Sunday, January 20, 2013

Comic Logic Challenge of the Day

HELLO!!! Yes, I'm finally back...
After many months of much work on various projects and development, 
I have so many things to tell of, so many things to write, but for now I bring you an installment of my 
Comic Logic Challenge for the Day:
Why would anyone in their right mind ever name their company 
"Von Doom Industries"???
...(Unless they make monster trucks!)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nightmare Theater - The Hottest Films in Horror, Sci-Fi and Cult Cinema # 4

This month features more Asian Horror Cinema!
And you know I like em strange so let's get right to it.

 Based on the Junji Ito Manga, "Uzumaki" is a darkly comedic Alice in Wonderland; only instead of entering through the looking glass into another world, another world seems to be entering the small town of Kurouzu through a growing number of "Spirals" creating bizarre obsessions, Medusa-like hair, and insects crawling into people's ears and settling in the inner cochlea to transmit hallucinations. Yes, all that and more...

This is beautifully shot and immensely odd. While not a violent film it does have a certain amount of gore that is fairly original in its delivery as the final results of some of the odd obsessive and eccentric behavior elicited by this inexplicable spiral curse. If you think it is cool in it's own right, I had a cool sync experience watching the film while listening to the first album by Fantomas !

With or without the audio augmentation, I rate this unique film 5 Skulls!
Living Hell aka Iki-jigoku
Sometimes referred to as "Japanese Chainsaw Massacre"!
By Shugo Fujji

Only instead of a man in a skin mask with a chainsaw we have a granny who is creepy and enjoys torturing her crippled relative, Yasu (Hirohito Honda)  with a taser. The reviews on this film are often mixed, and while it is an obvious homage to the Tobe Hooper classic original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" it certainly doesn't steal the show from its predecessor. That said, the Japanese have an interesting flair to put on just about anything and this is no exception. The cold cruel Grandmother and Grand daughter team are delightful. And you just gotta wonder when poor Yasu is gonna get a break!
I liked this film, It's got some character, but being a"take-off" of another classic original, I can only give it 3 Skulls.


A Takashi Miike Film

Merely mentioning the name Takashi Miike certifies that the movie you are about to see will probably not be like many other films you have seen. "GOZU" or ("Grand Theatre of Perversion and Fear: Cow's Head") as it's longer full title translates, is a Yakuza horror flick that would make David Lynch stand up and take notice! It has a strange over-arching philosophical vibe that creeps throughout the work similar to a Jodorowsky film, but in the end this is classic Miike all the way! A positive reception at Cannes Film Festival in 2003 assured that this bizarre film got a theatrical release (well not in the States, but...)

4 Skulls for this creative Miike film!

All for now, Till next time...
May all your Nightmares be cinematic:)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nightmare Theater - The Hottest Films in Horror Sci-Fi & Cult Cinema #3

This month's Nightmare Theater will delve into Science Fiction and shall be dedicated specifically to films adapted from the works of Phillip K. Dick.

Phillip K. Dick, as almost everyone knows, was a deeply cynical and brilliant writer who wove his stories through apparitions of conspiracy theory, dark political agendas and (despite the fact that some would say he presented things through a lens of paranoia), some frighteningly prescient thoughts on authoritarian governments.
All the while he found a way to drift through issues of spirituality and transcendence as seen through the lens of the remnants of the 1960s drug culture. The first thing that comes to mind is probably "Blade Runner". While that's a fine film, I'm going to go with a few less obvious for this PKD edition of Nightmare Theater recommendations.

His style became clearly evident in some of the first PKD stories that I read which included "A Scanner Darkly" which was adapted for film in 2006 by Richard Linklater.

This was the cover that introduced me to Phillip K. Dick.
The film was a partially animated endeavor that delivered the drug-like nature and subject matter of the book in a unique way. Featuring Keanu Reeves, Robert Downy, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder in both live and in disturbed looking animation form. When I first read the book I wondered how a film adaptation would address the "scramble suits" (clever ever-shifting "human camouflage" suits designed for undercover law enforcement).

