Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “American Psycho

Minimal Horror Posters – By Tommy St James

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Minimalist_Horror_Posters_2These minimalist movie posters are inspired by ten horror films. Each one features a pair of objects from a key moment in the movie, but it’s up to you to figure out the name of the film they represent. Check them out HERE


Oh The Horror – Series 2

LEGO is the biggest retail toy in the world, bought by adults and kids alike… new versions of the Ghostbusters car and headquarters, batmobile and Simpsons house have pushed the little bricks to the top of workplace shelves worldwide. Minifigs have been creating specialist figures for some time now, they made Oh The Horror series 1 last year and are back with series 2. Featuring tributes to horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Jigsaw, Leatherface, Pinhead, Ghostface, Ash and Norman Bates among others. Get them HERE
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American Psycho on Broadway!

american-psycho_final-posterOff-Broadway powerhouse Second Stage will present the U.S. premiere of the much praised (and much debated) American Psycho, the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel (and 2000 Christian Bale-starring film) about excess, murder and flashing the right labels. The show — with music by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, staging by Rupert Goold and a starring performance by Matt “Dr. Who” Smith – opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season. It still may be.

That’s a challenge for the Ellis novel, which prompted furious protests from feminist and human rights groups in reaction to its explicit, play-by-play depiction of the brutal torture and murder of women at the hands of protagonist Patrick Bateman, which the book’s defenders insisted was satire of a society gone mad with material obsession and moral vacuity. The musical has inspired almost inevitable comparisons to Sweeney Todd.

54 Below Press Preview With Duncan Sheik, Sierra Boggess, Alice Ripley, Paulo Szot, Anat Cohen And Maucha Adnet,The Almeida production of American Psycho prompted mostly favorable reviews along with some dissenting voices: “Goold’s production [has] a cool wit that actually enhances the story’s satire,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Sheik’s music also evokes Bateman’s Eighties pop icons, such as Phil Collins, and provides an ironic commentary on the action. Instead of stand-alone songs Sheik gives us music that reflects the world the characters inhabit…This is a show that confirms the mythic power of Easton Ellis’s story and leaves us all dangerously entertained.”

american-psycho_matt-smithCharles Spencer, in The Telegraph, demurred: Sheik, he wrote, had told an interviewer that he initially thought it ” ‘was the worst idea for a musical ever.’ I rather agree, but although I cordially disliked this show, I suspect it is going to be a big hit and that a transfer to either the West End or Broadway is inevitable, especially since it stars the soon to be retired Doctor Who, Matt Smith as the psychotic Patrick Bateman…You could sense the audience lapping up this empty mixture of ironic style and sudden moments of violence, and there is no doubt that Rupert Goold’s production is smart and sharp. But like the novel on which it is based, it is also glib, heartless and pretentious.”


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The Rules of Attraction – Dave Amblard

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Manson Murders

Writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie have teamed with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that will revisit the people and events connected to the Manson Family murder spree in August 1969.

The project is envisioned as a limited series, but it is in the very early stages of development with Fox. Ellis is set to write the script and some additional materials. Zombie is on board to direct.

Zombie has long been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area. Among the victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski, and prominent Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring.

The killings were so gruesome, and the stories of Charles Manson’s level of control of his drug-addled young followers so disturbing, that Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges even though he was never found to have committed a homicide himself.

Manson’s clutch of cult followers have been suspected of many other murders during that era. But it was sheer brutality and psychopathic theatricality of the killings (complete with messages written in blood at the crime scenes) unleashed on Aug. 8-9, 1969, that jolted the nation’s psyche.

The Ellis-Zombie collaboration aims to tell converging stories of people and events leading up to and after the murders, from shifting points of view. The project is envisioned as a multipart series, but it is one of many limited series projects in the works and is far away from receiving a greenlight.

The idea for the project began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment. They developed the concept and brought it to Ellis and Alcon. To date, no source material has been optioned for the project, which plans to take an original approach to dramatizing stories drawn from the historical record.

Ellis, Zombie and the Madhouse principals will exec produce with Alcon’s Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Ben Roberts and Ryan Cunningham serve as co-producers.

“I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness,” Zombie said.

Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, but the sentence changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty the following year. He has been denied parole 12 times.

Ellis most recently penned the micro-budgeted Lindsay Lohan starrer “The Canyons,” released last year by IFC. Zombie’s last directorial effort was the 2013 indie “The Lords of Salem.”


