11 Days Until Halloween!
by Tracy Vanity
‘He’s dreaming now,’ said Tweedledee: ‘and what do you think he’s dreaming about?’
Alice said ‘Nobody can guess that.’
‘Why, about you!’ Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. ‘And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?’
‘Where I am now, of course,’ said Alice.
‘Not you!’ Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. ‘You’d be nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream!’
‘If that there King was to wake,’ added Tweedledum, ‘you’d go out — bang! — just like a candle!’
‘I shouldn’t!’ Alice exclaimed indignantly. ‘Besides, if I’m only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you, I should like to know?’
‘Ditto’ said Tweedledum.
‘Ditto, ditto!’ cried Tweedledee.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn’t help saying, ‘Hush! You’ll be waking him, I’m afraid, if you make so much noise.’
‘Well, it no use your talking about waking him,’ said Tweedledum, ‘when you’re only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you’re not real.’
‘I am real!’ said Alice and began to cry.
‘You won’t make yourself a bit realler by crying,’ Tweedledee remarked: ‘there’s nothing to cry about.’
‘If I wasn’t real,’ Alice said — half-laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous — ‘I shouldn’t be able to cry.’
‘I hope you don’t suppose those are real tears?’ Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.
‘I know they’re talking nonsense,’ Alice thought to herself: ‘and it’s foolish to cry about it.’ So she brushed away her tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could.
-Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Chapter IV
Today marks the birthday of one of the sexiest and most influential writers in history. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, was a writer, mathematician, photographer, and inventor of many cool whimsical devices and games including a word game very much like Scrabble before Scrabble was even invented.
If you haven’t already seen it, or even if you have it is always nice to see it again, I recommend checking out Lewis Carroll’s gorgeous photography and Alice’s Adventures Underground, which is the original version of Alice’s Adventures Through Wonderland, handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll himself as a gift for Alice Liddell.
There have been numerous film adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and I’ve watched every single one of them. Which film version is your favorite?
Jan Švankmajer’s version is certainly amazing:
I do like the Disney version, it’s very experimental for a Disney film and didn’t do very well until it became a cult classic when it was re-released in 1974.
The 60’s version with the Ravi Shankar soundtrack is pretty cool too. It does a great job sticking to to the book but Wonderland is just the normal English countryside with regular people playing the characters. It doesn’t look nearly as trippy as I imagine it looking in my head.
I think the film that best captures the spirit of Wonderland is Dreamchild. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop designed it, that’s why it looks so creepy-beautiful:
Henson’s company also made a cute Muppet version of “The Jabberwocky”:
American McGee’s Alice & Alice: Madness Returns really captures Wonderland well. I love those games!
Randy Greif made a wicked noise-music box set tribute to Alice using a vintage audio recording of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s out of print but you can hear most of the tracks on youtube. I have a copy, I should upload all of it.
There’s a lot of amazing Alice-related art, films, books, etc. out there. I could go on and on. Please share your favorites.
BTW what’s your favorite Lewis Carroll quote? I have so many but of course this one is my #1:
Happy Birthday Lewis Carroll! ❤❤❤
by Tracy Vanity
Đėŗ Ţøđėśķıņġ (aka The Death King) is a 1989 German horror film directed by Jörg Buttgereit. This experimental style movie which does not use central characters explores the topic of suicide and violent death in the form of seven episodes, each one attributed to one day of the week. These episodes are enframed by the vision of a human body, slowly rotting during the course of the movie.
You can watch the entire film here:
Hurry, before it gets deleted!
Fun fact: Jörg Buttgereit, best known for his film Nekromantik, a graphic horror film about necrophilia, was given a Super-8 camera as his first Holy Communion present while he was in kindergarten.
by Tracy Vanity
To say I’m not a fan of Christmas would be an understatement. I’m dedicating this Twisted Tuesday to posting soothing images, videos, and songs to get myself, and anyone else who fucking hates Christmas, through this horrible fucking day.
This post is dedicated to FUCK CHRISTMAS!
Since Christmas sucks, I’m celebrating HORRORMAS! It’s basically Halloween with a Christmas theme. I recommend a Horrormas movie marathon of Jack Frost, Black Christmas (1974 version), Silent Night Deadly Night, and Don’t Open Till Christmas. Any other Horrormas films you recommend?
Tales from the Crypt has a great Horromas themed episode called “And All Through the House.” You can watch the whole episode right here:
There’s even a tales from the Crypt Christmas album! I just found out right now.
The “Unholy Night” episode from American Horror Story is awesome too. The entire 2nd season is incredible. I have a fetish for nuns and mental institutions but who doesn’t?
I’m starting to feel better already. This cheap Thai rum is helping too.
Axe murdering Santas do put me in good spirits.
As always, Cyriak captures the true spirit of Horrormas with his incredible 2012 Horrormas video card.
Happy Horrormas Bizarro!
by Tracy Vanity
One of the most brilliant zombie films I’ve ever seen is a short about a French Canadian zombie clown.
Much has been said about what happens to non-zombies when zombies attack but what about the emotions of the zombies themselves? Superb acting, beautiful cinematography, and a refreshing and unique change from the typical “zombie apocalypse” variety of zombie films. Add to this a creepy clown zombie and cannibalism, and you have one of the most fucked up and beautiful zombie movies ever!