Next up on the PKD "hit list" is John Carpenter's "They Live" a film that is not generally thought of as a PKD film (because it is not based on one of his stories.) 

While this 1988 horror film is based on Ray Nelson's short story "8 o'clock in the Morning", I can't help but think that both Nelson and Carpenter were deeply inspired by the style and subject matter of Phillip K. Dick. Although Carpenter approached the material with a more action/comedy tongue in cheek approach (casting Rowdy Roddy Piper as lead and including a 4 minute buddy fight scene with Kieth David kind of spell that out) the core elements of PKD's primary obsessions are all over this film!

It's hard to deny the Phillip K. Dick influence at work in this film. The sense of  "paranoia that might not be paranoia",  Authoritarian Governments obscuring the truth from the masses, and somewhere mixed up in that truth, sure enough, there's aliens ...Sounds like Phillip K. Dick must have been typing in the subconscious of John Carpenter and Ray Nelson to me!

And of course "They Live" left us with classic images like this one below.


Last but not least, the latest Phillip K. Dick adaptation is 
John Alan Simon's "Radio Free Albemuth" featuring: Shea Whigam (as Phillip K. Dick), Jonathan Scarfe, Alanis Morrisette, and Katheryn Winnick.

"Radio Free Albemuth" was perhaps my favorite Phillip K. Dick novel, so I wait with excitement for this film (which is currently doing the festival circuit) to reach a festival near me or achieve distribution that brings it into theaters and/or the hands of anxious PKD fans!

While I have yet to see the actual film itself, the trailer looks promising and I have spoken extensively with Producers John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr about adapting "Radio Free Albemuth" for the big screen. 

You can catch - Part 1 of that interview -
"Radio Free Interview - Part 1" at Film Courage.

Link to Radio Free Interview by T. Reed for

Keep your eyes peeled for 
Part 2 of "Radio Free Interview" COMING SOON!
 What are YOUR favorite movies 
adapted from Phillip K. Dick Novels?

T.Reed - Composer/Sound Designer, Writer and Artist 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from the Vampire Bunnys!

On a holiday dedicated to a Zombie, rising from the grave and colored eggs, (for some reason) We introduce the Vampire Bunnys to wish you a Happy Holiday! That is all;)

Friday, April 8, 2011


Thoughts and observations on extreme indie film production and the collaboration bridging filmmakers from two continents to create two horror films and the documentary “HARDCORE INDIE”, a project by
Oklahoma Ward, Nikki Alonso (U.S.) and David P Baker (Scotland)

UPDATE: Project  achieved 103% Funding Goal within last 24 hours of deadline!!! CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU INDIE FILM FRIENDS 

Over the last few years the nature of the film and entertainment industry has gone from difficult to…well, difficult. For people who truly need to make films and create art, those who are really putting their energy into it, the challenges remain the same…always daunting, but rarely insurmountable to those with the time and perseverance to endure.
While financial constraint and economies have thrown some speed bumps into the process, social media, crowd sourcing and affordable filmmaking technology have thrown out a lifeline. Talk is cheap and money may be hard to find, but what gets films made is ACTION.

Real people, beyond hype and talk, dedicated to learning and executing a craft with the caliber of storytelling and filmmaking that will make their work stand out in the minds of their audience amidst an ocean of filmmakers trying to do the same.
Amidst this ocean Oklahoma Ward, Nikki Alonso and David Paul Baker and their unique project HARDCORE INDIE has leapt out at my consciousness from the Twitterverse and other social media avenues. The Hardcore Indie project is, in its scope, more than simply a campaign to create a film.
HARDCORE INDIE brings Scottish filmmaker David Paul Baker to Tulsa Oklahoma to embark upon a project of collaboration on two independent horror films { CRAWL and SCREEN } in the spirit of the Drive-In Cinema double feature experience AND to make a transparent document of the trials and tribulations of the process.