Top 10 Songs from Psychotic Movies

Reposted from Reviewfix.com: Whether it makes one curl up under a blanket in terror or stand to their feet in hair-raising excitement, audiences tend to have a guilty pleasure for psychotic thrillers and characters.

The list below is comprised of the top ten songs from memorable moments in psychopathic thrillers.

The best movies of the genre captivated its audience by taking them on a roller coaster ride where the filmmakers intricately weaved masterful sound design with visuals. They engaged their audience by tactfully placing songs and musical tracks in crucial parts of the film.

Some of them were deemed ironic due to their seemingly irrelevant lyrics, while others told a side story and conveyed a insight into the characters. It is remarkable how these songs and visuals that are sometimes created ages apart can come together on screen and exhilarate us.

These songs and scenes captivated and sometimes repulsed audiences of all kinds. Whichever the case, the duos ranked in this lineup have shocked, amused and offended viewers since their releases.

Whether it is the unlikely combination of the song and the scene, or because the music was harmoniously with the deranged and demented actions of the plot, this top ten list will give psychopathic film lovers a familiar dose of crazy.

10: “After Dark”

Artist: Tito & Tarantula
Movie: From Dusk till Dawn
Criminal brothers Richard and Seth Gecko (Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney) seek refuge at a strip club/brothel called the Titty Twister — also a vampire nest. There they encounter Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), a vampire queen and her hive. Before the hive’s vampire identity is revealed, Hayek seductively dances to Tito & Tarantula’s “After Dark” with a snake on her shoulders, while serenading the men before her meal.

9: “The Greatest Love of All”
Artist: Whitney Houston, instrumental Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Movie: American Psycho
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) discusses his musical proclivities as the intoxicated Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner) makes out with call girl Christie (Cara Seymour). Bateman speaks about the message behind Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” as the instrumental by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the stereo. He passionately speaks about self-preservation and bettering one’s self all the while he plans to kill both women after he sleeps with them.

8: “The Ride of the Valkyries”
Artist: from Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre,” performed by The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Movie: From Dusk till dawn
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) commands a squadron of attack helicopters against a Viet Cong village filled with women and children. The Colonel orders the helicopters to blast Richard Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” to frighten and intimidate the Vietnamese while simultaneously pumping up his soldiers for battle. As the squadron flies over, the village which moments ago was filled with students and farmers is left ravaged by bombs.

7: “The Way I Walk”
Artist: Cover by Robert Gordon
Movie: Natural Born Killers
Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) are a killer couple who get a thrill out of murder and mayhem. At a diner, Mallory dances alone by a jukebox while Mickey orders some pie. Two men walk in and notice Mallory. The song changes to Robert Gordon’s “The Way I Walk” and Mallory dances wildly. One of the men pursues to join her, a gesture responded with Mallory’s wrath. Within seconds, the loving couple blissfully kills every person there except just one man, who is left behind to tell of their deeds.

6: “Hold Tight” (1966)
Artist: Dave Dee, Dozy,
Beaky, Mick & Tich
Movie: “Death Proof” (2007)
Arlene, Jungle Julia, Shanna and Lanna (Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Poitier, Jordan Ladd and Monica Staggs) drive down the highway with their stereo blasted. “Hold Tight” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich plays as the girls get in their groove and horse around. Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel) speeds past the girls’ car in his 1970 Chevy Nova. He makes a u-turn ahead, turns off the headlights and speeds right back towards the girls. Unknowingly, the girls cruise ahead turning up the volume. Mike turns on the headlights before impact and crashes into the girls’ car. The car crash is shown repeatedly from various angles to showcase the severed body parts and the gruesome deaths of each girl.

5: “Banana Split” (1979)
Artist: The Dickies
Movie: “Kick-Ass” (2010)
Vigilante superhero Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) comes to the rescue of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), another costumed hero, in a drug dealer’s den. With a butterfly knife and her Mindy Stick (a staff weapon with two katanas at each end) Hit Girl stabs, slashes and chops off body parts until every criminal in the apartment is dead. The Dickies’ “Banana Split” is used as a soundtrack while the 11 year old girl kills everyone with glee.

4: “Hip to be Square” (1986)
Artist: Huey Lewis & The News
Movie: “American Psycho” (2000)
The complexity of Patrick Bateman’s (Christian Bale) intellect are exemplary in this scene. Bateman drugs his coworker, Paul Allen (Jared Leto) with a drink . The couches are covered with sheets and the floor with the style section of the newspaper. As he talks about Huey Lewis to Allen, Bateman puts on a rain coat and turns on “Hip to be Square.” He dances back to pick up an axe and speaks about how the band makes a statement through the song, all the while making a statement about himself. Bateman then axes down Allen with raw vigor and excitement.

