Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostel 2 - do not vacation in Europe.

...no, I've not seen the original Hostel. So? I've just seen Hostel2. Verdict?

IT'S FUCKING BRILLIANT


I know, I know, I've been down on horror these last fourteen years or so, but Hostel2 does something right for an American movie, finally. It doesn't play its horror for laughs. There are no impossible escapes. It's just the down-and-dirty business of 'survival of the cleverest'. I won't say fittest because then we're talking Darwin and we all know what I think of Darwin. Even the whiney American victims aren't too whiney. In fact, they're downright rounded characters, all of them.

From what I can make of Hostel2, it follows the exact same plot of Hostel - students vacationing in Europe are targeted by THE RICH out to kill some ass. A bidding war ensues, the winner gets to travel to a 'warehouse' in Eastern Europe and kill him/her some ass.

This film is to the 2000's what Jaws was to the 1970's. Jaws had the tagline, "Do not go into the water". Hostel should have worn its jingoistic badge on its sleeve right from the start with, "Do not vacation in Europe". In fact, Hostel is the new Deliverance. Don't trust anyone who's not like you. But then it turns it all around, avoiding the easy and obvious jingoistic summary. The new proposal, as delivered by this movie is, "You'll survive as long as you're (willing or) able".

It's about the good old American ideal of "Do what you have to, until it all goes wrong". Hostel2 really is a good movie. I can't even believe I'm saying this, but it is. It has some really nice turnarounds, as any good Bill Hicks skit might have. Ironically, Hostel2 (in the word range 2,000 to 4,000 words) would have made a perfect Chimeraworld 5 story.

There are no Gods, just the amoral commerce of man.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

RED SCREAM OBITUARY arrives from Oz



Destiny West was good enough to send all the contributors copies of RED SCREAM OBITUARY from her home in Oz.

I opened mine and there's my love story THE GIRL WHO DATED SUICIDE BOMBERS. After that, my article THE SKULL FUCKERS (about small press writers Kurt Newton, polycarpkusch, John B Ford, Alex Severin and Destiny West (as you might imagine, the article was submitted a looooooong time ago before Destiny became the editor of Red Scream)) which not only contains introductions to each of the writers' but also a sample of their extreme writing. There is additional fiction from Liam Rands later in the mag.

One wonders where Red Scream magazine will go now that it seems to be breaking its affiliation with the very readers (and writers) who helped launch it into the sick unconscious. Probably more full colour centre spreads of gore girls if this OBITUARY issue is anything to go by.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mike Philbin art interview @ ENVY&LUst

that's how he spells it. Who? Claudio Parentela from Patanzaro, Italy. His quest seems to be to interview artists from all over the world who have a bizarre or extreme bent. This time I was lucky enough to arrive on his art radar, he found me, he asked me some questions. Twenty years this month since my first one-man art exhibition @ St Helens Museum and Art Gallery - read all about it here, ENY&LUst interviews Mike Philbin.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

IMAGINE - a world in union.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...


are some of the lyrics in the well-loved John Lennon song IMAGINE. But this is never put into practise by any substantial body of humans. Maybe it's morally and ethically impossible.

Here's an illustrative meeting I had this morning on Cornmarket Street, an amiable chap whose dad is being held in Iran on death row after being tortured so severely that he can no longer use his legs. In the eyes of that country, he'd commited a crime so heinous to its regime that they thought it legitimate to punish him so. Now, his son is in this country and lectures widely in the name of Iran Liberty trying to drum up financial support for his cause, and that's a worthy cause. Right?

But there are problems with such a public approach and it's one this Iranian son himself highlighted, that of the crime of silence; that if a good man says nothing he's as guilty as those who would unjustly punish etc... Even in this fine democratic country up until recent centuries there were public hangings, witch burnings and such. In Iran, sure there are finger and hand mutilations, eye gougings, beheadings, stonings and hangings for all sorts of crimes. Each country has its own arbitrary scales of punishment for what it sees as crimes against the socio-political status quo.

But how far are we AS THE HUMAN RACE prepared to go to free ourselves from the tyranny of organised government? And it's a big ask. Would you give up your country? Would you give up your language? Would you give up your religion? Would you give up all that you (think) you hold dear so that your children can live in a world of love?

I'd suggest that living in any country where the centre of town is furnished with a permanent mass-hanging gallows is asking for trouble.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mike Philbin art feature @ Horrotica magazine.

There's a Mike Philbin art feature in this month's HORROTICA MAGAZINE (volume 2 issue 4). This is the visual pre-cursor, eight Art Gallery pieces, to next issue's full length interview about my erotic-horror art, the Chimeraworld anthology, Hertzan Chimera novels and my anti-horror novels Bukkakeworld and Planet Of The Owls due from Silverthought Press N. Y. in 2008.