Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Re-post --- Five Points Twice: Ten Films to Watch Telecult Powers By

This post originally published on Witchbeam's blog on 29th October. Also check out this Telecult Powers live video from my YouTube channel, and the band's page at the Temple of Pei site.

Wow, a guest blog. This stems from a conversation I had with an acquaintance that is notorious for breaking things into "zones" and also a student of library science, at some point he mentioned that Telecult has a serious "Gurdjieff Zone." I thought about it, found it kind of fun and silly for my band to be reduced to a ven diagram, but then felt a bit limited by it. Sure, Gurdjieff is indeed a huge influence, but what else out there could be something we are in the shadow of? This led to a conversation with Wm. Berger about movies that give off a bit of a "Telecult vibe." I was thinking The Satanic Rites of Dracula & Psychomania, and I was excited to see his list was different than mine. Looks like I will have no problem figuring out what to put on my Netflix cue in November.

With that, I present to you Wm. Berger’s Five Points Twice: Ten Films to Watch Telecult Powers By – Witchbeam


1. My favorite Telecult Powers recordings – the tapes Dedicated to Robert Moore b/w Twilight of the Oscillators, and Kiss the Viper’s Fang. These, plus the Telecult WFMU live session from my show this past July 22.

2. A stack of DVD/VHS, all films I love and have watched more than twice

3. etc.

4. Candles


1. View segments of each film, with tapes playing loudly, and film audio completely muted. (Subtitles were at first optional, but I ultimately decided against them, deciding that they distracted from the mission at hand.)

2. Judge appropriately. (Sub-criteria: a) striking visuals throughout; b) occult themes; c) sex—but not porn—think real women: soft, clean, boob-heavy 60s-70s-type sex; d) always remember—a good hooded cloak, black or red, never hurts.)

3. Fine tune results. Ideally, the film and music arc and lift together.

4. Finally, consider the numerology, i.e., the number of items on the list. Does it feel right? Can a title or two be easily shaved? The answer is probably yes.


The below are indeed in a very specific order of my personal viewing preference.

Many thanks to Witchbeam for suggesting this study.

1. Masque of the Red Death (dir. Roger Corman, 1964)Masque of the Red Death
Occult technicolor. A beautiful film throughout, cinematography by Nicholas Roeg.

2. Inferno (dir. Dario Argento, 1980)
Since Suspiria already has the most wonderful soundtrack ever, Inferno, its cousin similar in look and tone, is the ideal Argento film for a Telecult treatment. To hear the Pei boys warble and pulsate at that underwater room scene might almost be too much.

3. Incubus (dir, Leslie Stevens, 1965)
Incubus, Esperanto
Yes, black and white. Yes, William Shatner. Yes, Esperanto. A dreamlike tale, with an eerie visual palette of high-contrast witchery.

4. The Shiver of the Vampires (dir. Jean Rollin, 1971)
Shiver of the Vampire
Telecult Powers’ music and director Rollin’s image parade are perhaps the most perfect marriage.

5. Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (dir. Richard Blackburn, 1973)
One of my favorite films. Why would I not want to hear one of my favorite contemporary bands score it? Set almost entirely in vampiric bluish-purple.

6. Requiem for a Vampire (1971)

Yes, I snuck another Jean Rollin film onto this list. Anything that starts with a sexy female clown shooting out the back of a car window is Telecult-ready.

7. Shock Waves (dir. Ken Wiederhorn, 1977)
Shock Waves - Nazi Occult
Nazi zombies; another one of my all-time favorites. (Comes with its own burbling, unsettling synthesizer score, so watch it before (or after) with the sound UP.)

8. Daughters of Darkness (dir. Harry Kümel, 1971)
Fassbinder Daughters of Darkness
Fassbinder meets Rollin in a car-crash of gorgeous women, blood, brilliant color, and sex sex sex.

9. The Dunwich Horror (dir, Daniel Haller, 1970)
Dunqich Horror
As with Lemora above, I find myself too partial to both the film and the music to resist this suggestion.

10. Equinox (dir. Jack Woods, 1970)
A childhood favorite of mine, and a genuinely disturbing tale, featuring an evil forest ranger, an invisible castle, The Lord’s Prayer read backwards, and several stop-motion monsters, among other delights. Equinox directly inspired Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead and Evil Dead II.

And for a damned-fine alternate, I also suggest —

The Devils (dir. Ken Russell, 1971)
The Devils - Ken Russell

Moloch Rain!

Wm. Berger

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