3: “Goodbye Horses” (1988)
Artist: Q Lazzarus
Movie: “Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
Jame Gumb aka Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), a serial killer has kidnapped a young girl, Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith) and locked her in a well in his basement. Q Lazzarus’s “Goodbye Horses” plays as Bill dresses in a women’s clothing and puts on makeup. He uses lipstick, jewelry, human skin and hair to doll himself up. Bill then sets up a camera to dance and experiment in front of it. The scene crosscuts between Martin trying to escape out of the well with Bill’s playtime. The scene shows the extent of Bill’s insanity and foreshadows what could become of Martin’s future.

2:”Stuck in the Middle With You” (1972)
Artist: Steeler’s Wheels
Movie: “Reservoir Dogs” (1992)
Vic Vega aka Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) has kidnapped a cop, Officer Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) after a heist. While his crew is out, Mr. Blonde is left alone in the safe house with a wounded accomplice and Officer Nash. Seizing the opportunity, he turns on the radio and takes out a razor from his boot. As “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Steeler’s Wheels plays on the radio, Mr. Blonde dances and slashes the officer’s face while taunting him. He then cuts the officer’s right ear off and gets a gallon of gasoline from his car. Still dancing, he drenches the officer with gasoline for what’s next.

1:”The Last Waltz” (1941)
Artist: from “Masquerade,” Last Waltz by Aram Khachaturyan
Movie: “Oldboy” (2003)
Aram Khachaturyan’s “The Last Waltz” is perhaps the most diversely and widely used soundtrack in a single film in the realm of psychotic thrillers. The movie depicts the life of Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi), an industrial worker, as he tries to find out the truth behind his mysterious imprisonment of 15 years. This terrifyingly beautiful melody is elegantly played through the most violent and delightful scenes in the movie. Through moments of love, death, sex and incest, the film shows the beauty in something ugly and the horror in something beautiful.


American Psycho – The TV Series

American Psycho_Movie BannerOh dear… American Psycho is headed to television. FX Channel has put in development an American Psycho drama series that takes place decades after the events in the 2000 movie starring Christian Bale and the Bret Easton Ellis novel on which the film was based. Lionsgate TV, whose sibling Lionsgate Films was behind the American Psycho feature, and FX Productions are producing the series shepherded by former Lionsgate Films head of production-turned producer Allison Shearmur and writer Stefan Iaworski. Described as an update of American Psycho, the drama series fast-forwards from the late 1980’s, when the movie was set, to present day. It will feature serial killer Patrick Bateman, now in his mid-50s but as outrageous and lethal as ever, taking on a protégé in a sadistic social experiment who will become every bit his equal — a next-generation American Psycho. The project will be written by Paradigm-repped Jaworski who will executive produce with Shearmur and Ed Pressman.


Christian Bale – Part 1

Christian Bale_movie banner_1Christian Charles Philip Bale (born 30 January 1974) is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses.

Christian_BaleBale first caught the public eye at the age of 13, when he was cast in the starring role of Steven Spielberg’s film version of the J. G. Ballard novel Empire of the Sun (1987). He played an English boy who is separated from his parents and subsequently finds himself lost in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

The attention the press and his schoolmates lavished upon him after this took a toll on Bale, and he contemplated giving up acting until Kenneth Branagh approached him and persuaded him to appear in Henry V in 1989. In 1990, he played the role of Jim Hawkins opposite Charlton Heston (as Long John Silver) in Treasure Island, an adaptation of the classic book by Robert Louis Stephenson.

Bale was recommended by actress Winona Ryder to star in Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film Little Women; he provided the voice for Thomas, a young compatriot of Captain John Smith, in Disney’s Pocahontas (1995) and in 1997 played Arthur Stuart in Velvet Goldmone, Todd Hayne’s tribute to 70’s glam rock.