There is an edge of danger in the mere undertaking, as everything in filmmaking can so often go in unexpected directions and money (or the need for it) is an ever-present spectre looming. I think it was that sheer level of utter transparency that I observed in these filmakers (independently at first) that led me to believe so strongly in this project.
While David was engaged with trying to move his MISSION X project to the next level, we had several brief conversations regarding the movie consistent with everything he says and his video blogs online. The combination of experience and the sheer level of honesty and transparency about his own work was refreshing and is precisely the kind of person you could trust in a filmmaking scenario where there is no room for blowing smoke rings for ego’s sake.

Meanwhile Oklahoma Ward and Nikki Alonso were posting video logs on the making of the film CRAWL which gradually shifted to an actual LIVE FEED. Here is where I was sold on Oklahoma Ward as a filmmaker. The way he dealt with vendors on the phone. As unsexy an aspect of filmmaking as that could possibly be, that was what let me know this guy might really have what it takes to get into this truly challenging industry.

Live Video streaming by Ustream
Because filmmaking is so much more than the artificial and glorified perception most people (who don’t actually work in the biz) have. It can be a horribly soul sucking endeavor for those who don’t have what it takes to tackle the business aspect of creation. It can mean seemingly endless hours of very unsexy thankless chores and months if not years of sacrifice and investment. It’s not about fraternizing with actors and walking red carpets and champagne. It’s not about becoming a star or winning awards, and it is definitely NOT about waiting around for someone from Hollywood to come around and give you permission to make your film.
Filmmaking is about taking ACTION, action that moves you toward achieving the creative and financial goals that will allow one’s art to be manifested in the world on a level that is meaningful to the individual artists involved.

So this month I pay special tribute to HARDCORE INDIE. Please support this project and these filmmakers however you can. If you are tired of waiting and wading through what Hollywood is putting out for some good fun films, then TAKE ACTION and help filmmakers themselves bring it to you directly! Check it out for yourself. If you believe in it too, donate and/or spread the word.
Suffice it to say these filmmakers have been Nightmare Sound Laboratory Approved!

Cut out the TV stations and Hollywood Studios as middlemen. Be a part of a new way of doing things where you can take direct action in bringing the films you want to see to life. Both filmmakers and fans can find a satisfaction from this approach that goes far beyond waiting around to read what’s playing in the newspaper and TV schedules.

You can hear more from these filmmakers in the replay of their 4/8/11 interview on
Rex Sikes Movie Beat
Big Ups to current supporters of HARDCORE INDIE on Kickstarter
who have provided 61% of the budget as of posting of this blog:
04/08/11 - ONLY 5 DAYS left to reach Budget!!!
Please help if you can!
Many Thanks!

T. Reed – Composer/Sound Designer/Music Producer @TAOXproductions

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nightmare Theater - The Hottest Films in Horror Sci-Fi & Cult Cinema #2

Today I am featuring three more examples of Asian Cinema gems.
One of the most amazing works of animation  I have ever seen also happens to be an incredible interpretation of the Japanese manga by Taiyo Matsumoto.


The 2006 release directed by Michael Arias  is the fantastical adventure of Black and White, two street urchins determined to protect their town; Treasure Town, a place run by Yakuza and plagued by rival alien assassins.

With an incredible mix of 3D animation and highly sophisticated and rich painted backdrops Treasure Town becomes a real and dimensional world made magical by the original soundtrack/score by Plaid and the compelling personalities of the stories main characters two little boys who know how to navigate the dangerous turf with both ass kicking ability and childlike naivete. 

Despite the the fact that inside this tale is a heartwarming story of brotherly love and loyalty between two small boys, this is  no kid's stuff. The violence is intense and is perpetrated both by and upon the young children but it is not merely gratuitous splatter. This is truly a triumph of animation (from the team that created The Animatrix), storytelling and collaboration between great Japanese and American creative minds and hands. Tekkonkinkreet makes it to my list of top 25 films of all time.


