Thursday, 20 October 2011

100th Post

The above image is appropriate as today the EYE finally
crawls past the 100 post mark.

It's taken me two long years to get here, but it's been a fun and interesting ride. When I started Unflinching Eye, I doubted that I'd get reader one... it was good enough just to have a free, creative forum to rant about my celluloid obsession. Now, over 500 comments later I'm proud to feel like a small part of a large, vital community of global film freaks. That my humble little blog could carve out it's own tiny niche amongst so many other far better blogs and sites still surprises me, and is surely a testament to the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of my readers. Thank you all.

One thing that I've noticed in the horror/genre/whatever blogging community is that there's almost none of the negative bullshit which seems to permeate some other quarters of the online movie community. I don't think I've had a single trolling comment in all this time (and I rarely see them on other blogs), which would seem to indicate that we bloggers/readers are generally a friendly, tolerant bunch who value other people's opinions as much as our own.

Of course the ultimate proof of that is in the many awesome folks I've "met" through the EYE. In the last two years I've shot-the-shit with a dizzying array of fascinating and learned people coming from as far afield as Croatia, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Northern California, Kansas, New York and Northeast Tennessee... to name just a few. Once again, thanks to ALL my readers and fellow bloggers for your insightful comments and kick-ass blogs. Y'all rock!

So what has the EYE wrought in it's first 100 posts?
If it's soundtracks you're after you could do a lot worse than spending a stormy night with Seppuku Paradigm's score for Martyrs or François-Eudes Chanfrault's OST for À l'intérieur. If Japanese horror scores are more your thing, why not spend a few minutes with Tomohiko Kira's soundtrack for Evil Dead Trap (directed by the late Toshiharu Ikeda, R.I.P. 1951–2010).

Are you a Cronenberg fan? Then take a look at the
Interzone Dispatches (Report #3 coming soon) for a look at the far reaching influence of the body horror master, as well as a great recent short. Not a Cronenberg fan? Maybe you'd prefer to read about Linda Blair or Yaphet Kotto.

Dig comics? Check out the "sequel" to Carpenter's The Thing (it's better than the prequel!), or if that's too mainstream for your tastes why not gross yourself out with Hideshi Hino's Skin And Bone?

Like your music
heavy? You might enjoy Akimbo, Annihilation Time, Rudimentary Peni or Sacrilege.

Or if art and design is your thing, feast your eyes on the lurid paintings of Andrei Bouzikov and the beautiful poster art of
Silver Ferox.

Whatever your tastes, I hope you can find something to enjoy here... and keep finding things to enjoy... because this EYE isn't closing just yet!

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Road Leads To Nowhere...

Earlier this month we lost David Hess. He was 69 years old.

In Wes Craven's Last House On The Left and Ruggero Deodato's The House On The Edge Of The Park, Hess gave us two of horror's most unforgettably unpleasant villains in Krug Stillo and Alex.

The sleazy, deadly charisma with which Hess imbued these two iconic sociopaths made them perfect cinematic reflections of Charles Manson - albeit a more muscular, macho interpretation of the man - complete with devoted followers in tow
, ready to do anything to please their murderous leader (most memorably Giovanni Lombardo Radice in Park).

Of course Hess was also a gifted musician, and his oddly inappropriate score for Last House really helps to accentuate the film's nasty vibe of bad acid and the Summer of Love gone very wrong. Sweet, folksy numbers like "Wait For The Rain" and the opening credits track (reprised in "Blow Your Brains Out") are just dripping with a kind of haunting, saccharine melancholy that gives the depravity and carnage on screen an extra dose of hallucinatory menace. Whatever the relative merits of the Last House soundtrack, it certainly still rates a mention just for being one of the strangest horror scores around.

However, removed from the disturbing context of pants-pissing and chest-carving, these sad songs are appropriate for spending a few minutes contemplating the life and achievements of one of horror's most undersung participants.

R.I.P. David Hess. Here.