Friday, September 20, 2013

A new podcast: The Human Centipod!


Yeah, we finally took the first step to produce a proper podcast. Us? That's me and the awesome Jason Meredith of the Cinezilla blog! We've been discussing it for a long, long, long time, and finally we sat down and geeked out (totally!) about one of our favorites, Sean S. Cunningham's 1980 classic Friday the 13th!
Without bragging... I think it went fine and it captures the detail-obsessed rants, the slightly nostalgic memories of how we first bumped into Jason Voorhees and friends, the geekery... the awesomeness fo discussing great movies with a great buddy.

And yes, it's only 22 minutes long - so everyone and their mutant mother can listen to it on their way to and from work without worrying to miss out on the juicy bits! ;)

We both hope you will like and love it, and feel free to give feedback! And you're even nicer if can can share it everywhere, on Facebook, Twitter... yeah, you know the deal. I, for one, would be very grateful! Of course you can also download the The Human Centipod from Soundcloud and listen to it through every device of your desire!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Varför inte investera i Sveriges första rejäla monster-film?


Det brinner i knutarna. Inte bokstavligen givetvis, utan för att Sverige behöver mer genre-film. Visst, vill ni se menlösa komedier och trista snutfilmer - då lever ni i det göttigaste landet någonsin! Gratulerar! Men medan Norge, Finland och Danmark öser ur sig intressant genre-film så halkar gamla Svedala efter.

Visst, det har gjorts lite grann - en del riktigt bra, men de flesta riktigt usla. Jag har skrivit ett fantastiskt manus som heter DEN GAMLE OCH MONSTRET. Jepp, precis så heter den. Men den internationella titeln är HERMIT: MONSTER KILLER - och det låter väl ballt? Målet var ett skriva en film så fylld av action, humor och monster att den skulle slå allt annat som inte ens är gjort i Sverige. 

Jag tror jag lyckades. Idag blev jag ombedd att skriva ihop en liten text som skulle förklara filmen, det här blev resultatet:
Värmland, Sverige – där människor är lyckliga. Ren luft, kristallklart vatten, gröna skogar. Långt där ute i vildmarken lever en surmulen eremit och hans trogne hund. Det enda de behöver oroa sig för är snorungar som pallar äpplen och en och annan vilsen turist. Det är ett bra liv, kanske lite ensamt, men långt ifrån det sämsta man kan ha. 
Den närmsta lilla staden är en liten håla med en sunkig pizzeria och en enda polis som har håll på lagen. Det är också hemmet åt Palle, en lycklig förlorare som trivs ganska bra som det lokala rugbylagets maskot och ständigt är djupt förälskad i sin vackra flickvän. Visst är livet perfekt ändå? Ja, i alla fall till den dagen det där händer. Ja, DET DÄR. Monstret. 
Nu är det upp till eremiten, Palle och hans rugbyvänner, att stoppa, döda och utrota den mystiska best som hotar att slita isär och käka upp varenda man, kvinna, barn och husdjur som kommer i dess närhet! Snart är den tidigare så vackra naturen fylld av skräck bortom våra hjältars vildaste fantasier! 
Bara en man kan sätta stopp för monstrets framfart: den gamle eremiten – och ett laddat hagelgevär!
Jag tycker det låter kul. Och det ÄR kul. I Augusti sätter inspelningarna igång och produktionen behöver mer ekonomiskt stöd. De behöver finansiärer som vågar satsa lite. Det behöver inte vara mycket stålar, men ändå... det ska räcka för att kunna hjälpa till med något. Inget går till löner, det känns oviktigt i nuläget. Filmen måste bli gjord först och främst. 

Vill du investera (och då menar jag inte att ni ger bort era pengar på samma sätt som på Kickstarter eller IndieGoGo), även om det kanske inte rör sig om om SÅ mycket... kontakta då producenten Gustaf Karlsson på den officiella hemsida. Den hittar ni här. Hälsa från mig, Fred Anderson. 

Tack!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New blog: Ninja Dixon is now... Ex-Ninja!

Hey,

I'm leaving this museum of reviews to start all over again at Ex-Ninja. It's bascially the same kind of movies, but I will try to write more free, expand my texts to articles and columns. And most of all, all the stress I felt with Ninja Dixon is now gone. I can start all over, I can get a little peace of mind.

The first review out is the forgotten, but good, anthology movie Trapped Ashes - directed by Joe Dante, Sean S. Cunningham, Monte Hellman and Ken Russell!

This blog will still be here, so if you need to come back to check out older reviews it won't be any problems. I have no plans to export them to the Ex-Ninja.

