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Ed Sum

Ed Sum

Website URL: http://otakunoculture.com/about/ E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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* Spoiler Alert
* Revised & Updated from the print edition.

To recall everything I loved from the Dario Argento’s Suspiria ruined my expectations when I saw the remake by writer David Kajganich and director Luca Guadagnino. They tried very hard to condense key points from Argento's trilogy into one product, and the result is a very bloated film. The update of the mythology was good, but to toss in the extra subplots to make it relevant in a historical context made the runtime longer than it should have been. The fact the screenplay divides the movie into five parts is the first failing. Traditionally, cinematic narratives are fashioned into three to stay simple. With the home video release coming in January (digital release on the 15th and a physical release on the 29th), hitting the pause button will be very welcomed!

The First Purge on Home Video!

Thursday, 04 October 2018 15:52 Published in Movie Reviews

Bonus features can make or break a home video release of a film. I love the depth that can be explored, and the best set to own is with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With The First Purge (the fourth film in the series), some might expect a compendium of reports and found footage to detail first hand experiences of this event. This title released October 2nd.

Instead, the bonus material offered is short and sweet. It gets to the point and certainly satisfies introducing me to the world and explaining who the New Founding Fathers of America are, the allusions to the current "state of affairs" in this country, and what those masks mean.

For anyone coming into this franchise new, like me, the contents work. More could have been said, but I feel a series bible is not needed in this case. Die-hard fans created a Purge Wikipedia to provide the rest of the answers and back history needed to get up to speed. I feel prepared to watch the television series which is (at time of writing than publication) now four episodes in. They are saved on my PVR to binge watch as I am going to view in chronological order than in where the story takes place in Purge Time.

Panos Cosmatos' Mandy, A Movie Review

Monday, 01 October 2018 19:34 Published in Movie Reviews

* Spoiler Alert

It's not too late to go see Panos Cosmatos' Mandy. This film should stay in theatres till at least mid-October, and will keep most horror film enthusiasts looking for a visceral experience sated. When Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) is critical to the plot, the sequence of events that happen will no doubt leave one particular lumberjack (not Paul Bunyan) to a brink of madness. He's a nobody about to become a somebody (more on this later). This woman is a very forlorn soul. Riseborough is the perfect choice in the role, offering pathos to a very troubled character. Because of events that occurred in the past, she prefers to live a life in isolation; her feelings for Red (Nicolas Cage) runs deep. The two are soul mates. One day, on her walk home, a priest of sorts takes a liking to her and orders his minions to her kidnap her.

Norwegian EBM pioneers Apoptygma Berzerk have announced a reissue campaign for their debut album, Soli Deo Gloria, with Toronto-based Artoffact Records. The album, which launched Apoptygma Berzerk into the spotlight and kicked off a career that would see them release with Warner, ColumbiaGun Music, and The End, turns 25 this Fall.

Soli Deo Gloria will be reissued on LP and CD, with the original 13 tracks remastered for vinyl from the original tapes. The CD version will include seven bonus tracks, four of which are previously unreleased. Artoffact Records has designed special splatter vinyl editions in collaboration with Apoptygma Berzerk's front-man, Stephan Groth, available on Bandcamp.

In a statement on the band's website, Apoptygma Berzerk also announced a Soli Deo Gloria remix album entitled SDGXXV, which will be released on 2LP vinyl and CD through Artoffact in early 2019.

Apoptygma Berzerk was formed in 1989 and has released six studio albums, several live albums and best of collections, and a series of experimental EPs. The band has played live on every continent in the world save Antarctica. Artoffact Records has previously designed deluxe vinyl and cassette reissues of some of Apoptygma's best-loved releases.

 



Vancouver-based post-punk crew SPECTRES inked a 5-album deal with Toronto-based Artoffact Records last week, and for those who have not heard their work, the entire catalogue of past albums will be reissued! Also included is a new album, which will see release early 2019!

Formed in Vancouver, BC in 2005 and commonly cited as kicking off the renewed interest in the post-punk sound in Canada, SPECTRES emerged from the DIY Punk underground and have released three spectacular records, toured both the United States and Europe, and have been praised for their genuinely original blend of post-punk and goth-rock.

Vocalist and founder Brian Gustavson wanted to blend the grassroots and independent ethic of anarcho-punk with the anomie and cold, modulated sounds of 1980’s Post Punk and death rock. Though the band’s output has matured with time to embrace a wider range of new-wave and shoegaze influences, their ethos remains rooted in anarcho punk. The blending of these influences allows for the curious juxtaposition of 80’s influenced pop sensibilities with lyrics that explore the alienation and cynicism of modern life and the search for hope in an increasingly terrifying world. One of the band’s core strengths is its sonic aesthetic, which ranges from brooding and confrontational dark punk to ethereal pop influenced dance anthems. SPECTRES’ live show harkens back to their punk origins bringing a direct and aggressive approach to their performances intended to convey a feeling of estrangement and urgency to the audience.

The band's three albums, Last Days, Nothing to Nowhere, and Utopia are all streaming on Bandcamp and will be reissued on CD on October 19th.

CVLT Nation Streams FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's Warmech!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 15:23 Published in Album Reviews

Front Line Assembly is streaming the full WarMech album today with media partner Cvlt Nation. You can stream the FULL album here.

