LET’S MAKE A…

HORROR MOVIE cover for site

“If you can relate to this movie then you’re either insane or a filmmaker.” Film Bizarro

It has been a long road to finish Let’s Make a… Horror Movie. Eight long years. Making a film is like a lifetime all on it’s own.

You live, you die, you are reborn…

You cry, you sweat, you bleed…

You lose friends, family and loved ones. Times change. Reality continues to rumble along. Yet you remain in this timeless world within the film until it is complete.

When you finally come up for air and the film is done, it is as if you were locked in a cryogenic chamber. You then wake into a world you’ve been fumbling through, but not entirely living in. As part of you was lost in this alternate world you were creating.

This past year it took fracturing my foot to kick back and take in my adult life to that point. For fifteen years I had lived the starving artist lifestyle. Not necessarily in that I was starving… but that my mind, body and soul were starved of the nutrition and proper care it craved. I once was in good shape before I shipped off to art school. Within the first quarter I dropped from 185 pounds down to 120… I didn’t see the skeleton looking back at me in the mirror. I only saw the creations that I yearned to create. The dreams I climbed towards…

Whatever I needed to do to survive as an artist, filmmaker, musician… I did it. I was last on the list to look after as long as the art was surviving and being created.

Somewhere I had lost the connection with just how much my art would benefit if I were in solid health and shape. It took falling into the darkest days of my life to see the change that was needed. So I could get on with magGot Films, finishing Horror Movie… and moving onward.
cops web
A good friend of mine (Andrew Hummel) had passed on his dvd’s of P90X. An intense workout program. In 90 days you will be in the best shape of your life… it was time to push play and build a stronger foundation…get back to basics.

It’s now a year later and I feel better then I did when I was 18 at 35. I could see clearly what needed to be done to properly complete this long term work of passion, Let’s Make a… Horror Movie. The benefits of good health and being in shape benefit everything you do. I didn’t realize how foggy my focus had become, or wretched my memory had gotten… Everything benefits when you are a well oiled machine. Not to mention living in general is at it’s richest and fullest.

Cheers web

For the first time I stepped out of the war zone that is filmmaking. Building to the proper mindset to see the film through, rather then just going through the motions. I’d lost my passion and nothing was enjoyable anymore. It’s nice to be in my old skin and the magic of cinema is as magical as it was as a child once again. If only more artists as a whole could balance their health, physicality and art… I swear we could concur the world.

I’m sharing a piece of my journey in the hopes of inspiring others as friends had also inspired me. It’s never too late…

first 90 days 2 pic flat

I’m now at the end of the road and couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome… Today, pre-sales for the film are now officially in the magGot Store. These will be a limited collectors edition with lots of neat extras, hand numbered and the lower numbers will come with extremely rare goodies. (Such as the original sketches that artist Nick Mears did when we were conceptualizing the cover art)…

In the coming days keep an eye out for more news as the release comes to fruition…there are some fun surprises coming up to give a peak into this much labored production…

This film is my love letter to cinema.

HM stash

 

 

“It’s a visceral view of the production of an underground film that careens through dream sequences and bizarre set pieces to portray the trials, tribulations, fears and insecurities Schneider experienced making his movie.” – Rue Morgue

Mr. Ben celebration. Helped goes VHS.

maG Syd and Mr Ben web

Today would’ve been Mr. Ben’s birthday. Shortly, I’ll be sitting down to watch …And Then I Helped on VHS. I had the honor of being the first director to work with Mr. Ben as a lead in a feature film. Something that should have happened many years before. But when you have star presence, small roles get cut from feature films. Because you take attention from the films stars. Tarentino is one of the few directors to give star power to smaller roles and highlight them, but traditional cinema showcased its stars… and if you were lesser in casting, you couldn’t over power them. This of course isn’t the case with every film, but it was the case for nearly every film Mr. Ben was lucky to land a role in. So it never built to larger casting… that he so deserved.

Later in his life, he helped out a group of hungry young filmmakers. In turn he finally had the opportunity to take the helm next to an incredible cast. All of whom equally loved one another, we were one huge family. With Nikki McIntyre, Justin Alvarez, Jerry Summers and myself… I considered myself very privileged and terrified to have to bring it, amongst such a team of talent.

When writing the story with Nikki and Max Almeida, they urged me to play a supporting role as well. At first I was reluctant but being an independent film, you always know you’ll be a reliable actor you can count on when directing. So I dove in…

But the week leading up till I acted, it felt as if it was the first time I’d ever acted for a camera. It is the key opening scene in the film, when Mr. Ben, Nikki and I converse on the porch of the cabin. It occurred to me that my character was the most underdeveloped because we collectively just brushed it off as a character we knew we had. When I had to prepare, I was struggling to find something. I was panicking to act with such talent.

… I was out for a jog, collecting my thoughts. A light bulb went off. It all made sense. I excitingly sprinted the remaining few miles home… and began making notes. I now knew who I was going to play, now it was time to prepare.

