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Twilight of the blogs

Tuesday 3 November 2009, 17:18

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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Seems last week's Hallowe'en blog about Robert Pattinson, Stephen Moyer, Brad Pitt and all those other sexy creatures of the night got your collective blood up, so after swift reflection (if not in mirrors) you bit back with the vampire movies that have possessed you including Salem's Lot, Dreyer's Vampyr, George Romero's Martin, and the much gorged on Near Dark, which, as I shall explain, changed my life. It's nice to know you all feel you have a stake in this blog and for that I'd like to fang you (That's enough bleeding vampires, Ed.)

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    Comment number 1.

    Alas, the content doesn't seem to be working... Again.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 3.

    Mark- in aid of men's health, continue the growth for...MOVEMBER.

    www.movember.com

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    Comment number 4.

    Content doesn't seem to be working, Ah come on Mark, I need my fix from the good doctor.

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    Comment number 5.

    Nothing to do with the video. But take a look at this guys attack on Mark. It comes in about 5.50

    WHO THE HELL ARE YOU MARK KERMODE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLDYR2xwYsU

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    Comment number 6.

    Mark
    Its very hard to get to film 24 from your blog. the link on the right is alwasy out of date (at the moment it links you to the antichrist edition), and when you search 'film 24' on bbc.co.uk you get no where near the programe. Can you please fix this?
    melver12

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    Comment number 7.

    Ah, nice story. Women and horror films, two of the finer things in life.

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    Comment number 8.

    Wow, bestdays2, that was really something.
    Mark, if you're reading this, I don't think you're a Nazi. Hope that makes you feel better.

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    Comment number 9.

    Aaaagh, I really want to watch this! Why can't I? Is it the fault of the program? Or is the BBC site itself having some technical problems?

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    Comment number 10.

    Melver 12, try this link (and then save it to your favourites)

    http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?tab=av&q=Film+24

    Once you've arrived successfully, you can also search for specific film by adding the title to the search box like this

    Film 24+imaginarium

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    Comment number 11.

    I have no problems with the content; I use Firefox 3, Windows XP and cable broadband.

    Have you all got the latest Flash player? (You'll probably get prompted to upgrade now and again if you have it, and most PC's have.) If the problem persists then you may have a problem with your machine.

    As people seem to think its time for werewolves to make a comeback, here's the trailer for The Wolfman remake due 2010.
    Be careful what you wish for. . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS02xaTIdRI&feature=PlayList&p=AC982E38B4A85627&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3

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    Comment number 12.

    Ouch! Dr. K, That beard looks painful!

    None the less, I was highly surprised to hear that you had ACTUALLY WATCHED a T.V, program! I must say that 'Hush' was thoroughly entertaining, and I enjoyed it very much!

    However, I do understand your point on how the 'Emo fashion' has influenced modern cinema, but as always, I feel this is just a trend... along with the train of vamp movies.

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    Comment number 13.

    The beard doesn't suit you - though I like the subtle homage to David Lynch in the way you shot it :)

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    Comment number 14.

    Very bizarre ... just seen/heard Mark Kermode on The Culture Show claiming that the childhood habit of 'Trick or Treat' only appeared in the UK as a result of inspiration from 1980s 'Halloween' genre films imported from the USA!

    Hmmm ... well I'm 60 years old and I can still recall that during the 1950s my brother and I dressed as 'ghosts' and made impish threats to our Liverpudlian neighbours every 'Mishchief Night'! We were generally given either pennies (d ... as in £.s.d) or treacle toffee and told to "go away". Failure to comply with our demands for treats meant that we would remove peoples' garden gates, or tie their door knobs to a nearby tree (so that the door couldn't be opened).

    My old Mum (aged 84) remembers doing something similar on the last day of October during the late 1920s/early 1930s.

    'Tis true that Halloween has become increasingly commercialised during recent years ... by the sale of purpose-made battery-lit plastic pumpkins; ready-to-wear witches outfits; Happy Halloween Greetings Cards etc ... but the 'celebration' certainly existed in the UK long before those dreadful American fright-fest films were shown in our cinemas.


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    Comment number 15.

    Mark, one vampire movie that I really enjoyed was Michael Almereyda's "Nadja", in which Elina Lowensohn attempts to find the dead body of her father, Count Dracula, in New York and take it back to Transylvania in an attempt to resurrect him, pursued all the while by Peter Fonda's Van Helsing, and Van Helsing's nephew played by Martin Donovan who is eager to try and get his fiancee, played by Galaxy Craze back on the straight and narrow a dalliance with the titular bloodsucker. This moody, eccentric and occasionally pretentious film has stayed with me ever since I saw it on television six years ago. It may have slipped off the radar given that Abel Ferrara made a stylistically similar film, "The Addiction" which was also shot in black and white, in New York, and featured similar moments of wildness mixed with pretension a short time before it.
    However, I never took to "The Addiction", which I felt got rather bogged down in its own nihilism and torpor as Lili Taylor angonized over whether or not she wanted to be a vampire or not. "Nadja" despite occasional moments of tricksyness went along at a good lick and featured a wonderful soundtrack to complement its mood of a city and creatures that never sleep.

    1987's "Vamp" also sticks in the mind but only because of its awfulness.

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    Comment number 16.

    I agree with you Mark about how influential ET was on a generation of British children who did not previously have a trick-or treat tradition. What we had in the North of England [40 years ago for me] was Mischief Night on All Hallows Eve - the last vestiges of a folk religion that acknowledged the darker side of the spirit world on a particular date as a counterpoint to the following days Christian celebration. It had a darker edge to it than trick or treating.
    I'm glad you referenced The Wicker Man as THE groundbreaking British film, which works on so many levels and directly taps into that spiritual vacuum created by the decline in institutional religion and the rise of interest in paganism and 'nature' religions which began flowering in British culture in the more permissive 60's and 70's.
    Other adult British films of that era do mirror this cultural shift,[The Witches; Witchfinder General come to mind - there must be others, perhaps from the Hammer catalogue...?] but not as explicitly.
    What we find in the films from America [like ET] is a New World development of a culturally ancient British tradition - which has in transition become tamed, something for the family. The new breed of American horror films focussing on Halloween seek to subvert its own domesticated tradition.
    I look forward to your blog about Christmas.

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    Comment number 17.

    Just a quick shout out to The Omega Man with Charlton Heston fighting the undead/vampires/zombies in the first I Am Legend adaptation. Sure it's a bit pants and, after Bowling for Columbine, its Heston's worst on screen moment but I did like the vampire design in it. Sort of like medieval zealots with bad skin completions.

    I think if this vampire trend is going to continue movie makers should start thinking about original and new looks and characteristics for their vampires to have. Not just capes, fangs and slick back hair or sulky, good looking teenagers. I enjoyed Thirst's take on it by dispensing of the fangs. But let's get something truly original on the table.

    P.S: Lol at the bedroom Danny Devito throwing a wobbly at Mark Kermode. Think that made my day.

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    Comment number 18.

    D'awwwwww.

    Wonderful.

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    Comment number 19.

    I have to say: the beard kicks ass. In a good way.

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    Comment number 20.

    I personally dislike the Twilight series but I understand Mark's point of view. Mark is looking at it as a film and nothing else, the problems with Twilight are from the book and I personally think the film fixes a few of these so it can work as a film.

    I am curious what Mark thinks about films that build up to things that don't happen. I say this because one of the Twilight books (Breaking Dawn) has this problem and it's one of my biggest problems with the Twilight series.

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

This twice-weekly video blog is the place where he airs his personal views on the things that most fire him up about cinema - and invites you to give your own opinions.

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