Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movie Review : The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Horror movies have always been very popular, especially amongst teenagers. It's because they are a tool of cognitive development as much as they are objects of entertainment. Everybody wants to know their limit, understand what they can and can't experience. The exercise helps shape a set of values. One person can love slasher movies for example and be too terrified to watch haunted house films *. THE DEVIL'S REJECTS is a grindhouse movie. It was made more or less before it became cool to make throwback grindhouse-appreciation nostalgia flicks. That makes it a genuine attempt at making modern, artistic-minded grindhouse cinema and it has that Rob Zombie signature enthusiasm that is characterized by his throw-everything-at-the-reader-and-see-what-sticks philosophy. It's a horror movie that assumes its identity and assumes the fact that you might not like it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review : Christopher Irvin - Federales (2014)

The VICE Guide to Travel was a major revelation for me. Shane Smith traveled a world I had never seen before, that was never discussed in media. He hung out with a demented warlord in Liberia, visited North Korean slave camps in Siberia, chronicled the overthrowing of Muammar Gaddafi in Syria and the subsequent civil unrest, nothing seems too extreme for him. Smith was asked by an interviewer where was he the most scared. One of his answers was Mexico. Why Mexico? What is there to be afraid about in one of the world's most popular resort destination? Author Christopher Irvin understands why Shane Smith was afraid in Mexico. His novella FEDERALES draws a grim portrait of a country caught in the stranglehold of the powerful drug cartels. It is about the Mexico that exists on the other side of your resorts' barriers and it might make you think twice about booking that vacation you were so excited to take.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review : James M. Cain - Double Indemnity (1936)


I had done all that for her, and I never wanted to see her again as long as I lived.
That's all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate.

The least scary part of zombie movies is always Patient Zero. He's always some guy worrying about a nosebleed or skin decoloration on a dramatic soundtrack. It's never some kind of supercharged beast meant to scare the pants off the viewers.  I never read James M. Cain before DOUBLE INDEMNITY and I thought his ideas explain a lot of things.  In literature, Patient Zero is never constrained by the tropes of genre. James M. Cain didn't deliberately try to write noir the same way Raymond Carver didn't wake up one day and said: ''let's invent American Minimalism, yo.'' Cain just had bleak ideas about human nature and thought they would be interesting on paper. He was right. God knows he was absolutely right, but look what he started. James M. Cain traced a clear line between hardboiled literature and noir and DOUBLE INDEMNITY is an interesting Patient Zero case study.