Next it's Zombies vs Yakuza with the 1999 Japanese film "Junk" ("Shiryour Gari"). Writer/Director Atsushi Muroga brings us a well done action packed story of what happens when military experiments, Yakuza and petty criminal ambitions converge. An old military base housing the refuse of dangerous military experiments is probably not he best place for four amateur thieves trying to wrangle their way to the big time
to arrange a meeting with Yakuza heavyweights. This was a fun fast paced zombie adventure with generally pretty creepy zombies, squirming body bags, blazing gunfights, rich colors and all the traditional Zombie homage and gory bits.

Much fun!

Add to that the absolutely stunning Kaori Shinamora

While I have seen reviews that ravage this movie, it is as good as any Zombie movie out there, combining camp, gore and action in a low budget but well shot film that pays tribute to the George Romero Zombie films while tipping it's hat to "Reservoir Dogs" and "The Score".

What "Junk" might lack in budget and finesse is more than made up for in FUN!
So I give it 4 Skulls.


From the creators of Gamera, veteran creature filmmakers Tomo’o Haraguchi and Shinji Higuchi created this film in the tradition of Yokai Monsters. This sword girl vs monsters fantasy adventure is chock full of bizarre demons, some of whom are friendly and others that are bent on destruction. While Sakuya (Nozomi Ando) is the Star and Hero in the film who wanders the world with her half-demon brother destroying demons with her magic sword, I was left enamored of the Spider Queen and the amazing special effects that made her hands look like living tarantulas!

 Kappa monsters, undead samurai, and a giant werecat type beast are but  a few of the wonderfully fun and nicely crafted oddball monsters That Sakuya and her Ninja assistants must fend off with swords and "Bamboo Punk" devices.
Rare as it is to see on my movie lists, this one is entirely family friendly (so long as fighting and killing demons isn't considered too much for your household.

But take it from me, your life will feel more complete when you see the awesome Kaiju sized Spider Queen!
Sakuya _The Demon Slayer - Trailer
Sakuya is a fun adventure into the strange world of mythical Japanese Demons that I highly recommend!
Till next time, Happy Nightmares!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Interview with Hart D. Fisher - "The Scariest Man in America" - Part 2

T. Reed interviews Hart D. Fisher “The Scariest Man in America” - Part 2.   
Hart D. Fisher is the darkly creative Horror entrepreneur behind the comic publishing company {Boneyard Press}. He is also a writer, filmmaker, an avid Martial Artist and currently the Host of "American Horrors". You can catch Part 1 of this interview at  

Part Two of this interview includes more discussion about Boneyard Press, Hart’s work with Verotik and Glenn Danzig, the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer comic, and his time spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
While not everyone knows it, it is fairly common knowledge that between Wisconsin and Illinois there is a sort of “Bermuda Triangle” of three of the most notorious serial killers of all time!  Ed Gien, the real life inspiration for Wisconsin author Robert Bloch’s “Psycho” (as made famous by Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins), “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Deranged” and others), Jeffery Dahmer (who tried to make “real” zombies out of his victims through back room lobotomy), and (just to the South) in Chicago, the infamous John Wayne Gacy for whom killing was just a matter of “clowning around”.
TR: As a Milwaukee native I am of course interested in how you came to the creation of the controversial “Jeffrey Dahmer”comic biography and what your interactions in Milwaukee were like. You also “did time” at Milwaukee’s Metal Fest and had a legal conflict with Miller Brewing Company. Could you tell us briefly about your experiences (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?

HDF One of my old childhood friends, Dan Madsen, had just recently sold off his comic book company, Northstar (the original home of splatter classic Faust), but he still had the publishing itch. Since Dan knew I had just started up Boneyard Press, and we’d known each other since grade school, he called me up and suggested that I do something similar to the Nancy Reagan/Kitty Kelly bio book, only with serial killers and in comic book format. It was Dan who suggested I check out Jeffrey Dahmer.

