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September 26th, 2010


I really really really want to sit down with Rob Zombie and pitch in with whatever he's working on. I just finished watching Hallowe'en II (the 2009 reboot) and was EXTREMELY disappointed that its initial 20 minutes or so was not how the rest of the movie was going to go.

I agree with every critic out there: Zombie's a good filmmaker working with the wrong material, and as a writer-director, has no balance. Like George Lucas minus Harrison Ford as a foil, his impulses aren't being checked. As a results, the things he doesn't do very well (scripting, etc.) screws up what he does TERRIFICALLY well (composing shots, having great vision).

I get what the first movie was trying to do: WE MAKE MONSTERS AND WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIX THEM. The second one hints at an even more terrifying idea: EVEN WHERE WE CAN SEE MONSTERS BEGINNING TO HAPPEN, WE DO NOTHING.

The Shape does not make noise, nor does he express any real emotion when killing. That was what made the initial series so monumentally suspenseful - you cannot reason with something that displays no emotion as it dispatches anything in between it and its target. When Mane starts showing emotion as Myers, and at the end, his face, it undoes everything that was about the original series.

If he'd really wanted to explore the "I want my family" meme, he should have rebooted Friday the 13th. THAT would have made for a terrific match of material and director. The attempt to humanise a monster, a misunderstood and abused kid who turns to violence and malice - that's the story of Voorhees. The "I don't nurture my own - I kill them and hurt them" was the original Myers' core persona. The abusive parent you read about in the papers later. The brother that rapes his own sister that noone ever talked about. Zombie inverting this, where Myers is the caring one and everyone around him worthy of their eventual deaths just makes for a very, VERY confused narrative.

If I had the chance to remake the Halloween series as Zombie has envisioned it, I'd have rented movies by ANYONE good at telling multiple stories at once in a circular narrative. Then I would have had Laurie Strode, the good girl next door, hunted down by the Shape while we see his lonely and abusive childhood in flashbacks, always cutting to them when we're MOST worried about the Shape lurking in the corners of the screen near someone we care about. That would heighten and keep the tension while Zombie would have his dream sequences and flashbacks he cares about and does so well, but not in a way that would screw up the narrative.

Keeping Laurie vulnerable and likeable in the 2nd movie, instead of a shrill, increasingly unlikeable and violent person - would make her eventual fall into catatonic propensity for violence (sequel hook for 3) that much more horrifying and shocking. We already understand the bit about Zombie having Sympathy For The Devil - but if he'd continued the first 20 minutes as the rest of the film - with Loomis, Strode and Myers in the same place, different levels of recovery, and then one eventual tense chase sequence a la original, but where we could see Loomis make wrong choices (for fame rather than for helping anyone), Strode realise that noone else wants to help or can help, and retreats into herself, and Myers just being Myers, we'd have had one sense-making rollercoaster. Instead, Myers is out there wandering in the wilderness for two years (? thought he wanted to reunite with Strode?) hacking up evil people, and for some strange reason decides to make a U-turn back into town. It doesn't make sense.

Even keeping the "two years later" idea - having Stroud become a cutter, someone asking quietly and sweetly for help and being rebuffed as "an easy patient" - sorry, you can't get those pills, the authorities might think I'm getting you hooked. Myers overlooked and underestimated - (but he doesn't do anything except stare at the wall, so what) would be creepily echoed by indifference to a patient who doesn't make waves (she says she has nightmares, but I'll fob her off with this instead - "But you know, you don't make waves, so I'll put in the bare minimum with you even as you descend into madness") - that would have been tragic. And made the final scenes of HII that much more horrifying.

In fact, it would make Loomis' turn that much more understandable. "Fuck it, I can't fix anyone. The system is broken, and I'm no longer sure people CAN be helped, anyway. The hell with it. Time to cash in and become a celebrity." - and his choice - about whether to follow through with being a doctor, or being an attention-seeking celebrity, that much more heartwrenching.

Margot Kidder's psychiatrist ignoring the needs of her charge actually makes reasonable sense - she's aggressive, unpleasant and exhibiting drug-seeking behaviour, which would turn off any psychiatrist. The problem is, whatever Zombie's trying to say needs to be articulated better, and having someone re-mix his scripts would be a good start.

August 5th, 2008

Ganked off docbrite's page.

Not that anyone ever reads my stuff but still

1. You must answer yes or no.
2. You may not explain unless someone asks you to.

Have you ever....

