confirm the price)
Anywhere else, drop me a line!
Please use the order system below as I don’t want this all mixed in with the Cultzilla orders!
ORDERS HAVE NOW CLOSED.
Sometimes, nice things happen. Last year, from out of the blue, one of my customers, a bloke called Ash, emailed me to say how happy he was with the t-shirt he bought from me (not his first purchase as it turns out) and to keep up the good work.
A few emails followed, and I found out Ash is a talented artist (poster design for Film 4 FrightFest, Multitude of Movies and Space Monsters Magazine, cover illustration for the ‘Prali’ fantasy series, CD and t-shirt illustrations for Turning Black Like Lizards and Kitten Klub plus portrait work for Bai Ling, Cameron Diaz, Kirk Jones and David Hess along the way) with an astonishing knowledge of crappy TV & cinema (and good TV & cinema too), his blog is very funny btw.
Also, he is a really, really nice bloke, as I found out a couple of times last year when I was in Glasgow, and we slowly drank our way from the Variety Bar to Nice n Sleazy…
I am so pleased to have Ash’s designs here on Cultzilla, there will hopefully be more when I get through the rest of Ash’s work, he has done SO much wonderful work…
To see Ash’s products, there is an Ash Loydon tab in the menu…
Find out more about Ash here…
Well 2015 is well behind us now, or at least it seems it and it is onlt a few weeks ago. I am going to post a few articles about things I really enjoyed from last year, that might be of interest to people who like the kind of stuff on this site, so today? Music..
The year started with a wonderful gig by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin (one of the many it seems) as they played along to a screening of Profondo Rosso at the Barbican in February.
I happily admit Profondo Rosso is my favourite film and hearing it with the score played live was wonderful. The finished the gig with a selection of hits (Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead, Tenebre etc.) and it was wonderful to see Simonetti, who influence and in particular development of disco and electronica (listed to the excellent score to Card Player) makes him a firm favourite of mine.
I am off to see him again in May at the O2 Forum Kentish Town and I can’t wait, and I would strongly recommend the gig.
Staying with live music for a second, I also had the pleasure of seeing The Incredibly Strange Film Band (for the 3rd time I think) at a Mrs. Peels night in London, organised by Count Indigo. Fantastic night, where else can you dress in vintage clothing, drink cocktails and dance to the theme tune from Enter The Dragon!
For music purchases, I have enjoyed some fantastic new retro sounding synthwave style soundtrack music…
The title track is an superb, it builds then explodes and has been high on my playlist since it’s release. It is well worth checking this out as well as the rest of the Giallo Disco Records stuff…
I had already heard these guys on a compilation, and this album was a must buy, very Carpenter, but also gets a bit looser on some of the tracks making it a little more funky than Carpenter got. Also some of the sounds on some tracks (eg:burning inside) give it an underworldesque sound and could have been part of their famous European Club Gig bootleg (a great bootleg of great band at full force btw), so this album really a must buy.
Also influenced by the early eighties sound of John Carpenter & Alan Howarth comes this terrific retro soundtrack. A lovely air of melancholy hangs over some of the tracks (think Christine or Halloween III) and this has been on loop in my studio, a genuine early eighties classic and the cassette option is priceless and the artwork just great.
The great thing is these are not expensive purchases and the money gets straight to the artist, so get out there and buy!
Lastly, well I have to mentioned a new album by John Carpenter..
So wonderful to see him making new music (and gigs, can’t wait to see him). Hopefully this is the first of many as I have kind of given up on a movie… best track, tbh I love the single, Vortex, but it is a great album and a definite buy…
Next post? Books…
We are still on a post Twin Peaks festival high, so we will include a twin peaks badge with any order on our website during November!
Now that is damn fine…