Rednecks 1, Midian 0

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Let your freak flag fly, because Nightbreed is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the Bluray cover or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring ‘Internet Terrorist’ Tom Pandich and Violence Jill.

Review in a Nutshell: Clive Barker is a weird dude and Canada is a strange place in this dark fantasy / supernatural romance that was originally miss-advertised as a slasher flick. The Director’s Cut of Nightbreed is a superior version of the film in nearly every respect, although Paul still has his reservations.  See the film for its imaginative make-up effects and grim sense of humor.

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16 Responses

  1. Thank you, Tom Pandich, for being the voice of reason on this one.

  2. Can’t wait to hear this, Paul! NIGHTBREED is brilliant – my friend Raquel and I caught it in theaters during its brief run, and were seriously impressed with the intelligence of the story and its theme about Who The REAL Monsters Are….

  3. Its been awhile, but glad to hear from Violence Jill.

  4. Sorry to focus on just one point Paul, but I do think Lovecraft gets unfairly called a “bad writer,” based mainly on fairly artificial standards of what’s considered good prose. Like his supposed overuse of adjectives, or overwrought style. The thing is, he actually succeeds in conveying a sense of horror that has obviously deeply influenced a lot of people since then, in fact probably much more we’re aware of. I would put the Alien franchise firmly in the Lovecraftian continuum. Interestingly I think some parts of Japanese horror seem to display the strongest influence, like Junji Ito, author of “Uzumaki,” and probably even the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series owe a lot to Lovecraft. The only standard of good writing, to my mind, is whether or not it succeeds in conveying a definite picture of what the author was struggling to formulate, and Lovecraft succeeds with flying colors, to my mind. And if he has to call things “eldritch,” “Cyclopean,” or “unnameable” at an average of once a page to convey the proper sense of horror, well, that’s fine with me.

  5. Have you ever had Violence Jill on before, Paul? I can’t recall her being on – and given her Very Strong Opinions on a variety of topics, I’d have thought I would.

    Darren Ronard – maybe “florid” would be a better, and certainly less lazy, descriptor for Lovecraft than “bad”. As you say, in its place he creates a sense of horror that a “cooler” writer doesn’t….

  6. Jill was on during both Kill la Kill podcasts, Tim, but I don’t think you care that much about anime, so maybe you didn’t listen to either of them?

    Lovecraft’s style was archaic even for his time period. He had a gift for tortured phraseology and a love for ending his stories in SCREAMING ITALICS!!! I dig some of his stuff, and his ideas were certainly influential, but I wouldn’t accuse him of being an outstanding writer.

  7. Oh sure, those are both good points. It’s not like it even bothered me that much, I just think there;s some validity in the idea that “as long as it gets your point across, it’s a good style,” and I don’t know how else Lovecraft could have said some of the things he said. Actually especially his later stories most definitely outgrow some of the 18th-century, Age of Johnson archaisms he indulged in, as well as the pulpy sensationalism. I’ve also heard him called a “vague” or abstract writer, while to me, he actually put down some of the most concrete descriptions you’ll ever read, especially considering how alien the things he was describing were. But like I said, it’s not that big of a deal. The podcast actually encouraged me to get Barker’s “Book of Blood” which I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but it sounds like it should be great. He’s definitely a writer I haven’t paid enough attention to yet, from the sound of it.

  8. Actually, I do listen to the anime podcasts too, Paul – I don’t comment largely because I’ve never even heard of most of the anime you discuss! It’s interesting to hear you and your co-hosts drill down into some of more arcane reasons for these series and movies.

    Maybe I should give Kill la Kill a re-listen, b/c I’d swear I heard it, but still don’t remember Violence Jill.

    As for Lovecraft? Well, Paul 😀 – you are always telling everybody that you are some form of Kaiju Robot with no emotions other than an overwhelming need to crush human joy, so it’s possible that Lovecraft’s overheated prose isn’t your cup of chai. It’s like Jill with Stephen King – she sees “Successful Horror Hack Writer” and dismisses him out of hand, missing that the reason he’s so popular is he’s perfectly capturing a particularly Middle American strain of horror and pop mythology. Barker, like Neil Gaiman, deals with an older, more cosmopolitan strain of horror and culture (high as well as popular) – but where Barker parts from Gaiman, and just about everybody else, is that he rejects what King calls “The Three-Piece Suited Republican” that stands for a normalcy worth defending.

  9. Remember, though, I did a whole theme month on Lovecraft-based films. I’ve read pretty much every piece of fiction Lovecraft has written. I like Lovecraft. I just don’t think he’s a very good writer. I’m making an aesthetic argument, not one about personal preferences.

  10. (Not sure if I’m still logged in via Facebook. Just wanted to let you know it’s still the same guy.) Like I said, no big deal. I’m glad you turned me on to Clive Barker, he seems interesting. I don’t know if I’ll agree with Violence Jill that he’s written “the best thing in the English language” but I guess we’ll see. Your Lovecraft podcasts were some of my favorites as well, especially the one about “Into the Mouth of Madness,” if I’m remembering correctly. It’s too bad most of the direct adaptations of his work have been pretty crappy, though it’s hard to know what you could do with something like “Re-Animator.” Anyway, hopefully no one’s criticizing your Lovecraft cred, that should be well-established by now. I also wanted to reassure you I’m not like that Bob Dylan guy, or whoever the hell it was that basically went super saiyan after you expressed a mild disinterest in the musical stylings of the Father of Folk. Just goes to show you how easy it is for people to seize on one thing you say and blow it ridiculously out of proportion. The internet can be a scary place, but I don’t know what we’d do without it!

  11. ::. I just don’t think he’s a very good writer. I’m making an aesthetic argument::

    You see, Paul, I think that’s a judgment call right there, because you’re applying the standards of someone about a century away from when the stories were written – and pulpy overwriting (and casual racism, but that’s another story!) were a standard of popular fiction of the time. The leaner, “cooler” fiction of Hemingway was just getting a toehold in popular culture when Lovecraft started, and for many writers and audiences of the time it read like newspaperspeak – punchy, fast, hard-hitting, but not what you read fiction for.

  12. To me Nightbreed always sounded like Marvel’s The Inhumans by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

  13. It’s true that tastes in literature change over time, but my point is that Lovecraft’s style was archaic even by the standards of his contemporaries. If you read other pulp stories from the same era – Doc Savage, Conan, etc. – they don’t demonstrate Lovecraft’s antiquated linguistic eccentricities. They sound much closer to modern American lit.

  14. don’t demonstrate Lovecraft’s antiquated linguistic eccentricities.

    I think whichever writers comprised “Kenneth Robeson” came a bit later than Lovecraft, Paul – Thirties more than Teens-Twenties. Howard himself I think came a bit later – more Twenties-Thirties himself.

    What Lovecraft was writing was very in the WEIRD TALES of florid paranormal transgression. That it settles in your stomach like a heavy pudding doesn’t make it “bad” – it makes it a style you don’t like, which is my point.

  15. PS: Tammy thinks Lovecraft’s a bad writer, too.

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