Then the first big day came…and it was a major location shoot. The first film I’d directed with a camera of this caliber. I’d just come off of directing duties on George Romero’s son’s directorial debut (Cameron Romero’s The Screening)… which co-starred Nikki as well. We’d shot with some incredible equipment and a cozy budget. Much bigger then we had, though this was one of the many cameras we did in fact shoot on as well. But when it’s for your own film, the bar is raised on another level. You want to put your complete stamp… and see it through. Also, I not only had to direct, but jump into these acting shoes…

So…I step up onto the porch first thing. Starting to block out the shots. The floor of the cabin breaks and I fall through…up to my hip. Everyone begins running to my assistance… and all at once stop, when they realize they could quickly join me… I wait for the pain. But realize, I appear to be fine. I then begin to laugh. As I realize this is exactly the final piece to the puzzle for my character… and decide to incorporate this accident into the scene, be it on a much lesser scale. So it doesn’t come across as slap stick humor, as it had just happened in real life…

We then spend countless takes of me breaking my foot through the floor of the cabin… and my foot’s now starting to hurt, all in the name of art. Pain has always been a huge part of me performing. I don’t plan for it, but at the end of the day it seems to be a huge key to the performance. Somehow.

Now… here we are a little over a year after Mr. Ben’s passing. Probably the largest pain that strikes me when thinking of …And Then I Helped. Also, the proudest we can collectively share of it too. The wonderful opportunity we shared in creating this insanely crazy film.

To keep the magic alive… I want to announce the pre-sales for the long awaited VHS release of …And Then I Helped. (They will ship the week of January 27th 2014.) There will also be a secondary option of buying it with a DVD screener for those without VCRs. The DVD will be recorded straight from the VHS itself, so you can enjoy the trailers and complete 4:3 aspect ratio of the VHS itself. As well as the wonderful nostalgic quality VHS offers.

The film has been converted to 4:3 as traditional VHS releases. This includes Pan and Scan and many techniques used when converting a feature for VHS release. An enormous part of the VHS experience for sure. Also, following the tradition of the VHS release of His Devil’s Night, I’ve compiled another slew of directors trailers from the underground. It kicks off with a scathing short film by Rachael Deacon as well as trailers from fellow filmmakers: Brian WilliamsScott SwanDamon PackardKapel FurmanAdrian GoodmanMatthew Clark and Jeff ParenteauJon WamsleyJason T. Swinchock and Ronny Carlsson.

Thank you Mr. Ben for allowing us all the chance to create this monster of a film. Happy birthday from down below… Today I realized you shared the birthday with Richard Dean Anderson, responsible for the portrayal of MacGyver. Easily the most influential fictional character in my life. There’s always something reinvigorating when you discover details like this.

Mr. Ben and I shared a decade of friendship and constant collaboration on film and stage. Now he continues to inspire through the impressions he made on screen, much like I was affected by MacGyver at an early age… and continue to be to this day. Long live the world of cinema and how it can offer us a look into a world that is timeless…

Helped VHS cover

Tonight the Devil’s cumming to VIDEO…

HDN vhs pile

Growing up VHS transformed the way we experienced film. Before it was affordable, my Mum took me to this local hole in the wall. There were random movie posters tacked to the barren and cheap paneled walls. A desk with a catalogue of a handful of films. You’d pick your film and be escorted to a private room. There was a bench inside with foam padding stapled to the top of it. Inside there was a massive VCR and tiny TV. A few minutes would pass and they would return with a bag of microwave popcorn and cans of soda pop… and since we weren’t experienced in the use of a VCR, they would preload our film. The door would shut and it would not open till our movie experience was over.

 

Looking back these little rooms remind me more of something from Videodrome then anything… But at the time they opened a whole new doorway into the idea of experiencing a film. It was private and intimate. You spent that time alone or with a few friends. Eventually, we were lucky to land ourselves a VCR of our own. After a year of renting them weekly (which was the next phase after the screening room setup in our town). Now you were at the ease of your own home. Of course VHS rental became the norm. I was addicted.

 

Even though the video stores had their secret backside full of pornography, the experience was no longer like a walk into a creepy halfway office rental. Becoming less and less like an operation put on by Brian O’Blivion and something that would become a staple in those lucky enough to have experienced the home video wave…

 

Purchasing a VHS wasn’t conceivable early on. A single film would cost $80 or more… Forever I yearned to own my own movie. Just one film. Then my family and I were at a flea market and they had used video cassettes. Predator was only $20 used. This was a real bargain! I put my hard earned savings on the line and proudly purchased my first VHS. Just as I held it in my hands, the cassette slipped right out of the cardboard box and shattered on the concrete. My heart stopped… Luckily they made things a lot better back in the day. With a quick MacGyvering and Scotch tape, it was back together… and still plays to this day…

 

magGot Films is now aiming to bring a tad of that nostalgia back. The first VHS release we’ve put out in ten years… is now available.

