FLICKSMACKS PODCAST

FLICKSMACKS PODCAST

My love of film has officially spilled over into the medium of audio podcasting.

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A couple of months ago, my friend Scott (@moviedrivel) and I, began throwing around the idea of doing a podcast about movies (and television to an extent). Thus was born FlickSmacks. With both of us being fans of B-movies and the stranger side of cinema, it was only natural that this is where our new venture went to. Each episode we pick a movie that we both watch. These are mostly decided by the title of the film, and/or the cover art. There is an endless well of these types of films at our disposal. As of this post, we have four episodes in the bag, with another waiting to be edited.

If you care to check out this often hilarious look at lesser-known movies, please find us through our website flickskmack.com or other avenues like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and most other pod places. Feedback is always welcome, as are suggestions. We are even looking to have some guests going forward.

This is definitely a passion project, and the quality will not be professional for the first little while as we learn the podcasting ropes, but once we get everything squared away, we will be unstoppable!

Please stop by for a listen.

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JOHN CARPENTER LOVEFEST

Why John Carpenter Is My Favorite Director

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The Maestro in Action

Many directors have a distinct style. When directors carve out their own niche, for the most part, the men behind the lens gain notoriety. Great examples of this are Martin Scorsese, with his quick cut, narrated crime capers. Quentin Tarantino, who uses dialogue and ultra-violence to give his stories life. There is also, my personal favorite director; John Carpenter. From the time I was a boy, there is something about Carpenter’s films that hook me. The ingredients he uses to cook up his films fit perfectly with my movie pallet. For this reason, I would like to tell you why John Carpenter is my favorite movie director.

Simplicity   There is one common thread through Carpenter’s work; survival. From Assault On Precinct 13 to Ghosts of Mars and everywhere in between, a fight for survival against an evil force is the main theme throughout. This makes for his films to be unsettling, intense, and simple. Babysitter versus madman, scientists versus alien, or truck driver pitted against evil sorcerer. You get the picture. A simple plot. Good versus evil. Everything right down to Michael Myers expressionless white mask is uncomplicated. This makes a plot like an escaped mental patient stalking babysitters in small town Illinois seem plausible, organic, and more terrifying; it could happen to anyone. Simple is good. Carpenter does it well.

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The Soundtracks   If you were to take away the haunting synth-based soundtrack from the previously mentioned Halloween, what are you left with? You have footage of a man walking around the dark with a knife. This is not nearly as effective as the same footage armed with the iconic theme of the film. Carpenter’s soundtrack scores and themes are very effect in drawing out the tension and action. The main title from his 1980 ghost story The Fog is my personal favorite. The music is creepy in all the right places. Carpenter still continues to tour, performing his vast collection of synthesizer music. His Anthology and Lost Theme albums are amazing.

The Villains   All great stories have a great protagonist. John Carpenter’s films have a wide arrange of monsters and bad guys. From a possessed 1957 Plymouth Fury named Christine, to a whole island filled with violent criminals in Escape From New York, Carpenter villains run the gamut. The Shape, also known as Michael Myers has even become a pop culture icon since he first appeared in 1978. Perhaps his best creature is the parasitic alien that jumps from host to host in The Thing. This is Carpenter’s best film, and it is party because the alien is convincing and pretty damn cool. A great movie monster goes a long way in telling a great story.

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They Live (1988)

The Anti-Hero   John Carpenter’s films also have another common theme; the anti-hero protagonist. Anti-hero, by definition, is “a central character in a story, movie, or drama, who lacks conventional heroic attributes. Carpenter’s heroes do not wear capes, drive fast cars, or fit into any typical hero mold. Look at these characters, for example. Snake Plisskin is a convicted bank robber who sent into a crime infested Manhattan to save the U.S. president. In Big Trouble in Little China, Jack Burton is hard-living truck driver who battles a sorcerer. For the Kurt Russel hat-trick, whiskey drinking anti-social helicopter pilot McReady battle the alien that invades his Alaskan science outpost in The Thing. Nada, the drifter in They Live and Dr. Loomis, Michael Myers psychiatrist are also examples of Carpenter’s unconventional good guys.

Genre Crossover   Blending genres is something that can make a compelling story. John Carpenter is the master of blending horror and science fiction together to make great cinema. Look at films like The Thing, They Live, and Village of the Damned. All great horror films with some science thrown in for good measure. His use of aliens and Martians is pretty much a Carpenter trademark. Humor is also something the director does well. It is usually subtle, but in a movie like Big Trouble, the laughs are right on the surface. Starman is a blend of sci-fi and romance. I think you get the point I am trying to make. The man is a damn good writer and filmmaker.

 

My Top Five John Carpenter Movies:

  1. The Thing
  2. Halloween
  3. Escape From New York
  4. The Fog
  5. They Live / Big Trouble In Little China

T.

Some pretty cool posters.

