Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reader submission: Dracula-themed short film in the spirit of the holidays

I always like it when somebody sends me their own work, and it doesn't happen nearly enough. is where you can contact me with your music, films, art, etc.

Here's an interesting little short film I was sent earlier in the week, just in time for All Hallow's Eve. 'Danse Macabre' comes from Chicago indie filmmaker Derek Quint and his Addovolt Productions. It fits right in with the movies I usually post here, as it's intentionally designed to have that timeless, b-movie look. My guess would be 16mm film, but it could be digital post-effects. Either way, it has that cool look to it, and aside from a few modern-looking people in a crowd shot, it definitely succeeds in feeling out-of-time.

The plot consists of Dracula and his brides riding around in a limo on Halloween. When they stop for the girls to buy some jewelry, Dracula is kidnapped by some Vatican officials who plan to do away with him for good. Interestingly, the director chose to have the vampire characters ACTUALLY speak in Transylvanian, and the Vatican officials speak in Italian.

I won't give away the rest of the plot, but the mood definitely trumps everything else in importance. It feels like a less-disgusting John Waters short film, with the gaudy costumes and big ideas put on bargain-quality film. There is a choice moment where a guy on the subway is looking at the cast members, and you can tell it was unintentional.

I'm not up on my Dracula mythology, but the fact that Mr. Quint chose to use the Transylvanian language tells me there are probably other allusions to other vampire-based works here as well. Regardless, it's a fun little piece of independent filmmaking from some fellow b-movie aficionados.

Check out Derek's blog for Addovolt Productions here.

Some scare-tacular listening for All Hallow's Eve 2014

Even though I'm focusing on my movie blog right now, I had to come back with some scary albums for Halloween. Some of these are actually kind of frightening, but most are just silly. They're all out of the Obscuro! radio program vaults, from my numerous Halloween theme shows.

1. Anton LaVey - 'Strange Music' EP
The founder of the Satanic Church (and author of the Satanic Bible) is also, hilariously, fairly proficient on the pipe organ. He has another album of mostly instrumental stuff called 'The Devil Takes a Holiday,' and it's pretty funny to me that this dude obviously can poke fun at himself. Anyhow, the majority of these tunes are his versions on old standards (i.e. 'Gloomy Sunday.') It's not great, but it's totally the type of thing you can throw on at a Halloween party.

2. Lucifer - 'Black Mass'
Electronic music pioneer Mort Garson did this album under the Satanic pseudonym, presumably because it's darker music than his other stuff. If you like the horror-movie synth soundtracks of the 80's, or the library music stuff I've posted here, you'll probably dig this. I did feature it in a previous Halloween post, but the blog I linked to for a download is apparently long-gone, so I re-uploaded it myself.

3. The Elm Street Group - 'Freddy's Greatest Hits'
Of all the dumbed-down horror movie merchandise to come out of the 80's ('Toxic Crusaders,' anyone?) this might take the cake for stupidest. Some no-name studio musicians concocted these run-of-the-mill synth-pop tunes (many of which are covers of 50's and 60's novelty songs) and somehow got Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) to lend his voice to them. It's all pretty bad, but 'Do The Freddy' at least has novelty appeal. I guess by '87, the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' franchise was pretty much a joke anyways.

4. Moevot - 'Ézléýfbdréhtr Vépréùb Zùérfl Màzàgvàtre Érbbédréà'
Okay, THIS is genuinely scary. An anonymous 'black metal' musician, whose music sounds more like recordings from inside a long-buried tomb than actual metal. I guess it's not to dissimilar from the ambient tracks on Burzum albums, just....way more poorly recorded. And it's got these weird groaning vocals that sound like a ghost. I dunno. It's fascinating, if nothing else.

Happy Halloween, y'all....