. . . Blair Witch

. . .

I've heard intelligence defined as the ability to extract simple patterns from existing tangles, which would make The Blair Witch Project the smartest new movie I've seen in ages. The Haxans took the moving hand-held POV shot that's been a standard horror technique since the 1970s and efficiently made it their only technique (and pretty much their plotline). They took ancient* quasi-sadistic directorial techniques and efficiently trimmed them to the basics: leave the cameras running and the actors in the dark while the rest of the crew hides in the woods and makes scary noises. Even their marketing was efficiently focused.

But formal experimentation doesn't always make a sturdy career foundation, and I look forward to the next Haxan movie with more trepidation than the next movie from the more conservative but definitely in-a-groove Anderson-Wilson team.

* "Method" my gouty foot. Springing unpleasantness on screen actors has been standard practice since the 1910s, at least. ( Although big-studio casts tended to get less warning and more days of discomfort.)

. . .

Ich bin ein Danish: The heck with some preachy art-school video, and the heck with Cannibal Holocaust. What The Blair Witch people really ripped off was a horror hoax documentary about witchcraft made by the first (of many, I'm sure) great director from Denmark. And then they had the nerve to name their production company after it! Wudda they think we are -- stupid!?

. . .

Things that scare me: When it comes to The Blair Witch Project, Need To Know has my number:

Americans must *love* passably competent executions of moderately original ideas.

. . .

The lights are strung up, Cholly's strung out, and the Club's finally got the true holiday merchandising spirit prancin' and dancin' and donnin' and blitzin' in The Hotsy Totsy Discount Warehouse Outlet:

To the Moon
  • To our left and right, we see samples of Christina La Sala's and Steven Elliott's Cootie Catchers, published by Chronicle Books. Perfect ice-breakers for the tasteful yet shy, these cunning hand-and-eye-developers are sure to replace Dan Savage and the Magic 8-Ball as your mystic advisor of choice.

  • Arthur Lee once asked, "Pictures and words: is this communicating?" Well, if he'd been talking about the pamphlets of Juliet Clark, we'd have to reply that they're even better than communicating! And at only $5 each, including postage, they're cheaper, too! Give three copies and their grateful recipient can shelve 'em under "Comix," "Memoirs," and "Small Press Collectibles" for easy access. The perfect stocking stuffer for those with large flat stockings.

  • Ray Davis's and Christina La Sala's much bruited about film The Ichthyoid Syndrome ("THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT OF OUR TIME!") is finally available for home entertainment centers. I'll ship a copy on a videotape or Zip disk at cost -- that's only 14 dollars! (Actually, it sounds like a lot to me, too, but that really is the cost, if you include the envelope and all.) Sure to be a collector's item, since normal people don't buy five-minute-long movies!
Desert Isle


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.