Monday, April 25, 2011


FEARnet rolled out its Greatest Horror Themes: The Sequel today, and because I have annexed a section of my horror heart for just this type of hodgepodge, I clicked over and perused the picks. I won't give away the store, but with the original list recalling the old reliables, a few surprises were thrown into this one, and I was so pumped that I began to reply back with my own list, save for the intrinsic knowledge that the writer could give a rat's ass that 1) I think David Hess' "Now You're Alone" trumps everything on his list on any day of the week, and 2) my childhood fear of Giorgio Moroder's "The Chase" theme from Midnight Express has only intensified in my late thirties.

But the biggest reason why I scrapped my reply is that unless I were being paid to produce a list like this, it is literally impossible for me to organize anything I'm passionate about into ordered objectivity. Favorite film? Okay, Romero's Dawn of the Dead. But list my second favorite? Forget it. I can't list my favorite album, my favorite band, my favorite food—I just can't. Horror is no exception, and it's actually the one thing that I'm at a complete loss to categorize.

I can tell you that my favorite composer of all time is the brilliant, legendary, beautiful Fabio Frizzi. At a loss to find any uploads of The Beyond OST on YouTube a few years back, I dug up my Anchor Bay 2-Disc SE and did it myself:

The day Fabio Frizzi commented on my upload, I nearly wet myself a rainbow.

I get excited when I see Frizzi make one of these "Best Themes" lists, but I get evangelical when I see themes that are hardly ever mentioned:

The Entity—Charles Bernstein
Dead and Buried—Joe Renzetti
Happy Birthday to Me—Bo Harwood & Lance Rubin
Alice Sweet Alice—Stephen J. Lawrence (this OST is my Holy Grail)
Sleepaway Camp—Edward Bilous

So while I've just gone and made a list, I haven't assigned any order to it—no premeditated ranking, no numbers qualifying my picks from least to most favorite. I guess you could say that as horror fans, our preferences are ultimately like our children—we can't choose our favorites. The problem with this parallel is that I don't have any children, and my friends are happy to take my soundtracks off my hands at anytime.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Don't Need No Imitation.

I made a comment in my early days of Twitter (last month) that sounded so uncharacteristically snotty that I had to feel myself up just to believe that the hands that typed it were actually mine:

"I refuse to follow anyone who is excited about the Suspiria remake."

Now, if you know me, you know I don't just roll out that kind of comment for my health. I posted it only after a celebrity I was following tweeted about the remake, and how psyched they were that David Gordon Green was directing. And a few replies to my tweet did seem to support that level of enthusiasm. So, okay—David Gordon Green is very talented, directed a film I enjoyed very much (Pineapple Express), and made the notable The Night of the Hunter-esque Undertow. Fine, fine and fine.

But, you see—the thing is, I don't care if Dario Argento himself was remaking Suspiria (and, recalling Argento's sentiment on remakes at his panel my husband and I attended at a WOH a year ago, I'm assuming that Dracula 3D will be an entity unto itself). I also don't care that he released the rights to Green for the remake (releasing the rights is not exactly the same as giving one a shining endorsement—and Argento held out on those rights for a while). And I really don't care if some remakes have ended up being better than the original source material (The Thing, The Fly). I do care that George Romero (aka my favorite director of all time) was able to recover some semblance of copyright from Tom Savini's NOTLD redux. But unless we're in some kind of imminent danger of losing the original print of Suspiria—due to a newly-discovered freak bleeding of the Technicolor Rome dye transfer some 35 years on—there is no need to remake the film.

I'm hung up on this remake thing too, sister.

I'm passionate about this, and about not remaking films in general, because I truly believe that remakes are so distilled to the point that the original meanings (cultural, or in Argento and Daria Nicolodi's case, Disneyesque Grand Guignol of the Snow White fable) are lost until only motive (money made off the nostalgia of never-beens) remains. Isn't it bad enough that the Goblin score has been used to pitch other films (Black Swan and Jane Eyre)? And speaking of Goblin, the latest word is that the legendary Italian prog masters' music is being appropriated for the remake. I hope this is just speculation and not reality, as 1) I doubt Goblin are hurting for money, 2) Goblin are renowned worldwide and hardly need the publicity, and 3) I assume that Claudio Simonetti and co. would be in alignment with Argento's original vision and would rather eat American pizza and say they love it than subvert Italy's cherished horror legacy by participating in a remake.

Anyway, the show will go on, much ado will be made, we'll keep hearing phrases like "true to the original," and Argento will probably be coaxed into handing out supportive promotional sound bites to remake producers as if he were the neighborhood hermit on Halloween. What's in it for me? Well, repeated airings of Suspiria on IFC and elsewhere, perhaps a midnight showing at the Nuart—and the self satisfaction of knowing that the remake will come and go like many others before it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Feel the Need for Feed.

I've gone and done it. I've joined the Twittersphere, the Twitterverse, whatever one calls it. Twitter was my last social media holdout (well, the last one of which I am fully aware), one that I prided myself on maintaining, and now I'm fully integrated into the grid like Jeff Bridges in Tron. And okay, it's not as bad as I imagined it to be.

So now that I'm broadcasting a quasi-endless stream of random bulltwit to people who are charitable and patient enough to follow me (and I love all 10 of you; the rest—I'm sure—are bots), I've got some things to say that require more than 140 characters:

I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me. John Lennon said it, and in a sense, I truly believe it now, having seen so much starfuckery on Twitter that I had to unfollow a grip of celebrities I admired before I loathed them to the point where I wanted to unfollow their offerings as well. I rarely reach out to a celebrity, and when I do, it's with a fair amount of trepidation. But I saw how certain celebrities I followed treated tweets from fans, as opposed to tweets from their contemporaries; that is, they ignored the fans (who subsidize their livelihoods) and inserted their noses so far up other celebrities' asses that my feed quickly began to resemble the Golden Globes. Perhaps I should've followed Ricky Gervais for levity. Oh well—should've, could've, didn't. He probably doesn't RT his fans, either.

People you least expect to be Twitter snobs are the biggest ones. That mellow, awesome, all-accepting guy I was good friends with in high school Advanced Placement, the one who always shared his weed and knew when Morrissey was coming to town? Forget it—he is a rock, he is an island, and he couldn't give a coconut about me. Oh, and those fellow horror fans you befriended at the last Weekend of Horrors? Yep, they've got Twitter accounts too, and they'll follow you—until they reach their desired number of followers. Then like skieves in the night, they'll drop you like a bad franchise. Horror geeks, math rockers, comedy writers, "nerdists"—no, no, no and no. They gave at the office, and here's your pink slip. They're just too sexy for your party. Twitter is truly the Land that Nice Forgot.

So why in hell do I bother? Well, I came for the dinner, stayed for the pie, and found that I liked following real human beings who teach me how to live more, learn more, and be more grateful. A beautiful 5-year-old battling a brain tumor. A brilliant journalist from The Mirror whose tweets unveil a spectacular taste in music. A renowned novelist whose engaging tweets can teach a celebrity or ten about how to be accessible without sacrificing the self. And I also have a thing for a legendary film institution, but it's okay—my husband has given me a free pass. These follows enrich my life and, I hope, bring something to my followers' lives (I hate that word, followers. I'm not exactly leading people to the Mount) as well.

If not, then I guess the "unfollow" button is always there, for those who have had enough, to gong me off their stage. To quote my own tweet from a few weeks back, I'd rather lose followers being myself than gain them by being someone else. Btw, I'm @thebirdzthenerd.