24 Dec

Seasons greetings and all that shit from Cinema Suicide

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday December 24, 2009 | Whimsy

I’m probably going to be too drunk in the next couple of days to so much as spell my name out so I figure I should get this out of the way now. It means a lot to me that anyone comes around and reads my stupid bullshit here and by my web metrics alone, I know that a lot of you at least read a little bit of it so that amounts to a pretty sweet gift all year long. It’s encouraging and a lot of you folks keep up with me and leave nice messages directed toward me on the Twitter feed and my personal Facebook.

I know that we have several days left in the year but looking ahead, 2010 holds some big fun. There’s a Cinema Suicide Facebook group in process that my lovely assistant (Glorious Wife Supreme, Nise) has been bugging me to set up. I have to follow up with Mike Schneider about it, but it’s looking like there will be a print article, my first, coming up in a near-future issue of Screem about Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated. There’s the much touted self-penned script coming up in the Zombie Bomb comic and a series of scripts have been written with the magnanimous John Herman for an upcoming web series that is such a cool idea that I won’t even describe it. As for Cinema Suicide, I will continue to publish stupid bullshit here as regularly as possible and with luck, you will continue to read it.

So Happy Holidays to all of you! Even you jerkoffs who continue to leave stupid comments in the Red Dawn and Ghost Adventures articles.

17 Dec

Looking forward, the official word: Bryan’s most anticipated movies of 2010

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday December 17, 2009 | Whimsy

I didn’t do this last year because I’m a cynical dick and I’m way too skeptical of everything. I was pretty excited about Black Dynamite (review) and thankfully it didn’t disappoint but I was pretty much resigned to a year’s worth of disappointment everywhere else. I couldn’t have cared less for Drag Me To Hell and Friday the 13th, two movies the horror community was going apeshit about and in the end I wound up liking both quite a bit. So my resolution for this new year is a simple one: Stop being such an asshole and try to be a little more open minded about projects coming down the line. So here’s the official line for Cinema Suicide. 2010 is already shaping up to be a lot of fun and here’s why.

scott pilgrimScott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Edgar Wright’s trickle down approach to promoting this movie while still in production is nothing short of infuriating. This is probably why I’m on the edge of my seat to see the final product. That and my discovery of these books earlier this year led to a sudden and minor obsession with the maddening genius of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s American-style manga about a Canadian slacker and the bullshit he has to endure in order to date the girl of his dreams. Oh. And also the insane fight scenes that involve power ups and Scott leveling up as though his world is a video game. It’s really just a goofy romance that has preoccupations with 8-bit videogames and garage rock but every act of the story is punctuated with consciousness altering bursts of crazy. It’s really something. Wright has a tall order to fill as filming Scott’s ordeal without all the flying around and dragon punches would be disingenuous and would misrepresent the books in a big way. Also, it’s a chance for Michael Cera to be something other than “the awkward guy” as Scott isn’t really in over his head like other Cera roles tend to be and is more in the way of the biggest alpha doofus you’ve ever seen. The only solid piece of intel about the release is 2010. I have no idea where it will land next year but this is looking like a summer flick if I’ve ever seen one.

kick-assKick-Ass
They’ve been teasing us with pieces of Kick-Ass since the last San Diego Comic Con and with the release date in April, Lions Gate keeps dropping more posters and clips as if to keep us hanging on. I’m not sure that after all this hype they’re going to have needed the viral word of mouth buzz in the first place. The December 13th Alamo Draft House screening as part of the Ain’t It Cool film festival (I refuse to call it by its actual stupid fucking name) ran to wild praise and left an awful lot of bloggers in attendance pining for a repeat viewing. Word so far is that Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. book is as an inspired piece of mayhem and is as good a representation as you could ask for of this blindingly violent comic book. From all the bloggery flying around since the screening, it’s looking like 12 year old Chloe Moretz is going to wind up walking away with this picture as her character, Hit Girl, is repeatedly noted as the movie’s highest point. I want to see this movie so bad right now that I can taste it. They just need to do something about that trailer. It’s a real piece of crap.