Taken a picture naked? Yes
Made money illegally? Yes
Had a one-night stand? Yes
Been in a fistfight? Yes
Slept with your best friend? Yes
Had sex in a public place? Yes
Ditched work to have sex? Yes
Slept with a member of the same sex? Yes
Seen someone die? No
Run from the police? No
Woke up somewhere and not remember how you got there? Yes
Worn your partner's unmentionables? Yes
Fallen asleep at work? Yes
Used toys in the bedroom? Yes
Run a red light? Yes
Been fired? Yes
Been in a car accident? Yes
Pole danced or done a striptease? No
Loved someone you shouldn't? Yes
Sung karaoke? Yes
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes
Laughed so hard you peed your pants? No
Caught someone having sex? Yes
Kissed a perfect stranger? No
Shaved your partner? No
Given your private parts a nickname? No
Gone in public without underwear? Yes
Had sex on a rooftop? No
Played chicken? No
Mooned/flashed someone? Yes
Slept naked? Yes
Blacked out from drinking? No
Felt like killing someone? Yes
Had sex more than 5 times in one day? No
Been with someone because they were in a band? No
Taken 10 shots of liquor in a day? Yes
Shot a gun? Yes
Gone outside naked? Yes

July 28th, 2008

Rose - next layer

Almost done: just some work on the stem next, and black out around the rose.


June 7th, 2008

Rose: Work in progress

Damn it, the photo is not clear and the colours are all wrong - more orangey.

This is still unfinished, but you can see that the color layer makes the whole thing glow and come alive.

May 28th, 2008

by staring at their faces, or wanting to paint them.

I have such interesting acquaintances (and former ones) who have interesting features. That doesn't mean ugly, just cool.

People dislike being scrutinised.


I should remember that.

May 25th, 2008


Now I can get wasted on Gin and Tonic.

TRUTH: When I came upstairs after taping this to the downstairs wall, Fear Factory was looping the sample "Body of Christ.... Body of Christ..."

I need to mount the feet lower and center things better, but I was on a crap stool and the wall is too short. I want to mount this above people, so that the feet is at least at chest level.

In fact, I'm almost done:

I only have the feet left to do.

Here's teh rough cartoon of the side wound:

And the whole project to date:

More cartoons:

The crucifixion project now has the head and both hands and head done.

The hands were a problem. I have no problem drawing hands, but my references were different sizes, and so I had to scale them, as well as draw a set of hands which were, and no offense to the model, a tad stubby and marsupial looking. I actually like them, they're solid, work hardened hands.

Anyhoo, in addition to the hands, I've provided a shot (from the side) of the pics in approximate relation to each other. Each cartoon will be cropped to 11x18, and they'll be hung in relation to each other. You can get an idea of the scope.

The painting will be called CruciFICTION V, because it's the Five Wounds of Christ (head, hands, feet, side) - in a style the Church approved (Aryan looking fella, dark background, limited violence evidence, nails through the hands) that would have been historically inaccurate.

And also, cause as you can see, it's not a complete image - but when you see them hung in relation to each other YOU YOURSELF relate them into a coherent idea of the Crucifixion, as a commentary on faith - which is after all, drawing a complete picture from fragmentary evidence.

Here's the cartoons.

Left hand:

Right hand:

And here's the hands and head approximately spaced - to give an idea of final scale:

From another angle (couldn't do it straight on - cause a stairway's in the way)

Important notice:

Some concerned emails from people and a dissolved friendship or two later:

1) All pictures I put up here are MINE. They are of MY ARTWORK.

2) Any models have not only consented to me drawing and painting them IN WRITING, they've also consented to me sharing the painting process in a journal. IN WRITING.

I am not interested in stealing someone's likeness or fucking around with same without their express intent.

Nor, as some have emailed me worriedly, am I in any inherent danger of being sued.

Most of my stuff is still life - anything that isn't, REST ASSURED, is stuff where I have CLEARLY ASKED, SPOKEN ABOUT, SPOKEN WITH, GOT APPROVAL FOR and suchlike to do so. BEFOREHAND.

A likeness is like a reputation or a name - it belongs to the person in question.

May 22nd, 2008


I don't use Gamblin colours.

I use Graham colours. M.Graham oil paints, straight outta just outside Portland, Oregon. They're ground in walnut oil, which is rich and lovely.

I looked at some of my old mediums, especially something like Windsor and Newton Liquin, which went a dull grey. Say what? Way to ruin any colour in the painting, dude.

The walnut and walnut alkyd have stayed bright and fresh.

Vassari suggested walnut oil back in the day. Said it made for luminous, wonderful paintings. I think he's right.

I do use Gamblin Neo-Megilp however, and a couple of their other oil-alkyd media. I like them. But the paint from M.Graham is freaking AWESOME.

Both companies are in Portland. That rocks.
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