 HDN VHS cover

His Devil’s Night gets the VHS treatment first. This’ll be limited, hand numbered and signed to 25 copies. Each will come in a filthy giant clamshell case, in an assortment of colors (mainly white, black, yellow, green, blue). Prior to the film is a plethora of trailers to set the mood. We’ve hunted down a slew of indie directors to really reach into the underground for a look into what is slithering about…

 

Aside from trailers of magGot Films work, you’ll bare witness to a teasing barrage of directors including: Nick Mears, Ronny Carlsson, Anthony Matthews, Nathan T. King, Torin Langen, Trevor Juenger, Eric James, Charles House, Benzy, Adam Ahlbrandt and Tyler Tharpe

 

Dig in and dust off that classy VCR! It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty! Hit the store HERE!

Rue Morgue Magazine (Issue 136 - August 2013 - currently on newstands...)

Rue Morgue Magazine (Issue 136 – August 2013 – currently on newstands…)

HIS BLOODY DEVIL’S NIGHT!!!

The Gore-Met screams His Devil’s Night is “…A FACE FULL OF BLOOD AND CUM.”

 Ronny Carlsson spews “magGot’s BACK!”

Artwork by Rachel Dawn Renaudin.

Front cover. Artwork by Rachel Dawn Renaudin.

His Devil’s Night is now available for pre-release! Ships by weeks end…

Two versions are available.

 

1) BLOOD RED edition. 25 prints.

–  Red dvd case.

–  Never before seen Directors cut.

–  51 minutes of Extras.

–  Original soundtrack CD.

–  3 Lobby Cards.

–  11 minutes of Online Extras. (Streamable and downloadable.)

–  Hand numbered.

–  Original hand drawn sketch by magGot. Customized to each owner.

–  Evidence.

 

Artwork by Rachel Dawn Renaudin.

Back cover. Artwork by Rachel Dawn Renaudin.

2) Black edition. 25 prints.

–  Black dvd case.

–  Never before seen Directors cut.

–  51 minutes of extras.

–  2 Lobby Cards.

–  Hand numbered.

 

EXTRAS:

1) SWEET 16

2) VHS YES: Behind the magGot

3) magGot Corner #17: The Jesus Factor

 

 

 

 

Online Stream:

(BLOOD RED edition only)

1) Gimpy – Gimpy’s Devil’s Night

2) Bryan Lewis Saunders – Hide and Play Dead

 

…Get your paws on the latest magGot monster, before they get eaten up by the rabid trick or treaters! Dig into the STORE now!

SWEET 16.

Before film there was music. The first recordable medium I could dabble in. Very early on after several years talking about it, my Dad finally got me a guitar. I believe I was eight… I took lessons for a year until my teacher went on an extended vacation. He was into metal and the music I yearned to play, nobody else in our tiny town offered someone into such rebellious meanderings… So I waited for his return. Which was not to be.

 

Meanwhile… I began to experiment. I used duel cassette decks, my guitar, anything that made sounds as well as my voice… and started to make experimental recordings. This was a dirty little secret for several years… Not realizing until I was eighteen that there was even a genre for what I was doing… and that I was basically evolving to a point where I’d be behind the sound design in my own films.

 

Flyer by Derek Rush.

Flyer by Derek Rush.

When I left to art school, I read a Relapse catalogue/magazine. There was an interview with Roger Karmanik (Brighter Death Now). It opened the floodgates. I discovered this little secret of mine was actually a type of music. Many of his techniques were even things I’d since acquired, thinking I was alone in this strange journey.

 

My first room mate at art school was M Kadath. We were shacked up in a tiny studio apartment with one another. He had a huge interest in music and was also discovering experimental music of all varieties. We went to shows of all kinds and experienced a lot of great bands. He was the first I’d collaborate with musically. We created a handful of tracks together. Elements of these tracks have surfaced in various places. Most notably for the Mordum trailer…

 

Flyer by Cara Gaetano.

Flyer by Cara Gaetano.

Since I was tiny, the idea of being on stage and performing live was an incredible thing. I’ve gotten to be in a few theater productions and it boasts a similar energy. There’s no going back… and for someone who has mostly spent their life on recordable media of all kinds, it’s always more a fantasy then a reality… and it’s been thirteen years since I’ve had the opportunity to take the stage. That is finally happening this Saturday…

 

I am performing with David Graham (Requiem) whom M Kadath introduced me to. They performed in two incredibly intense bands: Hedra and Parvulus Infectus. The latter was the first band I’d collaborate on scoring (two scenes for My Crepitus) as well as a pivotal live performance as well.

 

M Kadath always built up Requiem to be this God like creation. When I’d ask if we could get him to work on scoring our films, his response was that his music was too intense to marry with that of a film. It was a spiritual journey that destroyed you live. He was sure the music would overwhelm a film and not bind as one. It wasn’t to be for several years. My work as a film maker evolved as did Requiem…

 

"Premature" limited split CD release.