Très magnifique! Check it out:
Was anyone else reminded of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer during that mirror scene?
By Steve Shroyer
I remember being a young pup and making pilgrimages to the local library to read or pick up a huge pile of books. One book I used to pick out was in the over sized non-fiction section, the place where coffee table books and reference books on movies and other dewy decimal subjects were found. The book was slightly outdated and was an encyclopedia of “Cult Films” and it was my gateway into the weird and obscure. I’d sit at one of the tables and thumb through it, reading synopses of films I had never heard of and some that had stayed in my mind even without viewing. “Eraserhead” “Rocky Horror” and the Paul Morrissey film “Trash” were just a few of the titles I combed through but one movie stood out. That film was “Pink Flamingos.”
I remember first hearing about the movie through Premiere Magazine and its most infamous scene when I was either 6 or 7 and remember being fascinated with it. Years of research had made me curious on what exactly was so trashy about it. How bad was it? Did it really go all the way in terms of bad taste? It would take almost 18 years and a misplaced graduation gift to finally give me the opportunity to see this film. Let me say this now fellow Bizarros, it’s everything you’ve heard about and more. I will not go into plot details since, for most of us visiting this blog, it is fairly familiar; however I will share what I went through while I watched it.
For its entire hour and a half run time I was either laughing my ass off or staring in wide eyed horror. I was either feeling icky or feeling giddy, there was no in between. Edith Massey’s “Egg Lady” was both disgusting and almost Yorkshire terrier cute, Divine’s performance was both freakish, and nearly God like, and the “Birthday Party” sequence was almost like looking at a Roman Orgy. Somehow this film, made on a small budget, had a power over me that no other movie since “Beauty and the Beast” had when I was 16. In other words, it was freaking epic.
The neat thing about this film is how John Waters makes the trashy things in this movie almost as normal as a latte at Starbucks or Wonder bread. You watch these things in horror but afterwards you look at it and go “Wow, that’s brilliant.” Waters makes the trashy and filthy into an art form. In essence the film and its plot reflect that. The long monologues, and the almost mundane and blasé lifestyle of its villains seem to reflect something out of a European art film of the 1960s. It is the quintessential expression of Trash as Art.
To say that this movie is now one of my many favorite movies is quite an understatement. This film is a life changer, a religious experience for me. If you don’t know what I mean my fellow Bizarros , get a copy and see. Like me, you too will become full time members of the cult of Divine.
by Tracy Vanity
All images courtesy of Crispin Glover
Those who gravitate to that place beyond limitations, where anything and everything can happen, tend to search for others like themselves because as social animals, humans have a primal desire to seek fellow passengers on the same crazy journey.
Crispin Hellion Glover is not merely a passenger but a driving force in that place which he describes as existing “beyond good and evil.”
Best known for his acting roles in major Hollywood pictures such as Willard, Beowulf, Charlie’s Angels, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and yes…Back to the Future…Crispin uses the money and recognition he receives from his mainstream work to fund and promote his personal projects: from a whimsical album of original music with covers of songs by Nancy Sinatra and Charles Manson to modified vintage art books and two brilliant feature-length films which he’s been touring around the world with for 7 years and counting.
With What is it? and It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE!, which he produced and directed himself without the backing of a major studio, Crispin has achieved what few who venture beyond the realm of that which is beyond good and evil ever do: establish a symbiotic relationship between a mainstream Hollywood acting career with an avant-garde art career.
I’ve been fortunate to catch Crispin’s screenings about 4 times when I lived in Los Angeles and was in awe every time. Not only is watching him perform a live dramatic narration of his books entertaining but it adds an organic spirit that can’t be replicated while watching a film in a theater, television set or computer screen. The more we become accustomed to viewing our world through a glowing screen, the more powerful the medium of reality and physically interacting with other human beings becomes. Crispin uses this power to his advantage through his live opening performance and Q&A sessions.
I was very happy that Crispin agreed to an interview for Bizarro Central to help promote his winter tour in the Americas. Along with discussing details of what’s in store for those who attend a Crispin Glover screening, Crispin also describes how David Lynch helped him make his film and also provides details on the forces that influenced him to create such an elaborate vaudeville show in the first place:
Tracy: When I interviewed you back 2007, you mentioned that your interests were with “that which was beyond good and evil”? Is that term still applicable to your interests and your films What is it? and It is fine! Everything is fine!?
Crispin: Yes that description still applies to the films. I generally answer with that description when there is a moral question. Films that are currently financed and distributed by the film corporations and distribution corporations that currently exist must sit within the boundary of that which is considered good and evil.
What this means is if there is a so called “bad thing/evil thing” that sits with in a corporately financed and distributed film it must necessarily pointed at by the filmmaker so that the audience is dictated to that the only way to think about that so called “evil thing” is that one way.
Any other way of think about that so called “evil thing” would be considered wrong and it must be made in such a way that they audience understands that the filmmakers feel that this “evil thing” is only that and no other way of thinking about that “evil thing” could or should be possible.
A film that goes beyond the realm of good and evil may have this same so called “evil thing” but the filmmaker may not necessarily point at that so called “evil thing” so that the audience are not dictated to and therefore can determine and think what for itself as to what this so called “evil thing” really is to them.