Empire of the Sun_Christian Bale_Steven SpielbergIn 1999, Bale played serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, director Mary Harron’s adaptation of the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Bale was briefly dropped from the project in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio, but DiCaprio eventually dropped out to star in The Beach, and Bale was cast once again. He researched his character by studying the novel and prepared himself physically for the role by spending months tanning and exercising in order to achieve the “Olympian physique” of the character as described in the original novel. He went so far as to distance himself from the cast and crew to maintain the darker side of Bateman’s character. American Psycho premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival to much controversy. Roger Ebert condemned the film at first, calling it pornography, and “the most loathed film at Sundance,” but gave it a favourable review, writing that Harron “transformed a novel about bloodlust into a movie about men’s vanity.” Of Bale’s performance, he wrote, “Christian Bale is heroic in the way he allows the character to leap joyfully into despicability; there is no instinct for self-preservation here, and that is one mark of a good actor.”

christian_bale_american_psychoOn 14 April 2000, Lions Gate Films released American Psycho in theatres. Bale was later approached to make a cameo appearance in another Bret Easton Ellis adaptation, The Rules of Attraction, a film loosely connected to American Psycho, but he declined out of loyalty to Harron’s vision of Bateman, which he felt could not be properly expressed by anyone else. In 2000, he again played a wealthy murderer, this time in John Singleton’s remake of Shaft. 

Equilibrium was Bale’s third film of 2002, costing US$20 million to produce but earning just over US$5 million worldwide. In Equilibrium, Bale played John Preston, an elite law enforcer in a dystopian society. Equilibrium featured a fictional martial art called Gun Kata that combined gunfighting with hand-to-hand combat. According to moviebodycounts.com, the character of John Preston has the third most on-screen kills in a single movie ever with 118, exactly half of the movie’s total of 236.

Christian Bale_American PsychoAfter a year’s hiatus, Bale returned in 2004 to play Trevor Reznik, the title character in the psychological thriller The Machinist. Bale gained attention for his devotion to the role and for the lengths to which he went to achieve Reznik’s emaciated, skeletal appearance. He went without proper rest for prolonged periods, and placed himself on a crash diet of generally coffee and apples, which reduced his weight by 63 pounds (4 st 4 lb/27 kg) in a matter of months. By the end of filming Bale weighed only 121 pounds (8 st 9 lb/55 kg), a transformation he described as “very calming mentally” and which drew comparisons to Robert De Niro’s weight-gaining for his role as Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. Bale claimed that he had not worked for a period of time before he was cast in the film. ” I just hadn’t found scripts that I’d really been interested in. So I was really dying for something to arrive. Then when this one did, I just didn’t want to put it down. I finished it and, upon the kind of revelation that you get at the end, I immediately wanted to go back and re-visit it, to take a look at what clues I could have gotten throughout”. The Machinist was a low-budget production, costing roughly US$5 million to produce, and was given only a limited US release.

Bale, an admirer of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, was then cast as the voice of the title character, Howl, in the English language dud of the Japanese director’s fantasy anime adventure Howls’ Moving Castle, an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ novel. Its gross in the US was US$4,711,096, a fraction of its worldwide gross (US$235,184,110).


Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American novelist and short story writer. Ellis was born to a wealthy California household. He attended Bennington College, where he met and befriended fellow writers Donna Tartt (The Secret History), Jonathan Lethem, Francis Lombard and Joseph McLaughlin, none of whom were aware of his literary aspirations. After rising to fame with Less Than Zero in 1985, Ellis became closely associated and good friends with fellow Brat Pack writer Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City): the two became known as the “toxic twins”. He is a self-proclaimed satirist, whose trademark technique, as a writer, is the expression of extreme acts and opinions in an affectless style. Ellis employs a technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters.

Though Ellis made his debut at 21 with the controversial 1985 bestseller Less Than Zero, a zeitgeist novel about amoral young people in Los Angeles, the work he is most known for is his third novel, 1991’s American Psycho.

Ellis’ first novel, Less Than Zero, a tale of disaffected, rich teenagers of Los Angeles, was praised by critics and sold well (50,000 copies in its first year). He moved back to New York City in 1987 for the publication of his second novel, The Rules of Attraction, which follows a group of sexually promiscuous college students and sold fairly well, though Ellis admits he felt he had “fallen off”, after the novel failed to match the success of his debut effort. His most controversial work is the graphically violent American Psycho. On its release, the literary establishment widely condemned the novel as overly violent and misogynist; though many petitions to ban the book saw Ellis dropped by Simon & Schuster, the resounding controversy made it a paperback bestseller for Vintage later that year.The book was intended to be published by Simon & Schuster, but they withdrew after external protests from groups such as the National Organisation for Women (NOW) and many others due to the allegedly misogynistic nature of the book. Some consider this novel, whose protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is both a cartoonishly materialistic yuppie and a serial killer, to be an example of transgressive art. American Psycho has achieved considerable cult status.