“Premature” limited split CD release.

Several years later M Kadath was back in town. We caught up and hit up a Requiem show. David and I officially met once again… and immediately hit it off. It was now meant to be. Starting with the second magGot Corner episode. David is now a key member of magGot Films and not only has he worked on a large portion of the scores, but is also involved with filming. He shot some of the most insane moments in His Devil’s Night as well as plays himself in Let’s Make a… Horror Movie.

 

While magGot Films is celebrating it’s tenth anniversary this very year… David and I realized our musical projects are celebrating their sixteen year anniversaries to boot. So we decided to do a split CD release “Sweet 16” (Soon to be released through Now Is Why). Also, we decided to take the stage to celebrate… We’re debuting another limited split CD at the show, entitled “Premature.”

 

The performance will integrate film, music and performance art…

 

Cheers!

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Garfield Artworks

4931 Penn Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Flyer by David Graham.

Flyer by David Graham.

THEIR Horror ‘Falls’ THIS Weekend…

Skeeter and Jesus are headed off to the Niagara Horror Fest… Swing by the maG table and catch up with the gang. Like Maurizio’s CD release shin dig, I am bound to the editing Lord… with no immediate freedom from my leash available. They will be joined by uber fans and best friends Beth and Lex Crossley. I am most disappointed in not getting to catch up with these peeps. Some of the grooviest people you’ll meet!

maG, Lex and Beth Crossley at the Festival of Fear 2013.

maG, Lex and Beth Crossley at the Festival of Fear 2013.

Available at the booth will be the ultra limited remains of the pre-release of His Devil’s Night. It features an entirely alternate edit then the final directors cut (as well as the original short film: Our Devil’s Night as an extra.)

Horror in the Hammer launched its review of this vision, which held a VERY private sneak peak and limited release of at Shock Stock 2013.

“akin to performing fellatio on a shotgun…”

Read Hammer’s entire review HERE!

…and NOW feast your eyes on the brand new teaser for His Devil’s Night!

Creatures From a Drawer CD release…

Growing up on monsters and madmen it was only a matter of time until the Italian world of horror swallowed me up. Having a background in music that was a huge part of the puzzle for me. Their scores are famously atmospheric. The name that put a stamp of approval on any Italian film was Goblin… It was as much a household name as any horror director or special effects make-up artist. Publications like Fangoria would name drop and we’d drool over the film, till we could scoop it up. They created rock stars out of these icons of horror and Goblin was at the top of the game. Rarely did a composer reach that same treatment amongst horror fans… they were a rare gem.

 

Flash forward and everyone and anyone who was lucky enough to be at Shock Stock in 2012… got a rare glimpse in the Great White North to see a live performance by original Goblin members Claudio Simonetti and Maurizio Guarini… joined by the incredible forces of Great Bob Scott and Chris Gartner.

I was excited, but had no idea what I was in for. The same can be said for everyone in the room. I was saluting shots with Bill Zebub at the bar and all of a sudden Chris Alexander is announcing Goblin to the stage. I don’t remember the actual journey, but all of a sudden I was front and center stage. My camera was out and I was shaking like an excited 16 year old. I then looked around me and everyone had the same glazed enthusiasm on their faces. Then, I also noted that the crowd was tightly nit like sardines, I have no idea how I got through them. Next thing you know, they take the room over. Spiritual experience is the only thing that comes to mind… BLAM! I momentarily came out of it and looked to my right, then all around me. Everyone I was sharing this with had genuine tears in their eyes. I then feel tears pouring down my own cheeks. Rarely do you get the chance to actually dredge up that magic in such a pure way.

Well… flash forward… and sadly my magGoty plate is too stacked and I am unable to make the journey to Toronto. Maurizio is throwing an official CD release party for his first official solo album TONIGHT. Of course there will be a musical throw down to boot. If you are within reach, you MUST go. You’ll forever regret not having been there and will always hear how incredible it was… If you have not yet read the magGot’s writeup on Maurizio’s album, go to the Lounge HERE.

Having joined forces on The Profane Exhibit, I’ve now the pleasure to join the stage with Maurizio. A true honor. Not only that, but I (as well as my fellow magGot’s) can call him and his lovely lady Cinzia Cabalieri true friends. Some of the kindest folks you’ll ever meet. So not only are you in for a musical takeover (and need to support this important release) but you also get to meet some of the most real people working in our genre. Period.

Order the album HERE.

Hit up Maurizio’s site HERE.

The Facebook events page HERE.

 

Maurizio Guarini

“Creatures From a Drawer”

 

Wednesday, June 5th

Doors open at 7:30pm

(Show starts at 9pm)

Tickets are $10 at the door, $25 with CD included.

Lula Lounge

1585 Dundas St. West

Toronto, ON

M6K 1T6

Canada

 

After the live performance, Shock Stock 2012.

After the live performance, Shock Stock 2012.

 

KING.

Portrait of Nathan T. King by Rachel Dawn Renaudin. Based on his solo musical project:  Crowbra.

