Amoeblog

AFI 2012 - The ABCs of Death (2012)

Posted by Charles Reece, November 18, 2012 10:41pm | Post a Comment
abcs of death poster

Lets just say this film is NOT for the morally conscious.
-- Timo Tjahjanto on his "L is for Libido"

The ABCs of Death
is a collection of humorous horror shorts from around the world, each based on a letter of the alphabet -- so you know going in that, percentage-wise, some of it won't be very good. However, there are a truly inspired few that make enduring the whole worthwhile. What you'll learn, if you didn't already know, is that Americans aren't very good at making horror these days, Asians are the best, with the French and Mexicans falling somewhere in between.

The best of the bunch is undoubtedly from Indonesia, Timo Tjahjanto's "L is for Libido."  Two men are chained to chairs, forced to masturbate to whatever's put before them on a stage. The last one to ejaculate gets gruesomely eliminated, while the winner goes on to the next round, with something even more heinous being put before him and his new opponent. Without giving any of the shock value away, I'll just say that the forced fetish spectacle was sufficiently evil to get the asshole sitting next to me who couldn't stop playing with his cell phone (a video arcade was coming from his seat) to finally pay attention and leave in disgust. A good horror film can't be ignored. Despite Tjahjanto's claim of amorality, there's actually quite a bit going on here. I'm thinking about the assumption of passivity in gaze theory, both on the part of the spectacle and on the part of the spectator. What's being shown in front of the camera is under its controlling gaze (typically, this is thought to be women, objectified and fetishized), while giving the viewer the false impression of being in control of that gaze, when in fact the gaze has been ("always already") structured for him (men tend to be assumed to be in the role of the scopophiliac). The short manifests this theory as horror: the men are actually subjugated to a spectacle beyond their control. But it's unlikely to win many feminist converts, because it's played for laughs (of the gallows humor variety). The problem in gaze theory is that the spectator isn't passive, a mere product of interpellation, which is made comically apparent through sanguine literality. Intentional or not, Tjahjanto has created a perverse satire of Laura Mulvey's theory.

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Herman Stein - Architect of the Sound of Science-Fiction

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 19, 2012 07:45am | Post a Comment
Composer Herman SteinThough his name isn’t widely recognized, Herman Stein was a very influential American composer. Though he composed hundreds of film scores, he was most influential in for his work within the genres of horror and science-fiction. Some of his most recognized scores were created for Creature from the black lagoon, The incredible shrinking man, It came from outer space, Love slaves of the Amazons, The Mole People, The Monolith MonstersRevenge of the Creature, and This island EarthTarantula.



Herman Stein was born 19 August, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began playing piano at the age of three and made his concert debut when he was six. Reportedly he was almost entirely self-taught, having spent many hours studying scores at his local public library.
He became a professional arranger when he was 15. In the 1930 and ‘40s he arranged for bands, including those of Blanche Calloway, Bob CrosbyCount Basie, David Rubinoff, Don RedmanFred WaringGus Haenschen, and Red Norvo. He also composed for radio programs, cartoons and commercials, as well as absolute music like 1967’s A sour suite.


William Friedkin on The Exorcist

Posted by Charles Reece, May 13, 2012 11:41pm | Post a Comment

I go to so many Q&As that I decided to start recording them with my trusty iPhone. The first in the series is
William Friedkin discussing his classic horror film after an Arclight screening on May 1, 2012.

Our "What's In My Bag?" Video Screens Before "The Innkeepers" at the Downtown Independent

Posted by Amoebite, February 2, 2012 03:06pm | Post a Comment
We recently posted a new What's In My Bag? video with director Ti West and actress Sara Paxton from the new indie horror film The Innkeepers and we're excited to announce that our video will be shown in the theater before screenings of The Innkeepers at LA's Downtown Independent!

The Innkeepers, the latest film from The House of the Devil director, is about employees from a soon-to-be-closed inn who set out to prove that the inn is actually haunted. The film was inspired by West's real life experience staying at The Yankee Pedlar Inn in Connecticut (the same one featured in The Innkeepers) where he and the crew stayed during the shooting on The House of the Devil. In fact, the cast and crew of The Innkeepers - staying and shooting at The Yankee Pedlar Inn - had unusual dreams and paranormal sensations during their time at the Inn, just as the cast and crew of The House of the Devil had a few years earlier. Spooky...


The film opens on Friday, February 3 and is screening in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent through Thursday February 9. Ti West will be at the Monday 2/6 7pm screening for a Q&A about the film. Go check it out and see our What's In My Bag? video on the big screen! 

2011: That Which Doesn't Kill Us Makes Things Longer

Posted by Job O Brother, December 13, 2011 11:03am | Post a Comment
vintage father time
"Why couldn't I have been the year with Obamacare?"

Oh, 2011! Can it be it’s only been a year since I knew ye? This was a year of firsts: The first time I had a kitten who liked to lick new, clean plastic with an almost fetishistic zeal; the first year I lived in Los Angeles without working the floor at my beloved Amoeba Music Hollywood (I miss you, desperate holiday shoppers!); the first year I grew more than one grey hair at the same time (I blame you, traffic on Fairfax!)

It was also the year I suddenly, and without any obvious explanation, decided I loved and wanted to see any and all films of the horror genre. This came as a surprise to me. My boyfriend accuses me often of only liking films where nothing ever happens – preferably with a lone clock ticking in the corner of an otherwise quiet room. It annoys me when he claims this, mostly because I cannot defend myself.

The horror section in Amoeba Music’s DVD section provided me with many hours of happy judging-a-book-by-its-cover moments. Some gems I was hypnotized by were…

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