We’ve reached the end of our “Blood, Booze & Beyond” festival, and we all hope that you’ve enjoyed it – that perhaps you’ve found a new drink to try, a film to watch, or that our absolute love of the horror genre and the people behind the movies has rubbed off. Not only were we able to provide a drink for each of our main spirits (quite a few for gin), we’ve also covered many of the hallmark periods for scary movies. For easy reference, here’s everything by category:
By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
“Don’t expose him to bright light. Don’t ever get him wet. And don’t ever, ever feed him after midnight.” These fateful lines are, of course, the central words of caution in the seminal horror-comedy Gremlins from director Joe Dante. For those of you not in the know, the “him” referred to is a cute little Mogwai, which will turn into a murderous Gremlin if not cared for properly. And so Dante reminds us of one of the principle tenets of the horror film – if you screw with nature, then it screws with you.
Frankly, we are pleased as punch to feature Mr. Dante in our final post in 13 Bottle Bar’s “Blood, Booze, and Beyond” bibulous Halloween film fest. A 30-plus year veteran of the film industry, Dante began his career, as did so many Hollywood directors, in the care of Roger Corman, a man who has taught half of Hollywood how to make a film on budget, on time, and on topic. That relationship led to the Corman-produced Piranha, a thinly-veiled send-up of Jaws, and put Dante on Steven Speilberg’s radar (Spielberg championed the film as a “spoof”, not as competition to Jaws). Man-eating fish were followed by man-eating wolves in The Howling and then the Spielberg-produced, man-eating Gremlins, which Roger Ebert described as “a confrontation between Norman Rockwell’s vision of Christmas and Hollywood’s vision of the blood-sucking monkeys of voodoo island.” Dante’s career continued full throttle with family-friendly flicks like Explorers and Small Soldiers, as well as the tongue-in-cheek Amazon Women on the Moon (perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon) and Matinee, which told the story of an exploitation film producer pedaling his monster movie Mant! (“Half man! Half ant! All terror!) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Read More…
In 2009, at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles, Stuart Gordon debuted the play Nevermore… An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, written by longtime friend and collaborator Dennis Paoli and starring longtime friend and collaborator Jeffrey Combs. The play centers on a public performance given by Poe, during which he reads from his work, recounts his biography, and grumbles about the misfortunes life has dealt him. As the evening progresses, so does Poe’s drinking, and what began as an earnest night of recitals slowly becomes a somber study of one man’s demons. In many ways, Nevermore is the greatest possible summation of Stuart Gordon’s artistic career to date.
By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
Once you’ve seen a Japanese horror film, you aren’t likely to forget it. Whether your formative experience is the violent, overtly sexual Onibaba from 1964, a modern ghost story like Ringu (The Ring), or the sadistic thriller Audition, you’ll find that Japan has a vivid – and frequently disquieting – take on the genre.
For the Japanese, horror equates with monsters in all their myriad forms, whether of the beastly, ghostly, or – perhaps the most disturbing of all – psychological variety. In the 1950s and 1960s, folklore-inspired ghost stories like Utsegu and Onibaba shared screen time with movies about kaiju, or “strange beasts”, usually symbolizing the deadly results of the Atomic Age. As a child, I was part of the generation that did “duck and cover” drills in school and was convinced that the world would end in a fiery inferno. As such, I consider Japanese monster movies like Godzilla and Gamera a formative part of my childhood, paralleling cheesy American flicks like the mutant ant fest Them! In fact, before I settled on The Orphanage as my film pick, I seriously toyed with choosing Attack of the Mushroom People, a beautifully shot but ultimately far too languid and sometimes silly flick about predatory fungus that scared the living daylights out of me as a kid. To this day, I do not trust mushrooms. Read More…
Our buddy Sam over at 11Points.com has decided to pair some of our Halloween drinks with appropriately themed costumes. They’re damned funny: