Oct. 9th, 2016

alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
So, I have reached the infamous “Lucia Joyce” chapter of Alan Moore’s new novel, Jerusalem. It’s written as a pastiche of James Joyce’s Finnegan‘s Wake, with nearly every word misspelled punally, or mangled in some crossword way. Moore says that writing this chapter broke his brain, and he had to take 18 months off from writing the novel to recover. Even just reading it is doing odd things to my use and perception of language.

It’s a difficult read, but not without its rewards. I have laughed out loud more often during this chapter than any other; not merely because of funny events (though there certainly are some), but a rare sort of revelatory laughter, as I realize another layer of meaning snaking around the surface level of the plot.

But I really started writing this post to express my joy and amazement at one particular scene in this chapter. Reading and Alan Moore novel, one expects a great deal of intertextuality, and guest appearances by all manner of obscurely famous people. What I did NOT see coming, was an extended conversation between Lucia Joyce and Herbie Popnecker, a.k.a. The Fat Fury! Okay, TECHNICALLY, it was artist Ogden Whitney, but as portrayed by Moore, that’s a distinction without a difference.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Kes wanted to see this movie because it seemed to be in the sub genre “evil trees”. It wasn’t EXACTLY that, but it satisfied, nonetheless.

A young English couple moves to a remote forest in Ireland, to help prepare for an upcoming logging operation. The locals warn them that these woods belong to “The Hallow”, fearsome faery-like beings. Our protagonists, sadly, do not appear to have any genre-savvy, and write this off as rural superstition. Viewers who ARE genre-savvy, especially fans of real-world biological horror, will see a lot of what’s coming as soon as the word “Cordyceps” is uttered.

Plot-wise, there aren’t a lot of surprises, but the direction and acting are excellent. Stylistically, the film moves through a half dozen or so classic horror sub genres, frequently adding a new bit of spin to what our not-so-heroic protagonists have to deal with. It starts calm and slow, but there’s some truly disturbing body horror by the end of it.

Speaking of ends, if you do watch this movie, stay for the very end of the credits. Several of the last few credits are amusing in and of themselves. And in the final 90 seconds or so, music plays over them which slyly re-contextualizes the entire film that came before it. Recommended for horror fans.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Kestrell discovered this today, and we watched the first two episodes. It’s a newish TV series from CBS that’s available for free on Amazon Prime Video. It’s basically “The West Wing” meets “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, with an extra dash of black humor. We’re definitely intrigued enough to watch more.

Also, for extra geek cred points, after the first episode, the “previously on Braindead” segment is a song by Jonathan Coulton (with slightly altered lyrics each week). While there is definitely a horror element, the level of gore is consistent with broadcast television. On the other hand, if you have trouble with a plot revolving around mind-controlling bugs crawling inside people’s brains, you might want to give it a miss. And of course, having only seen the first two episodes, I can’t guarantee that the quality will stay high. Provisionally recommended.

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Alexx Kay

August 2017

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