Sometimes the best horror films aren’t the ones that deal in the supernatural or killers who won’t die. Treading the line between reality and insanity can frequently be horrifying enough. Comforting Skin is that rare, unclassifiable movie that blurs the lines between genres and defies categorization.
Ostensibly, Comforting Skin is about a young woman named Koffie (Victoria Bidewell) who gets a tattoo on her shoulder blade and is thrilled with the results, until it starts talking to her. Yet, the film is about so much more.
New this week on Popshifter: Chelsea thinks Xenia Rubinos’s Magic Trix is a “thrilling listen”; Metal Mayhem continues with Jeff’s take on Dangerous Toys and Judas Priest; Jeff also says that Big Country’s The Journey is the best new album he’s heard this year; Melissa B. parties traditional style with the new album from Kermit Ruffins and gets transported to the past with the reissue of Marty Robbins’s El Paso City and Adios Amigo; I recommend both the glam psychedelia of Burnt Ones’ You’ll Never Walk Alone and the party music of Dead Ghosts’ Can’t Get No, and revisit 2002′s excellent, unsettling One Hour Photo, recently released on Blu-Ray.
New this week on Popshifter: Jeff describes how Cliff Richard is wired for sound and explains the pros the cons of hitch hiking; Julie saw The Hives and has photos to prove that they’re a “fantastic rock & roll band in the purest sense”; I praise the exquisite songwriting on IO Echo’s debut album Ministry of Love; and Chelsea mourns the loss of Scott Miller (Game Theory, Loud Family).
Few shows on TV are frustratingly uneven as NBC’s Grimm. The fairytale-inspired adventures of homicide detective Nick Burkhardt got off to a shaky start early last year, but dramatically improved over the first season. The show got off to a strong start at the beginning of the second season, only to resume wobbling after a long hiatus.
Fans of Grimm acknowledge its flaws, even as they celebrate its strengths. Its ensemble cast and story arcs are strong, and for the most part, the weakness lies in the one-off, week-by-week plots. Here are the suggestions for improvement that I came up with.
Under The Bed
New this week on Popshifter: LabSplice says Brad Anderson’s new movie The Call is “guided by a very sure hand”; Emily thinks Shooter Jennings is worthy of his dad’s crown on The Other Life; Paul recommends Old Man Markley’s Down Side Up; I unabashedly gush about Suede’s Bloodsports, categorize the movie Deadfall as a “gritty, rewarding genre exercise,” admire the fashion sensibilities of Redd Kross in their new video for “Uglier,” and review four films from Canadian Music Week Film Fest 13: Ain’t In It For My Health, The History of Future Folk, The Last Pogo Jumps Again, and Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film.
Please note: there will be no Assemblogs for the next three weeks. I’ll just be providing round ups of that week’s articles. The Assemblog will be back in full effect on April 19.
I’m sad to report that our ongoing column “TV Is Dead, Long Live TV” is on hiatus. If you’re interested in picking up the coverage of the transformation of television from linear to its currently shifting model, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New this week on Popshifter: Luke encourages us to stop complaining about gaming and raves over Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; Paul is righteously indignant about the sexist responses to Anita Sarkeesian’s first Tropes vs. Women video; Cait says Bowie’s The Next Day has “an urgency, an energy and intensity long missing;” Hanna calls Alasdair Roberts & Friends’ A Wonder Working Stone “truly remarkable;” Lisa feels Oz the Great and Powerful is “too flawed” for a popcorn movie; Chelsea encourages SXSW attendees to check out the rock en español of Café Tacvba, Bajofondo, and Molotov; I think Girls Names’ The New Life is “damn fine,” am impressed with the “outstanding performances” in Jack & Diane, get my hackles up about “mocktresses,” talk about upcoming horror film Lord of Tears, and give an overview of Canadian Music Week Film Fest 13.
I first mentioned the spooky-looking horror film Lord of Tears back in September, but the trailer I had seen soon vanished from the Internet. I had not heard anything more about the film until now, but there is a lot of good news.
Lord of Tears, directed by Lawrie Brewster, is completed and been accepted into the San Diego Comic Fest in October. The film is available through pre-order via its a Kickstarter campaign, which was set up to assist with marketing and distribution. Even better, funding has already been met (the goal was met in ten days)!
A new trailer is now available, as is a viral-style video of the film’s villain—the Owlman—freaking out unsuspecting teens on Omegle.com (which is pretty hilarious).
New this week on Popshifter: My review of the “gently sobering” film California Solo; an exclusive first look at the second semester of Toronto’s lecture series, The Black Museum, and a retro new video from Purling Hiss; Chelsea admires new releases from Helado Negro and Bajofondo; J thinks that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Push The Sky Away is a “beautiful record;” Emily recommends the new compilation of Otis Redding soul music, Lonely & Blue as “essential listening” for music fans; and Elizabeth gives five reasons why you really should ditch your cable TV subscription in the latest installment of “TV Is Dead, Long Live TV.”
Andrea Subissati and Paul Corupe
For hardcore genre fans in the Toronto area, last year’s The Black Museum was a dream come true: an interactive lecture series on horror and cult films that didn’t require waking up early or writing papers.
Luckily, curators Paul Corupe and Andrea Subissati are presenting another season of The Black Museum, and this time, it’s personal! (Not really, but I couldn’t resist that joke.) Season Two will feature five more lectures on genre themes that will be both fun and educational.
New this week on Popshifter: John is in love with the Paul Williams: Still Alive documentary now on DVD; Chelsea explains how the reissued 1972 solo album from Emily Bindiger “transcends its time period” and delights in the “unexpected rewards” of Las Acevedo; I share new remixes and videos from Parenthetical Girls and David Bowie and recommend the new Skyfall Blu-Ray as “a huge leap forward as well as a return to Bond’s roots.”