atomic brain invasionAtomic Brain Invasion
I’ve been romancing the shit out of Richard Griffin’s movies since 2008 when we picked up on the story of Beyond The Dunwich Horror and ever since then I’ve been singing the high praises of Scorpio Film Releasing, their relentless work schedule and uncanny dedication to the craft of b-movie production. Griffin is the future of the midnight movie circuit and the heir-apparent to the throne of Tromaville and coming this summer you can expect to find a positive review of his latest feature, Atomic Brain Invasion. The guy just can’t lose,  I tell you. Aided by his troupe of actors and wingman/producer, Ted Marr, they continue to crank out quality cheese that has a uniquely Rhode Island kind of flavor to it. Atomic Brain Invasion, as you can probably guess, spoofs 50’s rock and roll movies as well as wonky low budget drive-in science fiction as a race of aliens invade Earth with the intention of kidnapping Elvis.

iron man 2Iron Man 2
I fully realize that Iron Man 2 marks the third comic book adaptation on this list and I’m also aware that I have a habit of pissing all over Hollywood popcorn flicks but I really liked Iron Man. Favreau’s picture could have easily wound up in the same bargain bin as other Marvel properties that don’t feature mutants or radioactive spiders but it floated on the charm of Robert Downey Jr. who can’t seem to lose on his comeback trail. Also, I was blown away when Jeff “The Dude” Bridges went to the press and talked about how Iron Man didn’t really have a script and they more or less made it up as they went along on the set. For summer 2008 it was basically the anti-Dark Knight and I was fine with that because I also really liked that movie. So here comes more summer popcorn cheese with Mickey Rourke looking bad as hell in a hacked up Whiplash outfit and Scarlet Johansen in a latex catsuit. I’m a little disappointed that Terence Howard backed out but Don Cheadle in the War Machine armor ought to be the shit, y’all!

Ong Bak 3Ong Bak 3
I had my problems with Ong Bak 2 (review), namely that the story was shit even by Thailand standards and that it ended on a frustrating cliffhanger but had Tony Jaa not had a complete mental breakdown on the set, basically trying to do everything himself, the resultant picture could have been one of the finest martial arts movies of all time as Tony not only blew asses out with the realness but he also incorporated Chinese and Japanese martial arts into his movie to create one of the most colorful ass kick pictures of the last decade. A lot more focus and 100% less Chernobyl grade mental freak out and he could have it all. But all is not lost and this coming year we’ll get to see what happens when all seems lost. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Tony probably kills all those dudes who have him pinned on the ground with spears.

daybreakersDaybreakers
I really hope that Daybreakers becomes the movie that I Am Legend should have been because it’s the only horror movie on my list unless you count Atomic Brain Invasion. 2010 isn’t looking too hot if you’re a horror movie and there’s not a lot to look forward to but given the current context of vampires, it’s going to be nice to see them as a predatory and tragic creature rather a soft-spoken pussy with a romantic streak for what it should be stalking and killing. Out  of 2010’s menu of horror movies, this is probably the most interesting one. We’re getting more sequels of reboots and The Killer Inside Me as well as Stake Land both look promising but this one here is the most ambitious of the bunch and boasts a pretty sweet cast with the likes of Sam Neill, Ethan Hawle and Willem Dafoe.

Boogie Town
Bear with me. I know how absolutely fucking insane this is going to sound but have you read the plot synopsis for Boogie Town? Do you even know what it is? This on par with Death Wish 3 crazy. It takes place a few years in the future where dance battles are outlawed and crews still get together for illegal dances. As is typical with these sorts of movies, the main story lifts all of its plot elements right out of West Side Story but there’s an angle about a secret government agency that wants New York’s best dancers because they want to make super soldiers out of their DNA or something to that effect. So you basically sit in for your stock You Got Served/Step Up kind of number and get some cyberpunk near-future dystopian setting with sprinkles of Universal Soldier all set to a modern hip-hop soundtrack and a Broadway foundation. Game. Set. Match. Oh yeah, the main characters also have super dancing powers and the special detail that busts dancers is called The Boogie Police. I swear to god, I am not making this up.

14 Dec

Hey, internet! This is the greatest video ever made!

Posted by Bryan White | Monday December 14, 2009 | Whimsy

You know? I’ve seen a lot of silly videos. But I’ve never seen anything like this. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on Zeppelin and eat cheddar cheese.

30 Nov

The Cinema Suicide holiday shopping guide 2009!