By this point in my life, I was pretty bored with serial killers. I’d been reading about them, researching them since I was a tween. Hell, I even took some abnormal psyche classes in school, both my parents had degrees in psyche so I grew up around psycho babble, doing a piece on just another serial killer didn’t really appeal to me. So when I did get around to checking into the Dahmer case I was absolutely appalled at the distortions going on and the relentless marketing of this scumbag pedophile as some kind of handsome intriguing dark heartthrob. It was sickening. I decided I would do a very dry “just the facts, Ma’am” kind of a book and I hired a newspaper illustrator to draw the book. I did the best I could to handle a distasteful subject and handle it as tastefully as possible, while being true to the facts of the crimes.

When the book came out, a reporter in Milwaukee bought copies and then ambush-interviewed the victims’ families at their homes. I mean, this is exactly the kind of wreckless shitty behavior by the television media I was criticizing in the book. The families were very upset about my comic book. In their minds, comics were for kids. Then the “local community leaders” got into the act and started using the victims’ cache for their own political gains and to get on television. It was an awful thing to watch, let alone be in the middle of.

Hart Fisher On Sally Jesse Raphael Show 1993 - This round goes to Mr. Fisher!

I tried to have fun with this media bad guy thing but it got real ugly real fast. Death threats, vandalism, businesses refused to work with me anymore like my local copy shop. My house was robbed because the assholes in the local news broadcasted to the town that I’d left town to do a Fangoria Horror Convention. At the convention I found out that my house was robbed and now that too was on the news, in fact, it was a CBS news team that found my place busted into.

I’d been to Milwaukee plenty for conventions and promotions and always had a good time there, except for the court dates, those were humiliating. This included time at the Milwaukee Metal Fest, I mean, metal fans rule, man; they’ve always supported me all the way. That’s why I’m down with the fucking metal. When I needed them, the metal heads were there for me. They scooped me up off the ground, put a fistful of booze in my hand, and sent me back out into the fight. That means the world to me.

It’s just the last time I was at MMF that was brutal. The longer the Dahmer controversy went on, the more I was getting hunted and attacked. I had two different stalkers in Champaign, Illinois where I was living. One was a gay ex-marine who tried to spook me, stalkin’ me out at the local Goth bar hang. Another was a female stalker who liked to dress up as the killer from Brian DePalma’s Dressed to Kill, the one with Michael Caine, she’d stand across the room at Comic Conventions and stare at me.

The more television shows I did, the more death threats poured in, particularly from Milwaukee. When I came up for the last MMF show, it was the summer of ’93 and it was one week after Michele had been killed and I was out of my mind nuts, packing a .357 revolver in my briefcase. I was stone cold out of my mind crazy. Sure, I sold a ton of shirts and comics at the show, but I didn’t know who was there for the show and who had a shiv meant for me.

Dahmer Cue Pt.1 - Protest March on Comic Publisher Hart Fisher's Home

Frankly, I don’t remember much from that weekend at all, it’s just one red hazy blur.

As for Miller Brewing… Same old shit. A dick sucking reporter, looking to stir up trouble, bought a couple of my Jeffrey Dahmer: Milwaukee’s Best t-shirts and sent them to Miller Brewing to get a reaction out of them. Heehehehe… That got a reaction out of them all right, Miller Brewing sent me a cease & desist order. I was tired of being in court so I said fuck that one. Hell, I can’t deny I took the logo for the shirt right off of a case of Milwaukee’s Best and slightly altered it.