Front Line Assembly founder Bill Leeb is joined on WarMech by Jared Slingerland, Sasha Keevil, Craig Johnsen, and the late-great Jeremy Inkel on a tour de force 12-track full-length album that is as much electronic masterpiece as it is a game soundtrack gold join head of arsenal Bill Leeb. WarMech ranges from industrial to ambient to techno, and will blow the minds of fans of the earlier AirMech soundtrack, as well as long-time fans of Front Line Assembly.

The album will be released on June 22 via Toronto-based Artoffact Records. A double vinyl, including black and greasy-mess versions follows in August, just in time for the band's European tour. The vinyl comes in a gatefold sleeve designed exclusively by Dave McKean, and you also get a collectable, branded download card. CD digipak version also available.

AirMech Wastelands expands the AirMech universe through experiencing the journey from a scavenger to a commander in the war against the machines. After global conflict erased countries and borders, automated armies continued their mission by restoring production of WarMechs to finish their directive.

Front Line Assembly will be on the road this August and September in Europe with Die Krupps. As they return to North America, the band will be performing at all three Cold Waves Festival in NYC, Chicago and LA!

Front Line Assembly LIVE 2018

August 18 - Amougies, BE @ W-2 Festival
August 19 - London, UK @ o2 Academy 
August 20 - Paris, FR @ La Machine
August 21 - Utrecht, NL @ De Helling
August 22 - Krefeld, DE @ KuFa Krefeld
August 24 - Gothenburg, SE @ Truck Stop
August 25 - Stockholm, SE @ Klubben
August 29 - Wroclaw, PL @ Stary Klasztor
August 30 - Prague, CZ @ Lucerna Music Bar
August 31 - Budapest, HU @ A38

September 01 - Bratislava, SK @ Majestic Music Club
September 02 - Vienna, AU @ Viper Room
September 04 - Munich, DE @ Backstage Halle
September 08 - Nu-Ulm, DE @ Volle Kraft Voraus Festival 
September 15 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
September 23 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
September 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ 1720 

Corey Bowles Interview & Black Cop Updates

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 13:31 Published in Underground News

By Ed Sum 

Corey Bowles longtime association with the show Trailer Park Boys helped make him a house hold name and to learn about what he is doing next can simply be boiled down to promoting his debut directorial flick: Black Cop. This work saw select screenings at film festivals since its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, including a small one at Victoria, BC. This month, Northern Banner had this work screen on June 1 as a Cineplex Special Event Screening in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax. On June 5, it will be available on iTunes and on June 19th, it will be available through other VOD outlets.

In this full interview with the aforementioned updates, I got to talk to this multi-talented artist about this show and this film. This article was originally published in the Feb/Mar issue in condensed form, and the full piece is on my own pop culture blog, otakunoculture.com

AU: How have things changed in Trailer Park Boys since the original director Mike Clattenburg left? He’s still credited, but …

CB: Oh, a lot. It’s funny because Mike is obviously big mentor and idol of mine. Now, there’s so much happening in the creative level with the whole group working together as opposed to one person bringing ideas in and having others at it.

Personally, in my role in directing, my goal is to honour what Mike did. We were in a sort of sitcom format which was more related to the movies that he was doing at the time. I study his stuff as much as possible and a lot of times we will add new directors. When we do, we will change the dynamic no matter what, because everyone has a different touch on what the show or scenes are to them, and for the newer directors that haven’t been there when Mike was, they have to jump right in and move differently than he did, what his pace and timing was.

The Damned: Don't You Wish We Were Dead Review

Monday, 20 June 2016 00:14 Published in Movie Reviews

The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead is a fascinating documentary that looks at the rise, decline and resurrection of the United Kingdom’s seminary lords of the punk rock scene. They helped give rise to it mid to late 70’s, and the people they influenced included Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders — who played with The Damned albeit briefly before finding her own road to success. Although I would have liked to hear more from her brief stint, many well-known names were interviewed about the influence this band had back then. They were very introspective. Appearances from Billy Idol, Lemmy, Son Letts, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Mick Jones of The Clash and Clem Burke of Blondie are just some of the names who lend their insights to what this group represented. Although they never attained the global success that bands like the Sex Pistols attained, that may be in part to the image the founding members — Dave Vanian, Brian James, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies — wanted to project. They seemed rather schizophrenic early in their inception.

2016 Victoria Film Festival 

Fri, Feb 12th 8:45pm

The Vic Theatre

808 Douglas St,
Victoria, BC

The movie Girl in the Photographs fondly recalls films like Halloween in its no holds barred approach to possibly reigniting the slasher genre. This detail makes this film worth noting. It’s directed by Nick Simon, a relative newcomer to the scene and it was the last movie that Wes Craven (Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street) had his hands on as an executive producer. Most of his films have a trademark style to them and while it’s sad he’s passed on, the lessons Simon learned will most likely carry on in the next projects he works on within the horror film genre.

2016 Victoria Film Festival 

Fri, Feb 12, 6pm
Sun, Feb 14, 4pm

The Vic Theatre
808 Douglas St,
Victoria, BC

In 2014, the Albertan punk-metal-country band The Smalls reunited for a true farewell tour and for directors Trevor Smith and John Kerr, they nicely captured the rawness and love Western Canada has for this group in their documentary The Smalls: Forever is a Long Time. Through candid interviews with the band and industry observers, viewers come to understand where each member has come from, where are they now, and why they decided to perform one last time. Whatever the reason was behind the break-up, the explanations are alluded to instead of spelling it out point-blank.

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