Posted by Bryan White | Monday November 30, 2009 | Whimsy

Trust me. Christmas shopping sucks a dong. This year, in the spirit of giving, I’m here to offer you some advice about what to buy the people in your life who like nerdy, spooky stuff. My gift to you: A little stress relief. I’m not the kind of blog that gets a lot of substantial freebies so in some cases, these are items that I have reviewed based on freebies sent to me by the companies, but I wouldn’t recommend them to you unless I actually endorsed them as a quality product. Others are some shit that I happen to think are sweet based on personal interactions. All links below will take you to Amazon where you can order these items and in the interest of disclosure, I do get a piece of the action if you choose to do this, so buy something sweet and support Cinema Suicide. Happy holidays!

ben thompson badassBadass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live by Ben Thompson

Recently reviewed in the Suicidal Book Club, Badass is a catalog of the personalities noted in the title above written using the language of your average 12 year old male on the internet. Short of using actual internet shorthand, the book recounts the lives of the most intense individuals ever to live and subjugate entire cultures. It’s absolutely hilarious from cover to cover and as well as detailing the deeds of well-known conquerors, it also features people you may not be familiar with.

battlestar galactica boardgameBattlestar Galactica: The Board Game from Fantasy Flight Games

Product tie-ins for movies and TV shows are typically poor representatives of the vibe and appeal of the show they’re tied into but the Battlestar Galactica boardgame, based on the hit Sci-Fi channel series is as close as you get, which is saying quite a bit. Each playthrough is a perfect emulation of the drama and paranoia of the original series thanks to a set of tight rules and cooperative play that seems overwhelming at first but is, in fact, pretty easy. Players assume the roles of the show’s major characters and pool their resources to overcome crises as they are presented but from the start, hidden among your ranks, are secret Cylons out to remain hidden while sabotaging the Galactica’s progress. Games last, typically, 2 to 3 hours and are tense from start to finish. It’s an outstanding game that made me finally get off my ass and watch the series.

dmz volume 1 on the groundDMZ Vol. 1: On the Ground by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli

I’ve been calling DMZ by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli one of the best ongoing comics of this decade. It’s the story of Matt Roth, an intern photojournalist for a big news organization. When the chopper dropping him in the the DMZ, aka the lower east side of Manhattan, during America’s second civil war, is attacked and destroyed, he is left with no guide, no sense of the streets and what little equipment managed to survive the wreck in order to tell the story of life inside the DMZ. It’s an allegory for people trying to make their way and resume their lives in warzone no-man’s lands like Baghdad and Kabul and is one of the most compelling reads of the decade. The storytelling is sharp and the art is appropriately urban. It’s a little bit Escape From New York, a little bit The Warriors with dialog straight out of The Wire and it would make a killer TV series. I cannot recommend this comic enough. Buy the collected trades. They come with all sorts of cool extras and you won’t have to wait an agonizing month between monthlies to see how the story turns out.

twilight zone unlocking the door to a television classicThe Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic by Martin Grams

This book won a Rondo Award last year for being the final word on a well trodden path. There has been no shortage of examination of Rod Serling’s seminal series, The Twilight Zone, but assembled here for the first time ever is the ultimate tome of knowledge for that friend of yours who thinks they know it all about this shit. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic will prove them wrong and teach them  thing or two about what really went down in those early days. For fans of the Twilight Zone, this is an absolute must have.

left 4 dead 2Left 4 Dead 2 by Valve (for Xbox 360 and Windows)

The original Left 4 Dead was one of the finest online experiences I’ve ever had. Typical public gaming over Xbox Live is an exercise in agony and the Live social experience is a collective chatroom akin to Lord of the Flies having been rewritten by T-Pain but Left 4 Dead took this wasteland of wasted braincells and leveraged it to create something more than a game about shooting zombies in the head. The sequel took that four strangers survival horror trope and elevated it to new heights with new maps, new weapons and new thrills. It also adds a new dynamic world building system to make sure that you never play the same game twice. It is the king of replay and I couldn’t get enough versus mode play.

saga of the swamp thingSaga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore and Stephen Bissette

You can either hunt these books down at comic shows or on Ebay and pay out the nose for them or you can spring for the trade paperbacks, which is the only way to go unless you’re a diehard. Thanks to the enduring popularity of these iconic horror comics made legend by comic book madman, Alan Moore and a name as synonymous with Moore as Dave Gibbons, I speak of Stephen Bissette, DC has issued two of these great collections in beautiful hardback editions and I cannot recommend them enough. The only comic to ever bring a tear to my eye, Swamp Thing retcons the original Swamp Thing story and tells a series of stories so mature, so complex that DC didn’t know what to do with them. Their popularity ushered in a new age for comics and helped established the Vertigo range of books proving to the world that yes, adults can like comic books. Beautifully penciled with a series of stories that are horrifying, funny and tragically romantic. Edward and Bella have nothing on the former Alec Holland and Abby Arcane.