Portrait of Nathan T. King by Rachel Dawn Renaudin. Based on his solo musical project: Crowbra. Click to explore her website.

When I moved away to art school it wasn’t all that far away from my home town. Two to three hours away… but I buried myself in school for six straight months before I even came up for air. It was an obsession. On average I slept one to three hours a day and there were plenty of times I went several days with no sleep. I weighed 185 pounds when I started and by the end of this six months, 120. Not till years later did I realize I looked like a post card for starving children in some far off land.

 

That being said, home seemed like it may as well have been on the other side of the world. Though there was a major relief when I found out my good buddy Tom Colbert and company at Bloody Fun Pictures were finishing up our first major movie, The Kranny. It was equally inspiring to know things were still chomping along back home. Eric James had become a large part of the family at the time as well and was on board finishing the film. He would soon become a huge part of My Crepitus and all else we would ever do.   But there was this other being that I kept getting ear of. It was as if I was hearing stories of myself, in some sort of strange Twighlight Zone kind of way. There was this young up and coming artist who was dabbling with music, film and all things art related. He had also grown up in Tom’s comic and collectible store (TC’s Collectibles).

Zombie Nathan

A young Nate… dabbling with Dick Smiths highly influential book…

…this ‘being’ was none other then Nathan T. King. We met a few times through the years, but never had the opportunity to truly connect until years later. I think it was just too much for both of us to face meeting another interpretation of ourselves. It was truly surreal to say the least. I mean, we are from Titusville, Pennsylvania. This is not a huge town. It’s heydays are long over, when it was a flourishing oil town (it is famed for the birth of the oil industry by Colonel Edwin Drake…)

 

Though… Now that time has passed, my interest in industrial sounds and places is obviously routed in my hometown. Drake Well has a park and museum, complete with all the original oil rigs throughout the grounds. In the Summer time they run them. I always loved the great grinding sounds they produced. Our families would have cookouts there all the time.

 

Secondly, TC’s Collectibles was enormously inspiring. It was the core for an artistic minded individual. It could’ve been anywhere… it was a channel to your dreams and inspired you to follow your own path.

Drumming with Taste the Steel.

Drumming with Taste the Steel.

Both of these were key influences the town offered. These influenced both of us several years apart. We also each had unique upbringings as well.

 

When I created the first incarnation of Our Devil’s Night for DOUBLE DOSE OF TERROR!! (The anthology)… I contacted everyone I knew musician wise. It was an all call for music of all types. Since the film has a Halloween back drop, I hoped to put together the ultimate holiday music mix. Everyone’s own interpretation of a Halloween song… as well as much for the straight score. This was the first time Nathan and I were to do something on a collaborative level.   He gladly sent me several tracks. Many of which were used. We exchanged a few brief messages… but that was all for now.

 

Years later… One of my closest friends I grew up with (Drew Hummel) had finally moved back north. He was living in our home town once again and had since become very close to Nathan. They asked to crash at my place so they could check out a metal show in town.

Nate discovering his black metal roots...

Nate discovering his black metal roots…

When they got here after the metal show, I had been battling a terrible headache. Was looking forward to seeing them, but didn’t expect much to come of it. Next thing you know the sun was rising and we had spent the night like teenage geeks ranting about every form of art known to man… Drew kicked back like a mastermind grinning with joy. He just knew Nathan and I were meant to properly connect. It’s amazing how the best friendships will sometimes gestate for several years before they’re meant to truly bloom.

 

A few months later I was pulling together crew to expand Our Devil’s Night into it’s own full blown feature. It was five years past the original film and an entirely new production came from it. From the moment Nathan and I shot our first shot, there was an instant trust and insane chemistry that generally takes forever to establish. I was digging deep into my acting chops to try to honor my deer and departed friend/mentor Mr Ben through the final two thirds of shooting/editing the film… and having the chance to shoot some of that with Nathan was incredible.

Somewhere during this pivotal time frame, Nathan started recording his first all out solo project. A punk spirited, black metal, industrial hybrid entitled: Crowbra. The LP kicked off officially on Saturday. Make sure to dig in and give it a listen. Support this truly intense and original experience… HERE. Jump onto the official Facebook HERE.

 

Now that we’re ‘totally gay’ for one another… I can officially welcome Nathan T. King to the magGot Family. I can’t imagine magGot Films without him… yet we’ve just begun… Give a gander at his uncensored BIO before it gets edited… HERE!

magGot, Nate, Allana Sleeth and Skeeter rock Cinema Wasteland...

magGot, Nate, Allana Sleeth and Skeeter rock Cinema Wasteland…

Assorted Ghouls: Official Skeeter Soundtrack Spring 2013

Artist: Ghost                                                                                                                                ghostbcInfestissumam
Album: Infestissumam
Released: April 2013

I couldn’t review this album to coincide the release date, because I didn’t get an advance copy. Even if I did get an advance copy, I wouldn’t have been able to get the review done in time. I wanted to let it settle into my brain for a gooood long time. You see, I’m old now, methodical, and untrusting of new bands that I fall in love with. I look back on some bands that I’ve embraced as a result of their debut albums, and I’ve been burned one too many times. Any band has 10 years to write one album of solid material, but then has to follow it up in the next couple of years, while touring and promoting their first oeuvre. I had a good feeling about my boys in Ghost, but I wanted to hear this as a whole. I wanted my mind to conjure up it’s own images from the sounds, much like I had the luxury for their debut ‘Opus Eponymous.’ I ignored the first two videos for ‘Secular Haze’ and ‘Year Zero.’ I wanted to pick the hits for myself.