As I browse the internet, I come across so pretty cool images. I am a fan of music gig posters, and minimalist movie posters. A lot of creativity inhabits the world, and cyberspace is the easiest way to get your art out to the masses. As I come across something I find pleasing to the eye, I save it. Here are some of the images I feel are very sharable. I have no idea who the artists are, and I can take no credit for any of these pieces. Whoever did these, please keep up the amazing work.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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True Romance (1993)

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Lost Boys (1987)

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Blair Witch Project (1999)

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The Exorcist (1973)

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The Shining (1980)

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Goonies (1985)

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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Ghostbusters (1984)

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The Shining (1980)

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The VVitch (2016)

 

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Danzig/White Zombie/Kyuss Gig Poster

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Melvins Gig Poster

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Pallbearer Gig Poster

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Blondie Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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The Sword Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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Beastie Boys Gig Poster

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Pink Floyd Tour Poster

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David Bowie Gig Poster

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Pink Floyd Gig Poster

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The Sword/Pallbearer Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

T.

The Reboot.

After almost one year of being unemployed after a layoff (I got a sweet severance package), I started a new job this past May. Basically, I have been working ten hour days, five days a week. After having all the time in the world to write and basically do whatever I want, I have been trying to readjust back into the land of employment. I don’t have a lot of time to do much after work, but I absolutely miss writing my blog. Thus, I have decided to reboot, and begin doing some stuff on this site again. Since I started doing this a year ago, I have always found it therapeutic to find the right words and string together to talk about the things I admire and appreciate. There are so many things I find interesting in this world, and talking about them is pretty cool. If you were a reader, I am sorry I have been absent. If you just discover me now, welcome. Either way, let’s have a good time.

But in the meantime, here is this…

T.

Riff of the Day – 09/08/15 Fireball Ministry – The Sinner

Fireball Ministry – The Sinner (from the album The Second Great Awakening, Nuclear Blast 2003)  From Las Angeles by way of Cincinnati, Fireball Ministry have been at it since the late 90’s, making some warm, heavy rock ‘n roll. A lot of their imagery borrows from Christianity, but we won’t hold that against them (just jokes). This foursome know how to groove.

Please Stay Tuned…

My apologies for not posting much in the last week. I’ve been doing some writing for another project I am working on. I do have many posts planned for How Heavy This Axe, I just have to get around to posting them. I will return.

In the mean time, please enjoy this photo I took at the Calgary Zoo today…a Tiger eating meat!

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Riff of the Day – 08/11/2015

Masters of RealityIt’s Shit (from the album Welcome to the Western Lodge, 1999 Spitfire Records) Originally from Syracuse, New York, these guys have been making music since the early eighties. Singer/guitarist Chris Goss is also a producer, working with bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss. Named after the Black Sabbath album ‘Master of Reality‘, these guys are definitely worth checking out.

“It’s alive…It’s ALIVE!”

Hello, and welcome to How Heavy This Axe. Thank you for stopping by. Before we begin, allow me to tell you a little about myself, and what I hope to accomplish.

From a young age, I have always had an interest in audio and visual arts…film, television, music. Over the years, I have developed a taste for horror and psychological thriller films. From the time I met my best friend and creative partner Blaise at the age of eight, the darker side of cinema is where my interest has drifted. The 70’s area classics (The Exorcist, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Shining) opened the doors, and today I still find myself using those films as the benchmark.

As much as I love film, my true love is music. Many genres and artists are amazing, and I will give anything a listen, heavy music is the one thing I have always enjoyed. As an early teen, I discovered heavy metal. I was hooked. Megadeth, Kiss, Motorhead and Faith No More were some of my favorites. I started going to concerts at 14 (Aerosmith/Skid Row my first), and continue to see as many as I can. Then the internet was born. That was the ticket to a whole new world of music. This is how I discovered “Stoner Rock”. You can call it “desert rock”, “robot rock”, “doom”, “sludge”, or whatever, but this form of music has captivated my soul since day one.  I heard Queens of the Stone Age debut album in 1999, and that was it. I was sucked in to the vortex. I still call Queens of the Stone Age my favorite band to this day.

What I hope to accomplish with this “blog” is not to critique or review films and music, but to rather give my opinions. I find it crass to give a rating to someones life work, whether it is good or bad. I am simply going to write my thoughts. I welcome your opinions, and look forward to feed back. Eventually, I would love to have guest writers and contributors. I know there are a million other websites like this, but hopefully I can be entertaining enough to catch some interest. And of course I am going to use this little piece of the web to selflessly self promote various music and film projects that my friends and I work on.

You can also visit these places if you like to click…

scentertainment.blogspot.ca –  The artist collective I call home.  My pal Blaise runs the show. The most dedicated dude I know.

moviedrivel.com – My pal Worky’s blog. He uses his brain to store movie information. He possesses impressive film knowledge.

My twitter handle is @thisaxeisheavy   –   My email is thisaxeisheavy@gmail.com

T.