shock festival bookShock Festival by Stephen Romano

There was a lot of confusion last year when Shock Festival was released as to what it actually was. Billed as a coffee table book, it cataloged, exhaustively, data and anecdotes about some of the grindhouse’s filthiest treasures but in fact, it a pure work of fiction by horror artist, Stephen Romano. The catch is that not one word of it is true. This is a work of obsessive madness, a love letter to theaters with sticky floors having nothing to do with spilled cola. It embraces the decay of fifty seat theaters and dilapidated drive-ins where double features were both b-movies. Everyone who reads this site with any kind of regularity should buy this book and make love to every page.

monster kid home moviesMonster Kid Home Movies

A gigantic collection of home movies made in their childhood by people you may know as movers and shakers in the horror genre today, Monster Kid Home Movies is the ultimate homage to those formative years where horror wrapped its claws around us all and never let go. Monster Kid Home Movies showcases the schlocky amateur offerings of young kids making their own horror movies and more times than not, doing a better job with make up and special effects than they had any right doing. Most of the time, the result is silly, but it’s cute and it’s fun and it makes you wish you could go back to being a kid again.

20 Nov

Rock on! Go Sukashi!

Posted by Bryan White | Friday November 20, 2009 | Whimsy

I don’t know anything about Shoko Nakagawa or her manga creation, Sukashihipan-man but I do know Doug TenNapel. To you he created one of the finest 16-bit video game characters ever, Eartworm Jim. To me, he created the ultimate sleeper comic, one of the most rewarding funny books I’ve ever read, Creature Tech and now he’s teaming up with Nakagawa and writer/directors Justin Spurlock and John Soares to produce an ongoing web series about a delusional dude whose imagination is a lot like mine. Everything is so much more awesome in his head. This riff on tokusatsu shows promise. It’s only the first episode and even though I feel like I’ve seen it before, it boasts some perfectly weird moments and cool special effects. By the end, you, like me and Shoko, will be ready to eat 1,000,000 pieces of the  bread.

Also, I can’t help but be reminded of Rob Schrab’s cool short, Robot Bastard!

13 Nov

Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Posted by Bryan White | Friday November 13, 2009 | Whimsy

Here’s a quick one for you.

friday the 13thThe fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term triskaidekaphobia derives from the Greek words “tris”, meaning ‘three’, “kai”, meaning ‘and’, and “deka”, meaning ‘ten’. the whole word means three and ten. The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.

1 Nov

Halloween Blog-A-Thon Day 31: A Very Cinema Suicide Halloween

Posted by Bryan White | Sunday November 1, 2009 | Whimsy

bryan nise delilah

Here we are. The final post in the blog-a-thon and I’m actually a day late on this. October has been an unreasonably busy month. Such is life when you run a blog where the bulk of the writing is dedicated to horror. The last four days, however, have been particularly busy. I don’t know what it’s like out there wherever you are, but our families live out here in New Hampshire, spread across a couple of different communities, each of which stage their Halloween nights on different nights. This weekend, we’ve done trick or treating with Delilah in Brentwood and then over to Hampton.

Night 1: This neighborhood, one of a couple of dense housing developments in an otherwise barren landscape of dragstrips, speedways, the county prison and John Birch Society bunkers, was a zoo. Hundreds of kids ran wild on this steez for two hours. We took Delilah out and then managed our own handing out of candy for the rest of the night.

Night 2: Actual Halloween night. I somehow managed to pull together a rudimentary costume pulled from clothing items borrowed from my brother and a friend at work plus some modded horns to look as though The Devil was going to court (pictured above). Delilah wore her costume again which coincidentally, she thought was a Tinkerbell costume, and my gorgeous wife, Nise, dressed to the nines in her demonic pixie outfit to complete the triad of the most infernal family on The Seacoast. Together, we hit Hampton for more candy, briefly and then made the rounds around friend’s homes, which somehow culminated in the beginnings of a boozy Halloween night. The evening’s original plans were to hit Portsmouth for the Halloween parade. The Halloween parade, whose beginnings were rooted in the local demonstrators, The Leftist Marching Band, had grown to East Village proportions and now on Halloween, Portsmouth had become a mob scene that put the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve to shame… which is why we couldn’t find parking and had to beat it. Our intentions were to park it somewhere in town, look really good together as we made our way to Market Square to see the Thriller Dance group do their thing (video below) since I’m friends with the organizer, Tara Sullivan. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t do it and wound up heading home, putting Delilah to bed and then drinking the rest of the night away.

