Chamblin Bookmine, Part One of Seven

The following was written by the always interesting Tim Gilmore on his blog, Jax Psycho Geo.

Source: Chamblin Bookmine, Part One of Seven

But after what happened with Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of “The Most Dangerous Man Alive,” I was too ashamed to go back.

Even years later, when I’d assumed enough time had passed, Ron would give me a deal on a stack of books for trade-in, standing behind the cash register, with his mussed white hair and thin steel-framed glasses, and he’d joke with Frank, “Uh oh, better look out, he’s doing it to us again.”

In the years in between, I missed the strange steep back staircase that ascended to the dark and cramped second floor, and I missed the incongruous juxtaposition of poetry and horror fiction up there in the dark. I remembered particular purchases, Rimbaud’s Illuminations and Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil on the poetry side, and the cheap 1970s Ballantine paperback of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Lurking Fear on the horror side.

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Fantastic Fantomas of Filmland: Director Louis Feuillade

fantomas_in_the_shadow_of_the_guillotineLouis Feuillade

One of my favorite blogs, Scott Ashlin’s 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting, has finally posted some new reviews. I’m especially enjoying his observations on the silent French films of Louis Feuillade, especially the Fantomas series.

Ashlin, also known (I assume) as El Santo, starts with this:

It seems to me that if you go all the way back to the first two decades of the last century, when “horror cinema” was barely the faintest inkling of a concept, it is possible to discern certain specific national contributions to the latent genre. The Germans, most famously, were the first to make a habit of dealing unabashedly in the supernatural, populating films like The Student of Prague and Monster of Fate with genuine wizards, devils, and doppelgangers while their counterparts abroad generally preferred to explain such things away in the final scene. The Brits, as I’ve said elsewhere, displayed a fascination with true crime, mining the gory details of infamous real-life murder cases for subject matter. Squeamish and puritanical Americans hid at first behind the alibi of adapting classic literature, then enthusiastically contracted the same mania for spooky houses that already gripped the popular stage. But the French case is remarkable, because what they brought to the table impacted not just horror, but virtually all of genre film and fiction, and it began making its influence felt even before the rise of cinema as a medium of mass entertainment. What the French contributed was a character type, the obsessed, trauma-driven outcast seeking to remake the world (or at least his world) to his liking, regardless of what society has to say about it.

And further along:

During his two decades as a contract director-scenarist for the French arm of the cross-Channel Gaumont firm, Feuillade signed his name to over 600 motion pictures. The great majority of those were shorts, of course, but as the film industry grew beyond single-scene vignettes and one-reelers, so did he. Feuillade was in on the birth of the feature film as we know it, and he was a pioneer of serials as well. He had a hand in expanding the art form’s initially limited visual vocabulary, standing among the first to appreciate how much the camera could do even in a film with little or no special effects trickery. He was one of the true titans of early cinema, and one of the few whose mature movies anticipate the future more strongly than they invoke the past. But the main thing that matters for our present purposes is that he was the mastermind behind the weirdest and wickedest crime pictures of his age, in which the villains frequently remind one more of the Abominable Dr. Phibes than of Professor Moriarty.

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An interview with D. Harlan Wilson on They Live (Cultographies), postmodernism and paranoia, and Battle Without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1

Bill Ectric:

Here’s an interview with D. Harlan Wilson…

Originally posted on Muzzleland Press:

D. Harlan Wilson is the editor-in-chief of Anti-Oedipus Press, the managing editor of Guide Dog Books, and the author of numerous books, fiction and nonfiction alike, including They Live (Cultographies), Primordial An Abstraction, Hitler: The Terminal Biography, They Had Goat Heads, and many, many more. He is also a literary critic and a professor of English and Chair of the Humanities at Wright State University-Lake Campus. You can find out more by visiting his website.

With the recent passing of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, They Live is receiving more attention as a classic in paranoid science fiction 80s filmmaking. As someone who spent a lot of time analyzing the film, how do you see its messages and methods as relevant today?

7_373321They Live is very much about the culture of the 1980s—especially the Cold War, Reaganism, and the primacy of consumer-capitalist media. It’s by far Carpenter’s most political film. It…

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Wild Imagination

Wuthering Heights

Cambridge man Mike Dash, writing at A Fortean in the Archives, reflects on the weird imagination that informed Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights. Here’s an excerpt from the blog:

More than a quarter of a century has passed since a couple of psychologists named Theodore X. Barber and Sheryl Wilson first published their important study into the central role that a percipient’s fantasy life plays in the nature, frequency and detail of the paranormal claims they make… I was particularly interested to discover the other day just how closely one of the most notable figures in nineteenth century English literature fits the model of the fantasy-prone personality. Emily Brontë, as is well known, was one of three literary sisters, living with their father in a Yorkshire parsonage in the first half of the nineteenth century. The eldest of the three, Charlotte Brontë, produced Jane Eyre (and three other inferior novels); the youngest, Anne, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Emily, the middle daughter, of course became famous as the author of Wuthering Heights, by common consent one of the most powerfully imaginative and original works of fiction in the English language.

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Emanations 5

Emanations 2 + 2 = 5

Carter Kaplan has announced that, “Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5 is now in the final stages of production,” saying:

Here is a glimpse of the cover art by Ruud Antonius, taken from his painting The Fourth Plinth  (oil on panel, 100 x 80 cm).
Mr. Antonius is a Dutch painter who lives in the United Kingdom.  He has a large following in Europe where in the world of fine art surrealism enjoys greater support than it does in Britain and the United States.  Please click HERE to visit Mr. Antonius’s web site.

Here is the tentative table of contents:


Meeting Dr. Malthusian
In the Spirit of Enterprise
Hey, Mr. Pressman
That Needlework
The Sword and the Tiger
Catnip Pinata
J. P. Holmes, Junior
The First Time
I was Latching on the Moon
The Old Lady and the Sea
Good Deed Day
My Little Black Egg
Most Women do not Creep by Daylight
The Zia Motel
An Interview with Archibald Mansions
Doctor Waxwing’s Hotel of Rooms
The Squalling Terror
Cold Echoes (part III)
The Uncanny Story

(in progress)


Becoming the Buddhist Queen Elizabeth
Eastern Promise
Writing Un-writing: A Theory of Time

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Remembering the Midnight Monster Shows

Spook Show at the Orpheum

At Paleofuture, Matt Novak has a good essay on the “spook shows” of the 1940s, 50s, & 60s. We had a couple of these in my home town when I was a kid. Of course, I was always there in the thick of it.

Midnight ghost shows (sometimes called “spook,” “voodoo,” or “monster” shows) promised a night of creepy and playful stunts. There were glowing ghosts, floating objects, psychic readings and dozens of other illusions, all playing off the nation’s interest in spiritualism between the two World Wars.

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Analogue Recording and Hauntology


From Celluloid Wicker Man, here is Adam Scovell writes “There seems to be an overt connection between analogue recording technology (of both the visual and aural varieties) and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in 1970s British fantasy television.” He goes on to say:

Of course, there are no doubt connections between the interest in such activity (with the genuine events surrounding the Enfield Haunting for example, recently made into a drama on Sky) and the technological means of the period with which people thought they could capture such activities but, in hindsight, the relationship goes far deeper than mere necessity.  Instead, a better and more interesting way to view this technology is through the aesthetics of physical electronics and how the presence of such material in attempts to find paranormal activity in fictional narratives finds a natural link with reel-to-reel recording equipment, motion sensitive flash-bulb cameras, oscilloscopes and endlessly huge thermo gauges.

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