The Hubrisween That Wasn’t: A

As mentioned in the last posting, I fully intended to do Hubrisween this year. I shouldn’t let what pitiful amount I did get done go to waste, so here goes. I’m also going to handle this in a different way than I originally intended, cuz I’m fickle that way

So.

A: AM 1200 (2008) is the directorial debut of David Prior, better known for The Empty Man and “The Autopsy” on Cabinet of Curiosities. Well, his debut as a fictional storyteller, he has some heavyweight credits on video documentaries on filmmaking. I can’t seem to find it streaming anywhere except YouTube and Vimeo – probably because it’s only 40 minutes long – and that is a shame. It deserves a wider following.

We meet our main character, Sam (Eric Lange) on the run. We find he acted on drunken advice from an associate at his financial securities firm (the always welcome Ray Wise), and made off with a bunch of money, resulting in the suicide of said associate. The increasingly paranoid Sam’s escape plan is apparently to drive as far as he can, continuing on into the night, until he falls asleep at the wheel.

Turning on the radio to keep himself awake, he finds he’s so far into the boondocks that the only station he can pick up is on AM 1200, an evangelical station, and that just barely. On that, he hears a call that there’s a medical emergency at the station, and if anyone is listening, please help. Sam realizes that he has gotten himself totally lost, there is no cell phone coverage out here, and oh, look – there’s that radio station. He looks down the dark, wooded path to the station and utters the deathless horror movie line, “No fuckin’ way” and drives on.

Only to find the road he’s on is a dead end. driving back, his overtaxed car finally craps out. In front of that radio station. Odd, that.

Well. Nothing left to do but go up there and see if they have a phone.

And thereby hangs the tale.

I really enjoyed AM 1200 the first time I saw it, and I enjoy it more every time I see it. Prior’s direction and visuals are both extremely assured, and he is able to conjure dread out of the simplest things. I tracked it down after seeing The Empty Man, hoping to find more cosmic horror done well, and boy was I rewarded. I wish Prior the best, I hope he continues in this vein for a long, long time.

Looking back over my archives, I see that when I link to YouTube on here, the file inevitably goes away. So hurry up and watch. Like I said, it’s only 40 minutes long, and far more rewarding than hate-watching another episode of whatever you young people are hate-watching these days

I Think I’m Back (God Help Me)

It’s been said that life happens while you’re making other plans. I’ve been having life happen when I was just trying to live.

Hi. I’m going to try to come back to the world of old men complaining about movies and other stuff that’s not all that connected to real life, because real life is rawther sucky right now.

I don’t know how many times I’ve started this post over the last (mumble mumble) months or has it been fucking years? Been dealing with the usual: depression and anxiety and the political situation in the States has not been helpful at all. After a whole lot of things blocking me from even thinking about writing were recently resolved, and the workload during this week has been light, well, here I am.

Not been a fantastic year for a lot of us. Here’s my personal 2022 Hellscape: (if I don’t think better of this oversharing and delete this)

  • 2020 finally caught up with me. I lost half my income during the lockdown, and it never came back. Then there were some very bad decisions made on my part (none of which involved crypto – I’m stupid, not totally brain-dead) and I spent most of the year declaring bankruptcy. I don’t have to tell you not to do this, right? Unless it’s absolutely necessary? It’s a lot of work. That was over as of early this month, and I am now guaranteed to be a pauper for the next five years. But at least my family and I have a roof over our heads.
  • In the final stages of that process, I took my wife to the Emergency Room with a massive days-long headache and double vision. It turned out to be a Cranial Nerve Palsy, which tends to go away by itself, but it takes weeks, even months. We got her a batch of differently colored eyepatches in the meantime, so I am now married to either a cute pirate or Elle Driver.
  • Almost immediately after that, my adult son, who was dealing with severe anxiety and depression (gosh, that sounds familiar somehow), on advice of his psychiatrist, was committed to a psych hospital for 11 days. He fucking hated it, but even he has to admit that he came out much improved.
  • So that was my last month, how was yours?
  • Oh, yeah, I’m now a card-carrying Senior Citizen. Or will be once the gummint sends me my Medicare card.

This is from SHARKULA. You shall hear of it again.

Sorry for burdening you with that, but I do feel better having vented to someone besides my family. The next five years will be, um, interesting to say the least, but if nothing else I still have approximately three billion movies in my possession that I still have to watch.

Therein lies another niggling problem, also with its roots in 2020. I have some buddies I game with online every night, which is something that kept me somewhat sane and centered during COVID and Trump, and that tradition continues. Night time was, of course, my usual movie-watching time, and as my day job requires being conscious during daylight hours, my aging body has required bedtimes earlier than my usual 2AM. This has cut down my movie-watching time drastically.

Another problem that can traced to 2020 – and I’m not the only person experiencing this – was violent damage being done to my attention span. For a while I could only watch stuff an hour long or less. I finally overcame that by watching Chinese action/fantasy movies, which had nothing to with current politics or airborne virii, which helped ease me back. Caught an unfortunate taste for “Prestige TV”, which isn’t a bad problem to have, really.

I had really meant to do Hubrisween this year, but as you know, life banged at the front door. Had a good lineup, too. If I get bored tomorrow – a distinct possibility, since we’re not traveling at all – I’ll share it with you. In the meantime:

  • I don’t have to tell you to watch Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, right? That’s because my readers are smart, right? Falls beautifully into the less-than-an-hour attention span trap, and it is a genuine pleasure to see horror not only done right, but done well. I still haven’t watched the last episode, because selfishly, I don’t want it to end.
  • Black Adam is a totally serviceable superhero movie. Enjoyable to see Zack Snyder’s “superheroes totally kill lol” philosophy administered to a proper character, now give me back my non-murderous Superman and Batman. The plot gets super-annoying at times (The Justice Society admitting it’s “a bad plan” from the start and then doing nothing to change that plan), but it was good to see Hawkman and Dr. Fate. I definitely want to see more of Cyclone and even Atomsmasher, and c’mon, make a Superman movie where he smiles occasionally.
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once was just as weird and marvelous as everyone said it was, and that is all I should say, in case you haven’t seen it yet.
  • Is the V/H/S franchise adhering to the even-movie-great odd-movie-sucks template? Because V/H/S 99 is a terrible letdown after 9494‘s stories were as long as they needed to be, while 99‘s are stretched unreasonably and unpleasantly long.

There. I hope that was worth the wait. Hopefully, I’ll be back later. If you’re in the US, Happy Thanksgiving. If you’re not, have a good Thursday.

Because, honestly, who doesn’t need more SHARKULA?