In summation, best Halloween ever. I’m not sure if the Blog-A-Thon had something to do with it, but the spirit of the season had a hold of me tightly and idle chatter about donning a costume and doing something actually took shape and became a fun family outting for a couple of days. Unfortunately, with the passing of the season, it seems like the rest of the year is a foregone conclusion. It’s all downhill from here since Thanksgiving is a gigantic pain in the ass and Christmas is probably the most stressful time of the year. At least I have the New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathon to look forward to now.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

31 Oct

Halloween Blog-A-Thon Day 30: The Pagan Celebration

Posted by Bryan White | Saturday October 31, 2009 | Whimsy

Here we are, bearing down on the final day of the Blog-A-Thon and the final day of my busiest month of the year. Tomorrow night marks the end of the pagan calendar so I thought it might be interesting to show off what the pagans will be doing tomorrow. Here are a couple of videos to illustrate the pagan ritual on Samhain. Everyone does this differently since there’s no dogma in the heathen religions. Every grove and coven has their own traditions. Here are a few that can be found on Youtube.

29 Oct

Halloween Blog-A-Thon Day 29: DIY Film Fest on NPR

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday October 29, 2009 | Whimsy

nhpr horror film festI did this last year as well and we’re already making plans for next year. With only three quick appearances on the show Word of Mouth for New Hampshire Public Radio, I have become the defacto Word Of Mouth horror movie guy. Last year, I showed up for their Halloween special equipped with a list of movies that you could show your kids and not feel bad about (article here) and this year I turned out to the airwaves with a Halloween horror movie triple play and some suggestions for music to play when you throw your own film festival in your living room. For ten minutes I talked about a couple of old favorites (The Sentinel and The Fog) and a new one (Trick ‘r Treat). I’ll spare you the details because the Word of Mouth production crew goes to the wall to turn out  a great show and host Virginia Prescott is a great radio personality.

Since this is the World Wide Web, that series of tubes that we all know and love so much, not all of you are right in New Hampshire to tune in (but wouldn’t that be weird if you were?). So for your benefit and the benefit of your friends, whom I encourage to listen in and leave a comment at their site, here is a link to the New Hampshire Public Radio appearance of your truly.

Click here to head over to the Word of Mouth site and select either Windows Media or MP3 to stream the segment.

28 Oct

Halloween Blog-A-Thon Day 28: WKBW, a night of Halloween radio

Posted by Bryan White | Wednesday October 28, 2009 | Whimsy

wkbw halloweenI looked back on these Blog-A-Thon posts today and realized that I’ve been pretty old-timey in terms of subject matter. There has been a lot about radio broadcasts and whatnot and I think there’s a reason for that. Modern times leave us with no mystery. If we see something cool for the first time, an hour later we’re an expert on the subject thanks to the internet and an endless set of resources with which to educate ourselves. Halloween, at least when I was a kid, had a ton of mystery to it. The origins of the holiday were shrouded in mystery, all the spooky local legends came out in full force on that night and I love a good mystery. So Halloween always takes me back to being a kid when parts of the Halloween experience still scared me. Be they finding myself drawn into the Frank Langella Dracula (a memory that has stuck out in my mind since I was 12, for some reason), stalking through the cemetery across the street from our house as a shortcut to a nearby neighborhood we hadn’t hit yet or tuning into the local college radio station, WUNH, on that night that the broadcast was nothing but a spooky ambient soundtrack set to the Stephen King book-on-tape of The Mist. I think back and there seemed to be a time when local TV and radio went to the wall to turn out the best scary programming they could. In spite of Christmas being the ad-buy powerhouse that the season tends to be, these stations put far more energy into their Halloween night broadcasts and had a lot more fun. While searching through archive.org the other night for Halloween themed audio (where I found those seance and War of the Worlds recordings), I also found this one, an entire night of Halloween AM radio programming, which includes a really great update of The War of the Worlds.

This is WKBW, an AM station in Buffalo, New York from Halloween night in1973. Along with The War of the Worlds, you also get some spooky storytelling and radio plays. It’s a shame that no one does this anymore. So get comfortable. This is a long one.

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