Well this was all for naught, because basically these are the album’s best tracks. They know what they have in Ghost, which is cool. Some bands are immune to their own magic and can’t seem to harness what makes their songs appealing, and choose the wrong ones as singles.

Well, the verdict is that Ghost’s 2nd album ‘Infestissumam’ is solid sophomoric fare for the fans. They upped production, shed about 50% of their Mercyful Fate… influence, we’ll call it, and widened their thematic scope just enough to keep me as a drooling slave.

Their are some missteps though. ‘Jigolo Har Megiddo’ is a standard song with pretty stupid lyrics, about how virile singer Papa Emeritus is, or whatever, it doesn’t work for me.  I assume this track is meant to further his reputation as a sex symbol (?) in highost2s live performance. I noticed this trend last time I saw them live. Don’t get it.

While I love the kitschy late chorus in ‘Ghuleh/Zombie Queen,’ the beginning is embarrassingly ‘guth’ and puerile. It sounds like Papa Emeritus is crooning about Robert Goulet, and while he’s pretty badass in a Las Vegas dick-swingin’ way, he has no place in the same realm as Ghost. Or does he? Why do I feel an ownership to this band and it’s output? The mystery of this Ghost cult deepens.

I also take track “Body and Blood” as a contrived use of imagery and words fit into a simple, easily-digestible filler track, that could be used to represent them on the radio. That’s not what I want from Ghost, but again, who the hell do I think I am? At least they’re taking chances with this stuff. So what if they don’t hit every mark?

On the first album there were a few things that singer Papa Emeritus did that chilled my bones. His calm and stoic delivery of words like ‘bathory’ and ideas like maternal slavery and such scared the shit out of me. I was hoping the same thing would happen with ‘ Infestissumam’, and it did. I don’t believe in Satan and Hell, but hey, either do Satanists at their core. They believe in the dirt, the earth, what they can hold in their hands. They more specifically don’t believe in an otherworldly saviour or purpose. They want power over other men, so the imagery and rituals are used to ensnare poor saps that crave that kind of thing. In ‘Idolatrine’ the words in the chorus very calm and stoically (again) rub it in our faces that they are simply stealing our money and time by dressing up in demonic costumes and photosinging forms of chant-worthy idolatry for us , the “imbeciles” and “simpletons.” Genius! The capitalistic intentions of this band are true evil! That kind of thing scares the ever-loving cheese outta me. Bravo!

Speaking of which, seems to me that Ghost likes having the audience chanting along with them during the concerts. Songs like ‘Per Aspera Ad Inferi’ have us chanting in Latin, thoughtlessly, probably something Satanic, I don’t feel like looking it up. ‘Year Zero’ has us hailing Satan, and the closing track ‘Monstrance Clock’ has us coming “together as one, for Lucifer’s son,” nonetheless.

I prefer to stay ignorant to the intentions of Ghost over my sweet virgin ass, and just send them all my money for music, shirts, goblets, incense burners or whatever they are selling. I want it. I am not here to question the system, I am to simply listen and obey.

So all in all a satisfying follow up release, seemingly made to fill in the spaces in the established live set list. Like the album ‘Killers’ compared to the self titled ‘Iron Maiden’ record, all the classic tracks are on the s/t but the second album is smoother, livelier, and more digestible for the potential “marionettes” in the Ghost army.

CFAD-frontcover335Artist: Maurizio Guarini
Album: Creatures From a Drawer
Released: June 2013

This is a special magGot review because all of us here at magGot Films are extreme admirers of the band Goblin, and of keyboard renegade Mr. Maurizio  Guarini. I didn’t want to hog all of the blatant ass-kissing space, so I thought me and my esteemed colleague Jesus magGot would put our lips together (oh, so gay) in honour of this release.

Skeeter:  I was very excited for the release of ‘Creatures From a Drawer’, Jesus, but I wasn’t sure it would be completely up my alley. I wasn’t sure that it would be much like his band Goblin, because in my mind that band is primarily (the other keyboardist) Claudio Simonetti’s child. I have to say, though, that ‘Creatures From a Drawer’ showed me just how and where Guarini’s influence affects the classic Goblin sound. In fact I found this release to have that classic Goblin sound more genuinely than any of Simonetti’s material since that era. What say thee, my Lord?

