The Chestershire Syndrome
Nigel Swollensworthy brings us a peculiar psychological phenomenon called the Chestershire Syndrome. It is evidenced across the culture in the facing of stressful situations, and achieving biological euphoria through abrupt and meaningless sexual acts.
A praying mantis watches a snake chase a rabbit.
We feel the thrill of the hunt, and maybe sympathize. From the comfort of the couch, we reach for cheese crisps to achieve a small satisfaction, a sated state even while our brains are excited and anxious.
A man, poo on himself, and a bullet wound to the foot, might not think of sex, but a resolution of his sorry state, while two somewhat famed persons might turn their tensions into wild, passionate love-making. Tongues on things and the like.
Man's need, to achieve a biological balance of endorphins, becomes lovemaking with the most convenient partner. And not like a law firm partner or a timber company partner, or even a partner-in-crime, but whomever is nearby, like a bagboy or a meter maid or the local postal employee.
Consequences are indeterminate, always, and even sometimes the act retreats backwards into the ether, away from the stage proper and even out of memory, with the act itself having no residue beyond the casual reaching for the cheese crisp.
Human need, then, is its own master, with its own controls and dictates. I was once caught up in these powerful forces, as I locked my keys in my Volvo and walked towards a public transport station. I was accosted by street toughs who had their way with me, made my sweet and sour their very own for a few minutes, and it only took a few minutes. They got what they wanted and fled away like dogs, while I, the cognizant participant, however unwilling, was left to deal with the consequences.
But to be like-minded in such situations is serendipitous.
-Nigel Swollensworthy, a small man in an only slightly larger bowl.
a suggestive poetic working by me
Four wheels spinninG
coolant green boiling-
-to crack open the hood or not!
great gulps of air
thunder from the rusted pipe
words from truth in lies, from a fictitious abaddon1215 movie site...
We see in the GAR films a clinical eye, something almost detached and cold, maybe even then undeveloped in the director's voyeurism, reality behind a weak filter, and eldritch, unadorned subject matter that leaps off the screen. One could imagine there was a time when Savini and Romero sat around giggling about the visions they were unleashing, with what began as a realism began then to transcend story in the special effects, then went off bolder as Savini's talents were unleashed. And the director with the smalltown news and documentarian sensibility bent just to capture the burst of blood as it happened, making no particular artistic statement about it, but at times seeming bombastic in his efforts to make a human head explode or have a chunk of flesh bitten out of a forearm. And when given bombastic symbols, as in Bruiser, he pulls back to a mode not unlike a Clint Eastwood, but without some of the same actor's finesse of an Eastwood, but with a smoothness in capturing his tale without a plethora of artistic trappings. In such a magic-eye-picture as bruiser, you could read more into the screen, as if to ask if buildings are just there, or is there a metaphor lurking under the commonplace. I tend to the former, but want so to believe the latter, that there is a greater meaning, that I can watch the film while searching with my eyes, my mind, for a greater meaning, and maybe then Romero can approach how Fulci was so misunderstood, that maybe he was too fine, and in that, too sparse, that some scenes actually contained a cryptographic artistic statement, while others gave us telephone poles that were just telephone poles-that his art faltered. As a fan of Romero, I say that with great rue, but it is a necessary acknowledgement of the artistic content, indeed the density of certain works, that his best work was the concept, not the scripting, nor the filming or the editing-particularly in the later films, where the early films(those before Monkey Shines) tended towards a jewel-like idiosyncracy.
We see in Fulci films a cryptography that supercedes all else, quite often defying logic, mistifying would-be fans of the films. Its a matter of seeing it or not, being in the know or just watching fake gore issue from a woman's mouth. For several minutes.
In the earlier works of Sam Raimi, he wants to give the audience a revenge, letting them bask in the hero's personal vindication, but a man like Dave Parker just gives his hero a chainsaw to cut the zombie's down, without regards to physics, that it is without a doubt, close work, and it leads us back to Dead Alive with Peter Jackson with it's wholesale destruction of the zombies. And Parker uses uberzombies that homage Fulci, with a different iconography than the mockery of Romero's lead zombies; Parker's zombies are not just in the forefront or focused upon, but have an element of boldness, just as the pattern set and observed continuously by Fulci and his Italian counterparts.
"Lucio Fulci will defy comprehension, break keyfabe, make any number of logical sacrifices, in order to keep in line with his own cryptographic subtext. Scenes will be abrupt or run long, editing will seem flustered, but in this the integrity of acting performances will remain, for as it is filmed, Fulci steers his actors with a wise hand. I think of Zombie(Zombi 2), when Fulci uses a gratuitous crotch shot of a bare-chested actress putting on a scuba tank, dividing the film into hemispheres, as if matriculating ideas, by covering her cameltoe with a nylon strap. I almost cried at the raw poetry-the blunted sexual juvenalia of a grown man-him too probably a fanboy of great horror."
The Hills Have Eyes(1977)
The Hills Have Eyes is for Wes Craven a psychotic bridge between the shocker Last House On The Left and the more mainstream Nightmare On Elm Street. Shocker sensibilities are still at play here, some gruesome effects, like the Achilles injury close-up shot, but we note these are thrown on the baddies, where many of the others are given quiet deaths. The opening credits sequence seems at first a throwaway bit, like second unit footage with some soundtrack weirdness, maybe making Craven chuckle in the cutting room like a madman; however its a nightmare with a hill in shadow at dusk and an audio freak-out: a nightmare for the mainstream audience, which is his aim here despite the particulars-not just horror fans, but the nuclear family. Dissolution, death throes, losses, vengeance. Only the feral sister can make Mars vulnerable, and only a dog is right for Pluto. Jupiter's victory scene is a nightmare in the extreme, and I argue it's an uncomfortable moment, intentionally made uncomfortable, threatening to border on an incomprehensible manic screaming fest. The smart, mcgyver-like revenge of the heroes is again here, used in last house and the first freddie flick-a signature of early Wes Craven-the hero using a bit of ingenuity, his intellect informing and empowering him or her in his revenge, as fear melts away and the mind comes alive, saving the individual.