So if you feel for it, welcome over to my new place :)

/Fred

Thursday, February 14, 2013

FIN

It's just not fun anymore. The visitors is getting less and less, everything has been written. There's nothing new to add to genre cinema writing.

I know I've said it before, but always come back. This time I must go on and quit Ninja Dixon while I still have some interest in this once so magical artform.

Might start over someday, under a different name. It's just not important.

Take care.

Fred

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Toolbox Murders (2004)



My plan yesterday was to watch and review Toolbox Murders, but I ended up with Mortuary - also directed by Tobe Hooper. Today I searched the apartment again and found it! It was right in front of my eyes all the time, of course. I watched this first when it came and then forgot about it, bought the DVD some years ago and forgot about it again and now I understand why. This is by far one of Hooper's weakest moments, but it's still better than a lot of other generic, crappy DTV horror films. I'm not gonna make any comparison to the original 1978 movie, mostly because they're totally different films and I just don't believe in comparing everything new to stuff produced during the over-hyped the golden years of cinema. 

The original is actually damn boring and completely lacks talent (except the always awesome Cameron Mitchell of course!). But 'nuff about that!

Toolbox Murders suffers from the same problem as Mortuary: great ideas, a fun concept - but none of the ideas is fully developed and we're left with a boring slasher-esque thriller who hardly even tries to be scary. I know Hooper can do better and I'm afraid I think this was just another paycheck for him. It glimmers here and there, but the characters and the dialogue is the best - the horror is just something we've seen before a thousand times.

Hooper tries to provoke and produce disturbing images, but to receive R rather than the dreaded NC-17 the filmmakers was forced to cut the kills down and left is a (almost) bloodless mess. I'm pretty sure the horror would have been better with more gore, more violence. If this had been produced today it would probably never have suffered the same form of tasteless mutilation, but what can we do about it today? Nothing it seems.

I've heard the uncut kills is included as a bonus on the R1 DVD, but hey... there's no point in watching them outside the movie. I want them in the movie, where they belong.

On the good side, the cast is excellent. From the always enjoyable Angela Bettis in the lead to reliable character actors like Rance Howard, Juliet Landau and Greg Travis supporting the thrills it's a nice way to spend an evening. It's the same style of quirky, slightly disturbed Tobe Hopper-characters we're used to see - and that's a good thing, because it's part of his style. I need to see people like that in his movies, it's the last thing he has left from a far more successful career.

The idea used in the film is good, but it's surprising they never used it to something more. The occult and the old Hollywood always creates magic. Mysterious apartments, old actors remembering the past, long corridors, hidden symbols and weird noises. It's good stuff, it's great stuff. But everything is thrown away just to making something more simpler, something more... cowardly.

Until there's an official director's cut out I just can't recommend it. Sorry. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mortuary (2005)



Tobe Hooper is a curious fellow. I've always admired his worked and always tried to look beyond that first movie, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, that since then has become a curse for Hooper. He's far from a one-trick pony, with excellent stuff like The Funhouse, Poltergeist (yeah, I know some people claim Spielberg did all the directing, but you'll find many who claim Hooper did the job also), Lifeforce, TCM2, Eaten Alive and of course Salem's Lot. His TV-work and some of his less famous stuff from the eighties and nineties is good also. Seriously. Stop comparing, please. He's worth a more serious approach.

It took me four times to actually watch Mortuary. This time I managed to watch more than the first twenty minutes. It's my own fault, because I've been listening too much to the fancy schmancy bullshitters out there, people who prefer to look back into the past than analyzing the work of directors who doesn't want to repeat themselves. That's also Hoopers curse. He will be the director of TCM for his whole career and I think it's no coincidence that Mortuary has a weird, off-beat and macabre dinner-scene and odd redneck-esque characters acting strange. That's his burden and I guess it pays the bills.

While Mortuary has some serious flaws - including sloppy editing, some really awful physical and digital effects and sometimes a lack of energy from the director himself - it also have a lot of good stuff going on. The story, from writers Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch, isn't half-bad. Just a bit unfocused. It's an original twist on the boring zombie-theme with some truly original and bizarre ideas. It has a lot of black comedy - my favorite being the scene where the mother is sorting out her embalming equipment from the kitchen equipment! The dialogue is witty and mostly very fun in that quirky, strange way only characters talk in films by Hooper. The actors feels a bit awkward in the beginning, but they're soon in peace with their characters and the dialogue and in the end I would say this film has some of the more interesting people I've seen in a low budget, direct-to-video horror film that everyone hates.