Jesus:  Well my Son, I had no idea what to expect. Being a relatively new fan (I only became a proper fan when we saw them live in 2012) I came into this rather virginal. I, in fact, needed to go back through Goblin’s catalog after listening to ‘Creatures From a Drawer’, as I wanted to find, as you put it, the Guarini influence. And it truly does come out in spades, especially when you realize that several of the albums were Simonetti-less and were driven by Gaurini, including one of my favorites “Buio Omega”!

Skeeter:  Well lets start off with the first couple tracks, cuz all of these deserve a little attention. They’re all so different. What do you say, Jesus?

Jesus:  Fuck sakes…

Sleeter:  The opening track ‘Dialogue’ utilizes some modern sounds, but would still fit well in an early 80’s art house alien picture. Perhaps one where a semi-sexy alien is captured and only the young upstart with the dreaded night shift seems to be able to ‘connect’ with her. The second track ‘Gentle Robbery’ is the most Goblinesque for my money, on the disc. This wouldn’t be outta place in a classic fleshy-headed mutant movie.

Jesus:  I couldn’t agree more! Now we are all familiar with Maurizio’s work on film soundtracks however He states in the liner notes that ‘Solar Channel’ was originally written for the opening titles of a video game, and this is obvious within seconds of the track’s beginning. Visually the track takes you on a journey, I can see large landscapes with castles in the distance, or at times modern buildings within a darkened framework. The song takes you to a world that for now can only live inside your imagination… which is certainly not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

Skeeter:  I wanna play that game! More sonic chaos follows with ‘Aniens Comma 21’ which is a cool blend of synth voices, off-kilter keys, and some, well, fucking amazing drumming seemingly played by 12 coked-up elves at the same time (aka Canadian drum legend Great Bob Scott of The Look People). Next up are two tracks together that comprise the centrepiece of the album, literally and musically. ‘So Dark’ is the suspense building embellishment that leads into the incredible ‘Black Dog’ (Zeppelin be damned!). The highlight of this track, and thus the album is the haunting spoken word passages by this mystery woman Cinzia Cavalieri. I have not heard anything of late that has oozed such an evil cool.

Jesus:  And this is where it feels like we should be flipping the record. ‘Beside the Cathedral’ in bright contrast to the previous track begins by soothing us out… my brain went into the gumdrop forest for some reason at first…. before the timbre changes and leads us through alleys of unknown origin. I mostly associate the back page of the leaflet’s art with this song. The characters simply come alive. Which brings us to what has to be Jesus’ favorite, the upbeat feel good ‘Looking Around’. I simply can’t sit still around the 4:13 mark! Gives me the feeling of memories of summers past.
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Skeeter:  I was also doing the Peanuts dance during that part. Now, rounding up the pack are the more atmospheric and futuristic ‘Magic Tunnel’ to bring images of unmentionable pleasures, perhaps from a European nudie flick, before the funky closer ‘Lost My Camera’ brings back the sick Great Bob Scott on the skins. This is another track that I could see in an arty European thriller.

Jesus:  Yet another couple of tracks with high cinematic elements… but let’s be honest, I don’t think there’s track on this album that could not be used for film. Wouldn’t you agree?

Skeeter:  Yes. In fact I’d say Maurizio Guarini’s ‘Creatures From a Drawer’ is the soundtrack to the greatest cult movies never made.

Jesus:  Oh, so you’re just gunna one-up me, eh. Well suck on this, you Mangia-Cake: I love this album more than you do!

Skeeter:  Go to hell, Jesus! I love it more!

Jesus:  Well regardless of who loves it more I would certainly recommend grabbing the CD. The artwork is the added treasure that completes the album, done by none other than Maurizio himself.

Skeeter:  Now that I’m done listening to the album, I’ll take a deeper look at the packaging…(does so)…Holy crap, you’re right! The liner notes and artwork are beautiful and unique. We here at magGot Films could not possibly recommend ‘Creatures…’ any higher. This is a vital record for anyone that loves classic soundtracks, atmospheric oddities, and/or the band Goblin in it’s purest form. I’m serious! Go now and buy it online from backtothefudda.com, or if you live in Toronto, come and meet the maestro Maurizio freakin’ Guarini at the Lula Lounge (Dundas W/Brock) Wednesday June 5th, 2013 for the CD release party, starting at 7:30!!! Hopefully 12 coked-up elves, and that mysterious woman will be there.

phantom11Artist: Phantom
Album: The Powers That Be
Released: February 2013

I got this little gem a little late in the production schedule so I can’t give a long review, but I really wanted to include this demo from Toronto thumpers PHANTOM. Besides going with the theme of Ghosts n Goblins, I wanted to include this ‘The Powers That Be’ debut EP because I already knew I’d like it. I’d seen them live and knew that I was seeing a future force to be reckoned with. These guys had been slogging it for years as the Ash Lee Blade band until the prolific singer’s ‘retirement from metal.’

