'As Above So Below'
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil, Marion Lambert, Ali Marhyar
I was instantly intrigued by 'As Above So Below', a 2014 horror film set in the Paris catacombs, when the first trailer started making the rounds last Summer. I've been sorta obsessed with the catacombs since seeing a "pod" about them on Current TV, Al Gore's cable network that began as a showcase for user-created content, a number of years back. So you can bet your ass that an underground fright fest, which is what 'As Above So Below' was marketed as, was right up my alley.
I didn't get to see the flick when it was in theatres, so my assumption was that it was another ghost story, or some other type of psychological horror typical of the style of scary movies of our modern era, just transported into the claustrophobic world of the Paris underground. When I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the film here at Imageyenation HQ I found something far different, and far more in-line with my own interests in the supernatural, magick, alchemy, witchcraft, Rosicrucianism, and transcendental illumination.
Surprisingly, the film features elements of Indiana Jones-style archaeology, some of the mystery of the historical conspiracy fiction genre made famous by 'The Da Vinci Code', and a great deal of horror which to my delight springs from a foundation of alchemical philosophy (thanks to a story that hinges on a mystery involving Nicolas Flamel) and touches on notoions of "the dark night of the soul" and other ideas popularized by Robert Anton Wilson and his ilk. By the movies mid-point I had it all figured out, but didn't believe I could possibly be right because it would mean a mainstream horror flick was based on some of my most beloved magickal concepts.
I fear I may have given too much away as it is, so I'm not going to discuss any more of the plot here. But for what I initially thought was just going to be another found-footage ghost flick or 'Flatliners'-style psychological horror rehash, 'As Above So Below' proved to be far more engaging, exciting, and satisfying than I'd expected.
When Motown's in-house backup band The Funk Brothers were showcased in a documentary several years ago they called 'Standing in the Shadow of Motown'.
The new documentary about The Wrecking Crew, a group of studio musicians responsible for the music on countless Pop, Rock, and Soul classics, might as well be called 'Standing in the Shadow of Everybody'.
Simply titled 'The Wrecking Crew', the Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing film is out in theatres, on demand, and on VOD, March 13th.
The 2012 film 'Iron Sky', a movie about Nazis on the moon returning to conquer Earth, had a great premise, but was bogged down by some really silly bullshit.
I actually fell asleep while watching it.
Apparently a sequel, 'Iron Sky The Coming Race' is in the works, which appears to draw on the Hollow Earth mythology of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's early sci-fi novel 'Vril, the Power of the Coming Race', which is believed to have inspired the more mystical aspects of the Nazi party.
That sounds, and looks, like another great premise.
I just hope they leave some of the more over-the-top comedic elements (did the Tyrannosaurus give the "heil Hitler"?) out this time.
Legendary Electro producer Arthur Baker has been working behind the scenes for some time to make it happen, and it looks like '808', a documentary film about the Roland TR808 drum machine, is finally here!
The film features the talking heads of folks like Afrika Bambaataa, Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Fatboy Slim, Felix the Housecat, and others, and will hopefully delve into some real history of the machine itself outside of any specific musical genres.
Apparently it's been available On Demand for about a month now, and even got a short theatrical run earlier this month, but I only just now caught wind of IFC Midnight's 'At the Devil's Door'.
The trailer caught my attention by focusing on story, and then trowing the creepy right in your face like "WHAT? YOU DIDN'T THINK THE DEVIL WAS IN OUR MOVIE? HERE'S SOME GLOWING EYES IN THE DARK FOR THAT ASS! AND, OH SHIT, HERE'S A FUCKING MONSTER!"
I'll be checking it out on VOD this week for sure.
Gareth Edwards parlayed his work on the DIY Sci-Fi/Horror flick 'Monsters' into gigs directing the recent 'Godzilla' reboot and an upcoming 'Star Wars' spinoff.
His approach was markedly subtle, opting to keep the monsters hidden for most of the film in an effort to build suspense before the "big reveal".
While Edwards' style was effective on 'Monsters', and to a certain extent 'Godzilla', it appears his successor, Tom Green, has opted to go balls-to-the-wall with a full-on invasion of Lovecraftian monsters in the sequel, 'Monsters: Dark Continent'.
You know I love me some be-tentacled beasties, so it should come as no surprise that I'm really looking forward to this flick's November 28th release.
Magnolia Pictures' 'The ABCs of Death', a 2012 horror anthology that featured 26 short subjects from a whole host of directors depicting death in it's myriad of forms, was a ton of grisly fun.
They're dipping back into that blood-filled well again with a sequel, 'ABCs of Death 2', which will give another 26 or so directors the opportunity to display their ideas about death in the goriest, and most alphabetical, way possible.
Feel the splatter via Video on Demand services on October 2nd and in theatres on October 31st.
Directed by Adan Jodorowsky and starring his brother Cristóbal Jodorowsky and giallo director Dario's daughter Asia Argento, 'The Voice Theif', looks like a surreal experience that certainly bears the stamp of influence of the Jodorowsky family patriarch, cult filmmaker and "psycho-magician" Alejandro.
The film, which follows a husband's quest to find a new voice for his opera-singer bride after causing her to lose hers, was finished in 2013 and has been making the festival rounds of late, sometimes shown in conjunction with Alejandro's autobigraphical 'La Danza de la Realidad', but hasn't seen an official wide release yet.
I was lucky enough to see 'AKIRA', the groundbreaking anime based on director Katsuhiro Otomo's manga in an actual movie theatre upon its initial release here in the US.
I also owned a copy of the original Streamline Video VHS which I watched over and over and over again in almost ritualistic fashion throughout the 1990s.
It's been re-released on home media several times since then, including an extended edit of the film with a completely re-written and re-dubbed English audio track from Pioneer at the beginning of the new millennium.
And sadly the years have also seen US movie studios attempt to produce a live action version of the tale, usually starring some "hot at the moment" Caucasian actors in the various major roles, which I think we all can agree should be played by actors of Asian heritage.
"Inspired" by these attempts at whitewashing the story, a group of filmmaking fans got some money together, rounded up a mighty fine cast, and made their own 'AKIRA' mini-movie which they've released to YouTube.
It was their intent to stick as close to the source material as possible and do 'AKIRA' justice with their crowdsourced, Indiegogo campaign funded adaptation.
God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun, proper or improper.
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