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Under Rotting Sky
by James Shafie

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Amputees, lizard and frog battles, self-cannibalism!  WEEE!

Amputees, lizard and frog battles, self-cannibalism! WEEE!
So I think it's time for me to school all of you on some more killer flicks that you should see, faithful readers. Zombie Boy over there wrote a fantastic piece on zombies, and I don't wanna upstage him or anything you know? Ha ha, just JOKING. That column was a piece of awesome, yummy goodness. Anyways, here you go.

Oh boy, how to begin. This movie was directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky and is one messed up film. I love it though. It's an absurdist, psychedelic, marathon of not knowing what's going and enjoying it. This film does have a plot though. It seems to be the story of a few people on a journey towards enlightenment up the Holy Mountain. Is the mountain there, or just in their minds? Can enlightenment be achieved through pain or knowledge? And was that just Jesus Christ eating...himself?! Though this might be the strangest movie I have ever seen, it doesn't feel pretentious or forced. Jodorowsky has a way of creating that integrates every part of a movie to make it one big flowing river of ideas and feelings. I wish we could smell things through our screens because this movie affects all your senses in a big way. Would I suggest this movie to elderly golfers or ultra-conservative businessmen? No, probably not. But if you dig weird stuff, off-beat humor, and thought-provoking images, check it out.

This movie overtook the HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS as my favorite movie (at the moment). Why?
Necrophelia?  Well, maybe.

Necrophelia? Well, maybe.
Because it's a little bit more fun. This movie is directed by Gen Sekiguchi and tells five stories that all intertwine somewhat. This movie is what I would call a "romp". I don't use that word often, so take note. It's really entertaining and makes you feel for the characters. Tadanobu Asano, from ICHI THE KILLER, does amazingly well in this film. He is able to show emotions without ever really actually showing them on his face. Don't ask me how though, it just happens. Also in this film is British actor Vinnie Jones (SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) and Sonny Chiba! This flick uses many different style and techniques in filming, editing, sound and overall visual style. If you've ever seen REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, the director, Darren Aronofsky, utilizes repetition with certain actions. This film uses that same method for certain scenes.

I've read and heard what people think of this film, and it's pretty divided. Some feel it's a waste of time; too much absurd and fanciful storytelling and not enough solid plot. Well, poo on them. This film allows the audience to realize that movies aren't always set in the real world, no matter how close to reality it seems. Movies aren't always what you think they are, so don't limit yourself by not believing certain things or deciding that a flick isn't believable.

Thos movie has come out recently, and is directed by Nimród Antal. It's a genuine horror flick, through and through. There
Nothing witty here.

Nothing witty here.
really isn't any filler in this film. I thought the back story, the couple (Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson) had lost a child recently, was going to be, but I turned out to be mildly important with regards to character development. Frank Whaley (SWIMMING WITH SHARKS) was great as the leader of a group of homicidal, snuff-film aficionados, seventies mustache and all. This movie had the couple go into a motel and right away the fun starts. No dilly-dally here my friends. And the rest of the movie was running, fighting, crawling and death. Exactly how a slasher film should be. No frivolous sub-plots, no reason why the killers are doing this, no stupid children getting in the way. Just good old fashioned murder and mayhem.

I don't think all horror should be like this though. It's just that, sometimes less is more; simplification can be a good thing, especially with the horror genre. You don't want convoluted plots and lame characters to bog your movie up. Because, let's face it, people go to horror movies to get scared and to see some get his face ripped off.

There you go folks, three more movies that you all desperately need to see. Remember, if you don't, McG and Uwe Boll are going to come after you make you watch the dailies of their new films. And none of us want that right? RIGHT?! Dear god I hope you're saying yes to your computers. All right then, until next time, stay terrified.

Oh PS, this column is dedicated to my new and first nephew, Aleister Ashton Bandy.

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The Lair of the Mad
Every other Tuesday

'The Lair' discusses the many aspects and qualities of the horror genre. From actors, to make-up, to music, James Shafie explores everything the "cult" genre spews up.

Other Columns
Other columns by James Shafie:

Speaking Out

Yearn For Change

Queen of Night

Too Close Enough To Touch

The Time of the Beasts

All Columns

James Shafie
James Shafie is an avid watcher of movies of all sorts, but the horror genre is closest to his heart. He loves to read and is addicted to music, mostly metal and it’s thousands of sub-genres. He was once fired by Blockbuster, which we see as a strong character trait.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to James Shafie by clicking here.

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