His collection of short stories, The Informers, was published in 1994. It contains vignettes of wayward Los Angeles characters ranging from rock stars to vampires, mostly written while Ellis was in college, and so has more in common with the style of Less Than Zero. Ellis has said that the stories in The Informers were collected and released only to fulfill a contractual obligation after discovering that it would take far longer to complete his next novel than he’d intended. After years of struggling with it, Ellis released his fourth novel Glamorama in 1998. Glamorama is set in the world of high fashion, following a male model who becomes entangled in a bizarre terrorist organization composed entirely of other models. The book plays with themes of media, celebrity, and political violence, and like its predecessor American Psycho it uses surrealism to convey a sense of postmodern dread. Ellis’s novel Lunar Park (2005), uses the form of a celebrity memoir to tell a ghost story about the novelist “Bret Easton Ellis” and his chilling experiences in the apparently haunted home he shares with his wife and son. In keeping with his usual style, Ellis mixes absurd comedy with a bleak and violent vision. Imperial Bedrooms (2010) follows the characters of Less Than Zero 25 years later; it combines the violence ofAmerican Psycho and the postmodernity of Lunar Park with the unaltered ennui of Ellis’ debut novel.

Ellis often uses recurring characters and settings. Major characters in one novel may become minor ones in the next, or vice versa. Camden College, a fictional New England liberal arts college, is frequently referenced. It is based on Bennington College, which Ellis himself attended, there are oblique connections between it and Ellis’ Rules of Attraction. Though his three major settings are Vermont, Los Angeles and New York, he doesn’t think of these novels as about these places; they are intentionally more universal than that.

In American Psycho (1991), Patrick’s brother Sean appears briefly. Paul Denton and Victor Johnson from The Rules of Attraction are both mentioned. Camden is referred to as both Sean’s college and the college a minor character named Vanden is going to. Vanden was referred to (but never appeared) in both Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction. Passages from “Less Than Zero” reappear, almost verbatim, here, with Patrick replacing Clay as narrator. Patrick also makes repeated references to Jami Gertz, the actress who portrays Blair in the 1987 film adaptation of Less Than Zero. Allison Poole from Jay McInerney’s 1988 novel Story of My Life appears as a torture victim of Patrick’s. 1994’s The Informers features a much-younger Timothy Price, one of Patrick’s co-workers in American Psycho, who narrates one chapter. One of the central characters, Graham, buys concert tickets from Less Than Zero‘s Julian, and his sister Susan goes on to say that Julian sells heroin and is a male prostitute (as shown in Zero). Alana and Blair from Zero are also friends of Susan’s. Letters to Sean Bateman to a Camden College girl named Anne visiting grandparents in LA comprise the eighth chapter.

Patrick Bateman appears briefly in Glamorama (1998); Glamorama’s main characters Victor Ward and Lauren Hynde were first introduced in The Rules of Attraction. As a in-joke reference to Bateman being portrayed by Christian Bale in the then-in-production 2000 film adaptation, the actor himself briefly appears as a background character.

Four of Ellis’ works have been made into films; notably, Less Than Zero (1987) was rapidly adapted for screen, and Mary Harron’s adaptation of American Psycho was released to predominantly positive reviews in 2000 as was Roger Avery’s The Rules of Attraction in 2002. The Informers (2008) was awful.

In later years, Ellis’ novels have become increasingly metafictional. 2005’s Lunar Park, a pseudo-memoir and ghost story, received positive reviews, and 2010’s Imperial Bedrooms, marketed as a sequel to Less Than Zero, continues in this vein. He is prolific on twitter… follow him.


The Moth Diaries – Trailer

Since the release of American Psycho in 2000, director Mary Harron has made only one feature, the 2005 release The Notorious Bettie Page. She’s hardly been idle, and has put a great amount of television work on her resume in the past decade. But now Harron returns to the big screen as the director of a gothic thriller called The Moth Diaries.

Harron scripted the film based on Rachel Klein‘s 2001 novel in which the boarding school friendship of Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) and Lucy (Sarah Gadon) is fractured by the arrival of Ernessa (Lily Cole). Adolescence is and always will be a time of intense emotional confusion, especially if you spend it in a closed environment. That’s the case with Rebecca, a young girl haunted by her father’s suicide, who is a student at an exclusive female boarding school. She pours her heart out in a diary, much of it focused on Lucy, her beloved roommate. Their relationship changes drastically with the arrival of a mysterious new student, Ernessa. As Lucy abandons her for this new girl, Rebecca becomes consumed with thoughts of jealousy and suspicion — Ernessa is dangerous, evil, a vampire. Is there any truth to all this or is Rebecca slipping into insanity?