Now they have hit the reset button and started fresh with an EP of metal in it’s purist form. No swearing, no big splashy dragon on the packaging. Besides pushing a cool sense of xenophobia and paranoia in their lyrics, its just basics like “keeping the flame,” “remaining in metal” and such. Here on this recording they aren’t blowing our minds, that will come on the next releases. Here they are  laying their own groundwork. The Book of Phantom, Chapter 1 : Our World, Our Rules.
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The band itself are 4 of the most solid musicians that you could possibly find on the metal scene, and they are beyond lucky to have each other. On this release; D.D. Murley (all guitars and vocals) shows off his vibrato-less falsetto consistently in tracks ‘In Metal’, even adding a little King Diamond like macabre growl to the song ‘Citizen Pain’ not to mention a sweet guitar solo. Necro Hippie (Bass) has a magic three-fingered attack on ‘Keepers of the Flame’ and ‘Killing Concubine, and J.J. Blade (Drums) absolutely rips the opening title track, double bass a-pounding till the last track is spent. Producer Matt Sabbath added a solid and pure sounding frame for the listener to be in the action, hearing the slap of Necro’s bass-strings and the imperfections of the vocals. I dig that kind of thing. Takes you closer to the action.phantom33

If I had to pick a weakness it would be the vocals. Not because they are bad, in fact D.D. rips! It’s just that I wanna sing for this absolutely stacked band. It’s 100% jealousy.

You can scoop up this and any future releases at the usual online sources, and maybe we’ll see these guys on the charts someday.

-Skeeter

 

Kickass.

Lisa KickAss

Kickass prepping some grue for Jesus directorial debut: PWCA. (2012.)

It’s amazing how true friendships will hold up against anything. When something is meant to be, there’s no stopping it. After finishing My Crepitus, I was at a convention (Fright Vision) endlessly looking for an FX artist/friend. He was doing a makeup demonstration on me for the convention, this was my ticket in. I nervously approached this couple who looked a little lost in their own right. I asked if they’d seen a one legged FX artist. The guy quickly shot out: …”No I haven’t but there’s an ass kicking contest down the hall… maybe you should check there!”

 

After hitting it off with this Canadian couple (the whole reason they looked a tad out of their element) they invited me back to their hotel. This couple was none other then Lisa ‘Kickass’ and Ryan O. Neil. We shared some beer and I got an advanced listen to Ryan’s first full length album. It was for his epic band Red Bastard Brewery. I gave him a copy of My Crepitus in trade and he would mail me the finished album when it was done.

 

Throughout the weekend Ryan, Lisa and I kept hitting it off. Even when I would go off on another adventure, they would wind up right there at the tale end.

 

Saturday was the makeup demonstration. I was transformed into an elegant Satan, complete with full face silicone prosthetic, contacts, fangs and suit. We hit the town in style headed by Ted Bohus… winding up in the hands of a classy strip club. The door man didn’t want to let us in due to my Satanic getup. Ted immediately asked for the owner and he welcomed us in open arms, “the Devil is ALWAYS welcome in my club!” A man walking out of the restroom, fled screaming upon seeing me. He hit the exit with his fly down, believing he’d seen the evil one himself…  Next thing you know the girls are hitting on Satan. What a night.

 

We come back half tanked and with plenty of stories to tell. Like clockwork, there was Ryan and Lisa partying in the lobby. We quickly joined them and laughed the night away as we sat in the lobby of the hotel. Ted gave commentary to the passers by, per the enormous windows the hotel offered that overlooked the city scenery in front of us. Some of the most genuine times are so simple.

 

Celebrating ten years...

magGot, Gore-Met, Kickass, Skeeter. After screening shin dig celebrating Revenge is Her Middle Name (2011.)

 

The convention ended. We said our good byes. The internet had just started to take off, the three of us started to correspond via email. At first they played twenty questions regarding My Crepitus and it allowed me the opportunity to dig deep into my own work. As time passed, I realized I had evolved as a writer. I never would’ve thought that writing emails back and forth would develop ones writing so well… but it did. I can easily say that because of them, I graduated to another level per our epic and massive emails.

 

Low and behold, these crazy Canadians stayed true to their word and a copy of the complete album by Red Bastard Brewery wound up at my door step. I loved every minute of it…

 

It became a yearly tradition, we would hit up a convention every year. The following year, we met back up at Fright Vision. I had completed my new film, A Tribute to Sanity. We did a hotel room premiere. It was a huge hit. Then there was another viewing in the hotel hallway and I remember Ryan going up to the VCR and rewinding the film immediately. He watched it again while the party went on inside.

 

Now all these years later, we are closer then ever. It’s amazing how the real thing cannot be broken, even when you live at such a great distance. These Canadians are more a part of magGot Films then a lot of those whom are immensely closer in proximity. Raise your tallboy’s to salute LISA ‘KICKASS!‘… Here’s to an even crazier decade of psychedelic dread… Dig into her official Bio HERE!