Scott Nicolay

Ana Kai Tangata

Tag: Mario Bava

Stories From the Borderland #X.1: “The Black Destroyer” and “Discord in Scarlet” by A.E. Van Vogt

This special installment first appeared as an exclusive debut for Unwinnable Monthly #84 (2016). Please visit Michael Bukowski’s blog to see his artistic interpretations of Coeurl here and Xtl here.

When Michael Bukowski and I first hatched the concept for this project at NecronomiCon 2015, my working title was some clunky monstrosity along the lines of “Great Weird Stories Hidden in Plain Sight.” Fortunately Michael suggested Stories from the Borderland, the far more felicitous rubric under which our humble idea ultimately burst into the world. Never let it be said that the artist in this partnership doesn’t pull his weight on the prose side as well—something he managed more than once in this installment—whereas I am pretty much dead weight when it comes to the artistic end of things. Fortunately, Michael has that side covered.

Yet though the concept behind that original title has dwindled from sight like the oranges and sardines in Frank O’Hara’s famous poem “Why I Am Not a Painter,” it remains operative nonetheless. Stories From the Borderland was never intended as a selection of “deep cuts.” Our mission from the beginning has been to show that many of the most important stories in Weird Fiction truly are hidden in plain sight, often in other genres, especially science fiction.

In previous installments of this series, Michael and I have examined tales of cosmic horror and weirdness by such canonical science fiction authors as James Tiptree Jr., Arthur C. Clarke, J.-H. Rosny aîné and John W. Campbell. Campbell’s novella “Who Goes There” in particular—his most successful story and probably the most obvious selection we’ve tackled—has left an enormous footprint on science fiction, horror and The Weird. This time around we explore “The Black Destroyer” and “Discord in Scarlet,” a pair of closely related stories by A.E. Van Vogt whose combined impact may just be to “Who Goes There” what King Ghidorah is to Barney. The shadow of these two tales falls heavily over some of the most famous films and franchises in the speculative fiction universe. From tiny eggs, my friends… Continue reading

E. Elias Merhige: The Greatest Apple You’ll Ever Eat | The Outer Dark: Episode 29 — JANUARY 28, 2016

85307_4070_1433688357_413a0b In possibly the most mind-blowing episode to date, filmmaker E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) traces his path from the genesis of the acclaimed experimental film Begotten to its highly anticipated rebirth in definitive and alternate versions on 35mm and Blu-ray in the near future. He explores and dissects his cinematic vision in the context of a shared interest with the Weird to push boundaries to create beautiful, powerful and terrifying works, recounts his first epiphanal encounters with Nietzsche and Artaud and the birth of his obsession with “art that actually lives,” relates his own creative process to a form of possession culminating in a volcanic eruption, transports listeners back to the life-changing screening of Begotten in Susan Sontag’s New York apartment when he was just age 25, discusses the fertile artistic nexus in the early-to-mid 20th century with surrealism, Dadaism and expressionism, muses on the artist/writer/filmmaker as our culture’s shamans, gets passionate about cinema as alchemy and Shadow1creating film emulsions that act as a lens for exploring meaning, effuses about the CERN Collider (an example of how now there is “more going on in science and biotech than in most art galleries”) and photographs as “life forms,” discusses why he feels more freedom working with lower film budgets, talks about the joy he gets from conversations with his creative contemporaries and his excitement in connecting with the Weird community, draws back the curtains on a beautiful back story involving John Malkovich, cocktail napkins and the powerful train scene in Shadow of the Vampire, provides an eclectic playlist of the music that drives his creativity (Wagner, Iggy Pop, John Cage, Nurse With Wound, Diamanda Galas, Stuart Dempster, and many more) and reveals an intriguing roll of artists, authors, poets and filmmakers who have served as his biggest influences and provocateurs from Homer to Baudelaire, Bely to Ligotti.

The conversation concludes with what’s next for Merhige including making the final feature-length installment of the trilogy that started with Begotten, writing a new film script which relates the Hiroshima bombing through the eyes of schoolchildren, editing the second draft of his first 900-page novel, and culminating with the restoration of Begotten. Included are exclusive announcements about the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Begotten’s restoration and dynamic details about the endeavor which go beyond your wildest imagination. As Merhige says, ”some exciting shit, my friend.”

throatsprockNews from the Weird:. Arkham Digest columnist/Strange Aeons fiction editor Justin Steele joins Scott for the latest news and a retro review of classic horror novel, Throat Sprockets (1994), by Tim Lucas, editor/publisher of the venerable Video Watchdog. The book was inspired by cinema, has been described as “If JG Ballard wrote Dracula,” and was recommended by author Gemma Files.

This archival episode will be available again at This Is Horror soon. In the meantime, subscribe at iTunes  or Blubrry to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

Next week’s guest: Simon Strantzas, author of Burnt Black Sons and editor of The Year’s Best Weird 3.

More Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Elias_Merhige

Begotten on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101420/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begotten

Din of Celestial Birds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCnp63TbxXw

Suspect Zero trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJLYRnHk8AE

Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan at Joujouka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwEoDGeNyrE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Virgil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalbert_Stifter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Nachsommer

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2012/05/the-dissection/

News From the Weird:

https://vdarcangelo.wordpress.com/

http://perpetualpublishing.com/

https://chthonicmatter.wordpress.com/nightscript/

http://www.darkregions.com/books/new-releases/burnt-black-suns-by-simon-strantzas-deluxe-special-edition

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