Tag Archives: These Are the Damned

Friday finds

Obviously! The folks at Hammer Films sure knew how to blow the dust off those old horror movie tropes, and Titan Books is gearing up to release a collection of the best examples in The Art of Hammer, due out in October. Along with eye-catching posters, Hammer produced some memorable taglines: e.g., “Frankenstein spills it! Dracula drinks it!” I wouldn’t mind getting the book, but where Hammer is concerned, what I’m really jonesing for is The Icons of Suspense Collection, if only for the chance to catch up with These Are the Damned, a 1963 Joseph Losey film that starts as an eccentric drama about Teddy Boys in a seaside town, then veers into memorable science-fiction terrain. I saw a butchered version decades ago on late-night television, and those voices crying along the cliff struck a deep chord.

I like Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf a lot more than Jeff does, but Jeff’s right when he tries to bring other, possibly even better translations out from under Heaney’s shadow.

The five weariest cliches of negative book reviews.

One of “the world’s most endearingly odd publishing houses.”

The story of Mad Dog and the Pilgrim, and the best place in Wyoming to find old books and fresh eggs.

For sheer sustained pop dementia, this Rajinikanth number is hard to beat. If the hero from Inception had been assigned to infiltrate Michael Jackson’s dreams and plant the idea of doing a Bollywood musical, this would have been the result.

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Friday finds

I’m thrilled right down to the soles of my Buster Browns at the thought of the screenwriters behind the Olsen Twins movie New York Minute doing an adaptation of Moby-Dick. Aren’t you?

I’m even more thrilled at the thought of realizing my long-held ambition to see fungi firing their spores to the tune of the “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore. Click here and let Carl Zimmer show you how to make that dream come true.

But at the end of the day, the biggest and best thrill comes from contemplating which of the warrior-theme bath gels I’ll take into the tub with me tomorrow morning. Jeff says the Charlemagne gel, which “offers the natural astringency of chestnut seed, totally conquers the citrusy, skin-softening properties of Caesar,” but he’s prejudiced — for an obvious reason.

Chris Offutt offers a handy guide to literary terms, such as “chick lit,” defined as “A patriarchal term of oppression for heterosexual female writing; also, a marketing means to phenomenal readership and prominent bookstore space.”

You might want to cover your ears — or, at the very least, hold your nose — as Scott McLemee sticks a long pin into a methane-pumped dirigible named Bernard-Henri Levy.  

Tim Lucas pays long and eloquent tribute to These Are the Damned, an overlooked science fiction film from the early Sixties that ought to be much better known. Lucas goes into great detail about the film’s thematic ambition and dark social commentary. I saw the film ages ago, when a hacked-up cut appeared from time to time on late-night television, and I can still remember the impact of its deeply disturbing conclusion. (Bird-dogged by Glenn Kenny.) 

On a related note, John Scalzi lists science fiction films that were made immortal by their music. Of course he lists 2001: A Space Odyssey, and while none of his other choices surprise, his arguments are sound.

Geoff doesn’t have to watch The Wire. He lives it. The fourth season, to be exact.

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