Friday, November 02, 2018

Rock Doesn’t Need to Be Saved by Greta Van Fleet



I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of Greta Van Fleet, the trendy young band of the moment who sound more than a little bit like Led Zeppelin. That said, I don't begrudge them their success. The singer does a mean Robert Plant impression, the band can play, and in the greater scheme of things there's plenty of music out there that's worse.

However, I am tired of hearing about how GVF are supposedly “saving” rock n roll. Or even more ludicrous yet, given their retro affectations, that they are the “future” of rock n roll. The implication, of course, is that there aren’t any other new(ish) bands playing genuine honest-to-goodness rock music in the classic mold. 


I call bullshit.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

31 Days Of Halloween 2018: 'Slender Man' Serves Up Some Creepy Pasta

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.] 

One could argue (and some have) that it’s in poor taste to make a movie like SLENDER MAN. The film is based on the internet “creepy pasta” (essentially urban legends for the internet crowd) about a mysterious faceless, tentacled figure in a suit and tie who lures children and teens to terrible fates including insanity and death. The reason being that this particular story influenced two 12-year-old girls to attempt murdering one of their friends here in the real world. Whether or not that’s a deal breaker is for you to decide. Obviously it wasn’t for me, because I watched the thing.

The set up is basically the same as THE RING. A group of teenage girls decide it would be a laugh to “summon” Slender Man. The way this is supposed to be done, or so the movie tells us, is by playing a video with your eyes closed until you hear a bell ring three times, and then opening them just in time to see a short creepy video play. Nothing happens at first, but then one by one, the girls start hearing and seeing things. Could Slender Man actually be real?

Monday, October 29, 2018

31 Days of Halloween 2018: Kill Your TV Before It Kills You In 'Await Further Instructions'

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.] 

Not all fears involve matters of life and death. Some are far more mundane. Like, for instance, the fear and dread many young adult to middle age liberals feel about going home for the holidays and being forced to spend time with relatives whose ideology is considerably more conservative. It’s a small fear in the greater scheme of things, but one far more likely to be realized than, say, getting eaten by a shark or stalked by a slasher. Also, small fears can serve as precursors to larger, more dangerous ones. That’s the vein of horror mined by British indie horror film AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS, and it does so to great effect.



The film begins with Nick Milgram (Sam Gittins) and his middle eastern girlfriend Annji (Neerja Naik) arriving at his parents’ home for Christmas. Mom Beth (Abigail Cruttenden) is slightly taken aback, but more or less accepting of Annji. Dad Tony (Grant Masters), however, is clearly not pleased, and grandpa Alfred (David Bradley) is openly hostile and racist. Nick’s pregnant sister Kate ((Holly Weston) is only casual in her racism, but she has plenty of contempt and envy for her brother. Her boyfriend Scott (Kris Saddler) is just kind of a dumb mook. From the outset, the odds of a pleasant holiday are not in Nick and Annji’s favor.