Man, I laughed so hard when I got the cease & desist… I had that thing taped up to my fridge for at least a year after that…

Hart Fisher with Martial Arts Trainers Gokor and Bas Rutten
TR: Interestingly enough, while I was familiar with the Dahmer comic, it barely made a blip on my radar. Living in Milwaukee, I started to tune out the local media and District Attorney grandstanding that surrounded the case, so the whole controversy with the comic slipped by me without much notice.  I actually first became familiar with Hart Fisher indirectly. I was working on some storyboards for a horror comic inspiration that  was much more demonically grisly and risqué than my “normal” more cerebral horror fare. I had the thought that it was just too much for most publishers, but it had some real creative merit! Were there even any publishers that would touch it with a 10 foot pole? Then I discovered Glenn Danzig’s comic line “Verotik”. While my life got swallowed up by the music biz and didn’t leave me time to pursue that line of thought any further, I was always curious about the few comic companies that really dared to push the envelope – Enter Hart Fisher and Boneyard Press. Could you talk about your experiences in comic publishing with Boneyard Press, Verotik and the role that experience has played in your filmmaking endeavors? Are you through with the comic publishing business? … Or is that bug still inside you somewhere waiting for a future in which it can breed?

HDF: I’m returning to comics sooner than you think.

Clint Scott hired me to write his new series, Splatter Saint, I’m finishing up the writing chores on the first issue right now. He’s asked me to deliver to him the HAMMER; much like Glenn Danzig did when I brought him “A Taste of Cherry” for Verotika #4, so I’m bringing him something really dark, twisted and fucked up. It’s going to damage some fan boys out there for sure...

But to answer your question about comics and movie making… When you publish comic books on a monthly basis it’s much like managing your own mini-film studio. You have creative teams on your “features”. You have monthly deadlines you have to hit, ad campaigns that you have to create, manage, and gauge how well they do or don’t do… You have to be able to manage people well. You have to be able to budget, to plan for and overcome obstacles… You ship your “Prints” to your “Theaters”, just like you do in film.

Comics is actually a merciless business full of jealous back stabbing social rejects who don’t know how to interact with each other well… Don’t get me wrong... it’s a funny world too, full of awesome people, funny guys and artists… But Jesus jumpin’ Christ, do you deal with a lot of gossipy little girls who’re afraid of interacting with real human beings, who are threatened easily, who guard their turf like it’s their own personal fiefdom, and not a lot of insight of ability to laugh at themselves… You know, Hollywood without the pussy and the big money…

Yeah, I’d say comics is a nice starting business before getting into Film and Television, but you better be ready to play rough in the entertainment business, you better be ready for fuckin’ war in the gutters and death from above… but to me, they’re weak, they’re staggered and stunned… They’re ripe for a fall, for the blade, for my fire. I’ve got high tolerance for pain and pressure just pushes me to do better work. The more you pile on the pressure, the better and sharper I function. I mean, I started Boneyard Press while going to college full time, writing & drawing the books and training six days a week, 2 hours a day for my Black Belt test in Tae Kwan Do. A guy who does that for FUN is a driven dude.
Comics, I’ll come back to comics when I’ve got money to burn and unleash bloody hellfire like they’ve never seen. One thing I truly learned from running Verotik with Glenn Danzig’s muscle behind me vs. being the Boneyard Press outlaw- Money talks. Money changes the game, changes the rules, all of them. Everything else is window dressing. Hell, I’ve been working with Glenn again as his editor, and he’s been teaching me more and more about navigating Hollyweird and the entertainment game. How’s that for an advisor? Glenn’s been very generous with his time, he’s watched everything I’ve given to him,  he’s given me sharp constructive criticism of the American Horrors show that I’ve incorporated into the American Horrors Mobile Network. 

You name me one other fucking horror company with a guy like Glenn motherfuckin’ Danzig giving advice. Name one… go ahead. I’ve got a lot of sharp, experienced people behind me on American Horrors. That’s a major game changer.

Boneyard Press was my one man vendetta to be the scariest publisher of comics EVER. I brought a unique voice to horror with Boneyard Press, one that slipped under the radar, touched people where they didn’t expect to be touched. I started the careers of a slew of creators (like My Chemical Romance front man Garry Way, Village Voice critical darling and foster care reform advocate Stephen Elliott, Top Ten Wizard artist John Cassaday) in comics and I aim to apply that same ability to spot and develop talent to use at American Horrors. I’ve formed alliances with the tastemakers in the horror film festival game, and they’re steering me the talent. American Horrors is backed with serious professionals who bring their wealth of experiences and business relationships to my plate. I’m being groomed for the boardroom and the media world by serious men who’ve taken an interest in me and my vision for American Horrors.