Why? For example, the adult characters behave good. They don't act like assholes. The mother, played by Denise Crosby, is a good mother. She understand her son isn't a saint and gives him some freedom, but still cares about him. When she sense smoke on him she's more worried that he's in to heavier drugs and when she discover he's been out in the graveyard two in the morning she just tells him to bring a baseball bat the next time, for protection. Every adult character behaves in the total opposite way than they usually do in similar films. This is also one of the few genre productions I've seen who has a normal gay character who's treated like everyone else and behaves like everyone else.

How's the horror then? Hooper works hard with the little horror he has, but most of the power of the scares is let down by terrible make-up, lousy set-dressings and one of the worst final scenes I've seen. I can see his idea here - a reference to the almost otherworldly, unrealistic style of Eaten Alive - but that belonged in the drive-in's during the 70's, here it just feels like a bad episode of Xena: Warrior Princess.  The lack of real gore and that final, nasty horror-punch he's usually so good at, makes a weak horror movie.

What makes it worth watching is the ideas, the acting, the dialogue. That's the Hooper I love.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Unlawful Killing (2011)



When I was seven years old me and my best friend Kristian were playing with a tape recorder at my mothers house, outside Sigtuna. Kristian brought some cassettes from home, belonging to his father. His father was, like almost everyone at this quiet community, an recovering alcoholic and a deeply religious man. We put one cassette into the recorded and pressed play.

What we heard was his father confessing a murder. He killed someone. He was in deep angst, I remember him sounding sad - almost crying. It was scary and we turned off the tape and I ran to my mother... Anyway. Nothing came out of this. It was forgotten and for many years I didn't think about it. Until my mother mentioned she heard that Kristian's dad nowadays had his own religious community, some kind of church. And it all came back to me. I think this imprinted my mind to look for mysteries, the unexplained.

Everyone loves a conspiracy, especially me after this episode of my life. But I'm also a sceptic. I'm an atheist, I don't believe in UFO's, Bigfoot and too absurd government cover-up's. What I do believe in is the eternal evil and greed of humans and I know, for a fact, that a person - or several - can do what ever is in their power to get what they want. Remember, it takes only two persons to create a conspiracy.

Like all decent human beings I pretty uninterested in royal families and crap like that. They're a left over of a very non-democratic way of reasoning and for me they're just spoiled brats who toys around with the peoples money for their own pleasure and luxury. And no, they're not good PR for the countries either - because that means every country who doesn't have a royal family sucks at tourism - and that's just not true. Even the smallest damn monkey understands that. They're a waste of money, energy and intelligence.

Actor, comedian and author Keith Allen, part conspiracy nut, part smart dude, has made the most interesting and wittiest documentary on the "murder of Princess Diana" so far, Unlawful Killing. Before I watched the movie I read what ever I could find on the case - on the net, I just don't have time to read books nowadays - and got myself a pretty clear view on the pro's and con's of the theory. Allen and his team has a clear anti-Royal stance in the movie (and no, there's hardly any objective documentaries made - ever, because all of them are made by a filmmaker who have decided to tell a story, whether he understands that or not) and that can be bad, but for an anti-royalist like me it's like heaven. He goes through everything around the accident, points out clear - and confirmed misses from the police and media - ask questions that never got answered, lets the people who didn't believe in the accident-theory and was heard by the police talk about what they know. It's not a sloppy production, it's well-made and rude in that wonderful British way we love so much. There's no ass-licking here towards the inbred family living a life in glamour behind those castle walls. Of course there's people who will refute the evidence presented here, but let them do that. They've done it since the accident and always had the media and cops behind them anyway.

There's a lot of chilling moments, of course - like all good docs - constructed to evoke more emotion for the victims, Diana, Dodi and Henri Paul, the driver. Dodi's father has his son buried in his garden and burns the former royal symbols from Harrods outside his house. It's a man who spends most of his time talking to his dead son and the story of Dodi is told in a more respectful and intelligent way than how he was portrayed by the world media. What I found most interesting his that there's never been any proof that the paparazzi's was near their car. Not even the verdict states this - it's just in the imagination of newspaper editors and us fools believing in them. There's a lot of stuff like this in Unlawful Killing.

I can't say this documentary is wrong. I can't say it's true. But it's a fine piece of conspiracy theory, far from the typical nutcase-films produced by home grown wackos in the US. It delivers suspense, satire and criticism in an elegant manner. But still, it's a documentary. And a documentary, like all kind of journalism, only delivers the opinion of the creator. Remember that the next time you're upset about something your read in the newspaper, on Facebook, Twitter or any other timewaster that blocks your mind.