Amoeblog

Having a Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: Russian Ghosts & Japanese Monsters

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 21, 2020 05:49pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases.

VIYViy, Severin:
This dark Russian fairy tale could easily make it onto a list of the best horror/ fantasy movies ever made. It's just a simple story beautifully told. In the fifties and sixties, Russia produced some psychedelic and surreal adaptations of fairy tales. Most of these were made for children, but Viy takes this unique aesthetic and applies it to a fable that is decidedly for adults. The movie is an adaptation of a classic novella by Nikolai Gogol and there is a literary feel to the screenplay that keeps the story on a tight narrative track. Director Mario Bava previously adapted this same Gogol novella as Black Sunday and, while it is an excellent movie, Viy is even better.

The film starts when a class of seminary students are sent home for vacation. Three of them lose their way and end up staying at a farmhouse owned by an old woman. During the night the old woman tries to seduce one of the students whose name is Khoma. When he rejects her advances, she puts him under a spell and begins riding him around the countryside like a horse. When they start flying he realizes she's a witch. When they finally land, he beats her to death with a stick. After death she turns into a beautiful young woman and Khoma runs back to his seminary. The next day, his Rector summons him and sends him to the house of a rich man to read prayers for his dying daughter. When he arrives, Khoma is horrified to discover that the daughter is same woman he killed the night before. The rich man tells Khoma if he stands vigil and reads prayers for his daughter for three nights in a row he will be richly rewarded; if he refuses, he faces severe punishment. Khoma basically has no choice but to agree. This is the basic setup of the story and the bulk of the film explores what happens each night as he sits vigil and is assaulted by ever greater supernatural manifestations and attacks. Each night, the underworld ante is upped until the third night becomes one of the most bat shit crazy things ever filmed in horror cinema history. It's literally like an Hieronymus Bosch painting brought to life with extra demons bussed in from one of Salvador Dali's nightmares. I have watched this ending many times and every time I view it I notice some new strange detail. If you ever want to see a cinematic representation of things going totally insane, just watch the end of this movie. It's one of the best and most unique scenes ever filmed. Severin's edition of Viy is a perfect movie release. The remastered picture looks stunning and allows you see all kinds of details in the ending insanity that weren't clear in earlier editions. There is an English dub as well as the subtitled version. The bonus features include interviews and a trailer. There's a nice little feature on the history of Soviet fantasy and sci-fi films called: From The Woods To The Cosmos. You even get a selection of three short silent films. This came out in December of 2019 and was easily one of the best releases of the year.

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Saluting the Black Horror (a.k.a. Horror Noire) Film Genre

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2020 02:42pm | Post a Comment
Horror Noire official trailer (2019)

In celebration of Black History Month 2020 the Oakland Public Library's (OPL) Eastmont branch is presenting free weekly screenings of black horror films. This week's movie is Bones and next week will be Vampire In Brooklyn. Screening info here on series that also featured Blacula and Tales From The Hood that was executive produced by Spike Lee under his 40 Acres and a Mule production company. A "horror comedy drama" four part anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff, the 1995 film also had a kick ass accompanying hip-hop soundtrack. Its playlist included such artists as Wu-Tang Clan, Gravediggaz, ScarfaceMC Eiht and (from the Bay Area) both Spice-1 and The Click.

Presented as Black History Cinema Series Presents Films To Watch Before Jordan Peele's Us and under the banner BLACK FRIGHT FLICKS this OPL curated series is part of a wave of interest in the history of black horror film that can be credited in great part to Jordan Peele for his 2019 black horror film Us and its predecessor; the 2017 landmark film Get Out.

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Murder of 20 Year Old Rapper Pop Smoke Sparks Referencing of Juice WRLD Lyrics

Posted by Billyjam, February 19, 2020 09:46pm | Post a Comment
Pop Smoke "Welcome To The Party" (2019)

Bashar Barakah Jackson, AKA young new generation hip-hop star Pop Smoke who was signed to Republic Records,  was killed early this morning in his LA home.  The 20 year old Brooklyn, NY born drill rapper, who blew up last summer with the song "Welcome to the Party,” was shot and killed by two masked suspects in an apparent home invasion robbery of his home in the Hollywood Hills.  After the 4:30am shooting today Jackson was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

In his all too brief lifetime Pop Smoke won not only the attention of rap fans but such peers as Nicki Minaj, who did a popular remix of  “Welcome To The Party,” and Travis Scott who collaborated with him on the song “Gatti.” That song was found on last year’s seven-track  #1 Billboard 200 label compilation project JACKBOYS that Scott made with his Cactus Jack labelmates Sheck Wes and Don Toliver.  Earlier today Scott,  in joining the the myriad of other shocked hip-hop artists such as Chance The Rapper sharing condolences online, posted to Instagram a brief video clip with an audio snippet of a (so far) unreleased Pop Smoke collaboration. 

Daly City Rock & Roll Flea Market, March 15

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 18, 2020 05:25pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is proud to join DJ Sid Presley, The City of Daly City, and Wicked Cool Records in presenting the 2nd Annual Daly City Rock & Roll Flea Market on March 15th! The action takes place at the Pacelli Events Center (145 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City) from 9am-5pm and features over 50 vendors, awesome food and bevs, and live performances from Kepi Ghoulie, Soraia, The Young Barons, The IFIC, the kids from Three O'Clock Rock, the comedy stylings of Ruby Finklestein, and MC Chuck Ribak (Burger Boogaloo). General Admission is just $5 (FREE for those under 16 years old if accompanied by a paid adult) and a portion of the proceeds benefit The Daly City Recreation Scholarship Fund.

Amoeba will be on the scene with loads of awesome vinyl and other surprises too! Other vendors will be selling records, vintage clothing/memorabilia, musical instruments, art, jewelry, tiki, and more! Food and drinks on sale from Aburaya Japanese Fried Chicken, Charlie Waffles, Gilman Brewing Company, and Satay By The Bay SF.

Here's the entertainment schedule for March 15th:
11:40-11:45 - The Comedy Stylings Of Ruby Finklestein
11:45 -12:30 The IFIC
12:45 - 1:30 The Young Barons
1:45 -2:45 Three O'Clock Rock
3:00-3:45 Soraia (Philly)
4:00-5:00 Kepi Ghoulie

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