It’s a great day to be alive and walking in my shoes. I’m doing everything I want to do with all the people I grew up respecting and wanting to work with. That’s the result of hard, hard work that people have noticed, a lot of pros have been waiting years for me to find my way out of the madness and into the light so we could have some fun, make some money, and bring down the nightmares.

You can find Part One of this interview at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nightmare Theater - The Hottest Films in Horror SciFi, & Cult Cinema

I am happy to present a new feature here at Nightmare Sound Laboratory! In case you haven't guessed it by now, I sort of have a thing for Horror movies, as well as Sci-Fi, Cult, Asian Cinema and, well, just movies in general. As such I have a collection of over a thousand films, including many obscure titles. From "so bad it's good" to "so good it's terrifying" and everything in-between, I'd like to present some of my favorite picks in this feature I call "Nightmare Theater". I won't be doing reviews here 'per se', but I will present some recommendations and sufficient description to solve your movie night dilemmas. The hottest picks from my private collection, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 skulls.
Today's picks are from my Asian Cinema collection. Here are a couple of my all time favorites and definitely amongst some of the wildest films out there!

"Hellevator" or ("The Bottled Fools") the 2004 Japanese film written and directed by Hiroki Yamaguchi is definitely NOT for the kiddies:) It is gruesome, freakish, post-Apocalyptic cyber-punk in an elevator. This film makes M. Night Shamylan pee his bed while David Lynch laughs about it. It's weird, it's tense, and it's everything I love in a film. "A Clockwork Orange" get's stood on it's head, crammed through "1984" and dropped in to a brave New Tokyo most of which occurs while a group of strangers are trapped on an elevator with dangerous prisoners. Bored with "regular" old movies? THIS IS A MUST SEE FILM! Five Skulls!

Save the Green Planet
"Save the Green Planet" (2003) is a Korean film from the mind  writer/director Joon Hwang-Jang. This Dark Comedy lives up to both characteristics to the highest degree. Again, this film is NOT for children, nonetheless it can be both heartwarming AND horrifying in the same moment. Byeong-gu (Ha-kyun Shin) suspects his boss is an Alien. With the help of his adorable hapless, naive but loyal girlfriend Kang Man-shik (Yun-shik Baek) they go to extreme measures to save the world from invasion! Madcap creepy fun! 5 Skulls!

Volcano High 
Another splendid Korean film by Director Tae-gyun Kim, "Volcano High" (2001) is a fun high flying fantasy FX film about violence between rivals at WanSanGo (Volcano High). This is silly comic book fun with plenty of martial arts madness, schoolgirls who kick ass and enough mystic Kung Fu to sooth the Taoist in me. Think Battle Royal but WAY cooler! Exciting cinematography and experimental tones give this a super comic book feel! The film centers around Kyeong-su (Hyuk Jang) a transfer student known for disciplinary troubles, who must unite the students to face a greater enemy than rival gangs. The DVD comes with an English version dubbed by famous rappers (Snoop Dog, Method Man, & others); DO NOT WATCH THE ENGLISH VERSION! It ruins the movie, and whether you like those artists or not, the dubbing is sub par and the entire flow and vibe of the film is lost. There is also something about the nature of the Korean language that is so critical to the actors' performances. Definitely watch the Korean version with English subtitles. You won't regret it! You guessed it: 5 Skulls!
These are three of my all time favorites so we got 15 Skulls up on the trophy wall!
Nothing like watching a good film with some great fiends!
That's all for now,  till next time at Nightmare Theater,
Beast Wishes,
T.Reed - Composer @TAOXproductions

