I don’t care whose house is on fire
As long as I can warm myself at the blaze.
—Iceage, “On My Fingers”
Anyone who is surprised by the evolution of Iceage on their new album Plowing Into The Field Of Love hasn’t been paying attention. The seeds of the band’s sound were sowed early on, in songs like “New Brigade” and “You’re Blessed,” a seemingly haphazard collision of styles and sounds hinting that something far greater was in their future. That something has arrived and it’s one of the best things you’ll hear this year, if not for a long while, or at least until Iceage makes another album.
The first Electric Six album I heard was I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master. As if that title wasn’t strange and unwieldy enough, I literally could not process what I was hearing. What the fuck was I listening to exactly?
After seven years and several albums, I’ve figured out more about Electric Six. But it doesn’t mean that every new album from the band doesn’t make me ask that same question again. Human Zoo, their tenth (!!), is perhaps weirder than most E6 albums, but is also possibly their most cohesive since Heartbeats and Brainwaves, which was itself a bit of an anomaly in the canon.
By Tyler Hodg
This past August, Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven released their fourth album, Time Is Over One Day Old. Their signature electro-pop sound is prevalent, but it’s clear a natural growth has occurred since their last record. Although Bear in Heaven’s sound might be “in” right now, their creative songwriting has placed them in a genre of their own.
I have long contended that one of the greatest singers in pop history is The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz. He’s not only amazingly versatile, with a distinctive voice that is equally at home singing rock, jazz (the man can scat like he was born to it), or ballads, but even when singing backup, he rises above, imbuing each note with personality. His harmonies are tight. Always.
I could go on and on again about how important Vinegar Syndrome is to cinema but I’ll refrain . . . for now. Instead, I’m going to attempt to explain the awesome and completely nutty Raw Force. I first saw this film about a year and a half ago and didn’t know what to say. It has everything that I want in old cheesy B-movies: comedy, action, boobs, karate, rocket launchers, zombies, weird parties, horrendous acting, people breaking ice with their faces. (Seriously, a dude breaks a block of ice with his face, but it isn’t for show; it is actually to get ice for a drink he is making for someone. I shit you not on this.)
Today I watched John Holmes’s penis get bitten by a vampire. What did you do today?
In the ‘70s and ‘80s many pornographic filmmakers made pornos with stories. Whether it was action, horror, or comedy, there was usually a genre represented by more story and less sexy time. As a horror enthusiast, I get excited more ways than one when the porno has horror elements and Dracula Sucks has more horror than porno. . . and it is freaking weird.
By Tyler Hodg
It would be hard to find a child born in the early ‘80s who didn’t wake up every Saturday morning to watch Pee-wee Herman squirm around and yell at the top of his lungs. Twenty-three years after its initial run, Pee-wee’s Playhouse finally sees its Blu-ray release, making it easier for the show’s mature fans to revisit their childhood once again. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series Blu-ray includes all five seasons, the Christmas special, and numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes.
If, like me, your knowledge of New Zealand cinema is limited to Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, then Housebound will both delight and surprise you. I went into Housebound with zero knowledge of the plot, but you should know that it’s essentially a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a red herring. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of movie it’s going to be, it turns into something else. Rather than being confusing, it makes the movie that much more fun to watch.
Even though it’s a movie that still feels fresh and influential, Beetlejuice came out almost a quarter of a century ago. It’s no secret that many of Tim Burton’s biggest fans feel like he hasn’t done anything in the last 20 years to rival it. Those people need to see Suburban Gothic immediately.
The cruelly and ironically titled Nothing Bad Can Happen is nothing less than a hard kick to the stomach. Katrin Gebbe’s debut isn’t a horror film, yet it still horrifies. Nothing Bad Can Happen stuns and unsettles the viewer like the also-incendiary debuts of Maury and Bustillo (À l’intérieur) or Du Welz (Calvaire), yet without the gore of the former and the surrealism of the latter.