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 : A Space for an Odyssey

This New Year I am probably the last person who should write about “How to keep New Year’s resolutions” (so I won’t). I am as guilty as anyone of what I call the creative “Art of Multi-crastination” and have a task list longer than my arm stretched out before me as we speak!  
For that purpose, Angelo Bell has a wonderful Blog post for Filmmakers that offers up some great tips for setting powerful goals and keeping them here: 11 Ways to Keep Your Indie Film New Years Resolutions
I’d like to talk about the “Why” - Why NOW is a particularly important time. And I don’t mean in that nebulous Zen “Now is the only moment of power” kind of way (even though it’s true).
As we approach this New Year - 2011, many of us carry forward resolutions to do more, do it better, and get in great shape while we are doing it.These valiant goals and others come in many forms and just about every artist, writer, musician, filmmaker and entrepreneur have a host of industry specific goals they would like to achieve at the start of each year.
 For Artists of all kinds, the journey from creative inclinations to professional aspirations and achievements is indeed a great odyssey! 

But this year is a particularly interesting and fortuitous year to get on top of that list and really tackle the goals you wish to achieve.“The industry” is in a temporary upheaval and there is a groundswell of independent arts activity and technology that is shifting the balance of power and creating a more Artist friendly environment with more direct connection to audiences. Alternate paradigms are emerging and gaining ground. 

The challenge and core “down in the gut” question for many ambitious creative people has always been “How can I “make it” doing what I love to do?”  For many that means finding a functional “middle class” path that not only provides life’s necessities, but also the means to facilitate the manifestation of more new and unique collaborations and works of art and entertainment.

There are some lovely new “memes” spreading across the internet like “authenticity” and “Becoming one’s own brand”, but … there is still a long way to go! There is always the danger that these ideas with such great potential could simply be assimilated and abused to dysfunction by the pre-existing stagnant industry giants or people that are still so saturated by the previously engrained “competition” and “scarcity” based paradigms that they simply imprint the old memes upon the new ones, effectively canceling their value. (i.e. SPAM and “Push Selling” ain’t “NEW” or “authentic” simply because it’s “tweeted” from a freakin’ Star Trek lookin’ Android or iPhone”).

2011 holds a great deal of potential opportunity precisely because we are in this state of flux. The atmosphere is bristling for change and anyone with the courage and fortitude to play a positive role in that development NOW has a good chance of finding their “wave” in the years to come. Being flexible and open to new ideas, people and processes while maintaining clear focus on our goals may just be the key to riding this wave. I truly hope that there are many of us who can heed this call.
  • We need to cautiously but expeditiously find our way through developing better business paradigms SO THAT we can really sit down and focus on developing our craft and our art. That is after all, the heart of what we do and the reason why most of us do it in the first place.
  • We need to be able to focus on writing NEW stories and finding amazing new ways to tell them.
  • We need to expand our creative and cultural vocabularies by collaborating with artists, friends and partners that enrich and enhance each other
  • And we need (and deserve) to be able to survive and thrive while growing and expanding to our full creative potential. “The Arts” play a very important role in culture – too important to be left in the hands of bean counters and corporate executives with no connection to the art itself.
Whatever your role in the world of arts and entertainment, now is the time (while the “system” is broken or at least reasonably off its footing) to rebuild our industry more in the image we’d like to see, rather than simply struggling to get on for the ride and trying like hell not to get bucked off.

Just keeping our ordinary New Year’s resolutions seems hard enough. Getting on point toward building a great career and body of work in the Arts is an added challenge. Doing it during an economy in flux adds even further complication. Attempting to change the industry one artist at a time may seem even more daunting. But determining to do any of those things NOW may just be the single step that launches the rest of your own amazing creative odyssey in the world of Art and Filmmaking in the 21st Century.

Stanley Kubrick's "2001 A Space Odyssey" was a groundbreaking film and represented what great filmmakers could achieve at the time. It spoke to the 21st Century over thirty years before it would actually arrive.  

Take inspiration from that and speak to your own future as an Artist and your own personal creative odyssey for 2011.
                                                                                                                                           Happy New Year!
T. Reed  - Composer @TAOXproductions