An indispensible and much-loved book about Simian Cinema. There is no better genre. We don't even want to discuss the possibility that there might be.
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Sunday, 27 April 2014
It's an all too familiar scenario: you're walking along, minding your own business, completely unaware of the huge, hairy hand which is extending behind you.
Suddenly, the hand grabs you - encloses you - lifts you - shakes you about - and there's nothing you can do apart from hang on and hope that you don't get crushed or smashed or popped into its owners mouth and eaten alive.
After a while, the hand releases you. You might land softly, you might crash to the ground in a heap of broken bones - the hairy hand doesn't care - it didn't put you down, it simply let you go.
Yes, you're right, this scene from 'The Mighty Peking Man' (1977) is JUST LIKE LIFE. Good luck with your own hairy hands, people.
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Here's a TOMTIT exclusive, a very old, very rare postcard that shows Stonehenge actually under construction. Sadly, the postal service would not be invented for another 3,500 years, so the back of the card is blank.
Monday, 21 April 2014
Friday, 18 April 2014
These are Slipper Coffins. They are what Ancient Egyptians on a medium sized budget used to bury their loved ones - it is believed the poor ones just used a ditch. Basically a human being sized pot with a hole at the top, the corpse was simply 'slipped' into the receptacle which was then plugged by a lid featuring an often crude likeness of the deceased.
Our favourite is the bottom one, which is the post mortem equivalent of a really shit passport photo - and this one has been embarrassing this poor spirit for about 3,500 years so far.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Friday, 11 April 2014
Disco was a hungry, omnivorous beast, chewing on the bones of every musical genre and cultural artifact it could get. It very quickly slung its gob around horror, and the result was a number of strange, generally terrible hybrid tracks that usually featured maniacal laughter and added the prefix ‘Disco’, ‘Soul’ ‘Funky’ or ‘Sexy’ to the names of established horror icons. The Japanese, those compulsive seekers of novelty, lapped this crazy shit up - as do we, of course.
Please note, these are from Unmann-Wittering's ACTUAL record collection. How sad is that?
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
‘Satan’s Snowdrop’ is a difficult book to read, as it positively revels in an appalling supernatural world of death and degradation, torture and abuse. It’s also hard going because this nightmarish vision is occasionally leavened by flashes of supreme daftness, such as a possessed space hopper that hastens the death of a young boy*.
The main premise is that a house in the Swiss Alps (by the Reichenbach Falls, in fact) is possessed by the violent spirit of a monstrous, seemingly immortal serial killer and sadist. Everyone who enters the house is in the most dreadful danger, the whole place reeks of decomposing flesh, and the ground it sits on is so steeped in murder that even the flowers bleed.
Bizarrely, despite the awful reputation of the house, its baleful atmosphere, its terrible smell and the horrible hallucinations it offers to anyone who crosses the threshold, the house is seen as a sought after commodity, and is bought by a crass American and shipped over to the States and reconstructed, one blood sodden timber at a time.
It’s clearly a bad idea as, within a few weeks his wife is mad and his son is dead (space hopper related, see above and below) and, horribly, the poor boy’s spirit is trapped in the house with hundreds of other ghosts. It’s pretty grim. Ridiculously, even though he knows all about the horrible happenings associated with the property, an Englishman buys the house and, once again, has it dismantled and, this time, rebuilt in the
It's worth quoting a few of the lines around the awful final moments of the young boy, Tod, simply to illustrate the amount of invention Smith brings to the bog standard literary convention of death by space hopper --
'He had never really studied its face before. Just a few meaningless black daubs, millions like it, mass produced. Now it was an individual. It saw him. It understood'
'He glanced around jurkily, furtively. Nobody. Only that...toy. a heavy-duty rubber balloon. A bag of air. Harmless. But those eyes...'
'A noise behind him, a hollow sound like a big beach ball being bounced. Oh, God, it could move after all. It was alive!'
'He was travelling upstairs instead of down. And that egg-shaped fiend was following him'
'There was no way of knowing why the dead did not die and a rubber toy became a fearful creature. Perhaps it was better that way'
There’s a passage towards the rather frenzied ending which suggests that the malevolent spirit responsible for all the violence and mayhem was maybe a druid (and, later, a Nazi) but this is clearly an attempt at trying to rationalise the sick nightmarish fantasy Smith has cooked up. It doesn’t matter, really, as anyone looking for cheap thrills and sick violence will already be perfectly satisfied with the book without a hasty, well-that-doesn’t-make-much-sense explanation: it’s a nasty piece of work, but then it's supposed to be.
* Perhaps the most chilling use of a childhood toy since the Satanically possessed slinky in Mario Bava's 1977 film 'Shock'.
Saturday, 5 April 2014
‘Dogs’ is a slight entry in our never ending catalogue of films about nutty dogs and other killer creatures but it scores extra points for featuring a murderous cocker spaniel, and for having a really stupid freeze frame ending.
David McCallum plays Harlan Thompson, an extremely hairy English academic stuck in a mid-western US town. He is bored, separated from his wife and drinks heavily which only fuels his growing contempt for college politics and the ignorance of his students. With his beard and shaggy bowl cut, McCallum resembles an old English Sheep Dog, obviously hinting at the animal within all of us. He also wears double denim and puts on a Michael Caine accent, but we have no idea what that is all about.
When a series of nasty cattle mutilations extend to human fatalities, it soon becomes clear that the attacks are down to a pack of dogs. These aren’t wild animals, however, but pets – pampered pooches gone psycho. Theories abound: pheromones, perhaps, collective consciousness, maybe, or could it all be down to that top secret government facility up on the hill that drains all the power and emits an eerie, high frequency noise? These are all red herrings, really, as the sudden betrayal of man’s best friend is never adequately explained, and nor is their seemingly ability to be everywhere at once (there are only about half a dozen dogs in total). What is apparent, however, is that they like students, and the fatter and slower the better (they also like ladies in showers, but then who doesn’t?)
“Get your things together – we're leaving!”
“Yes. And it was hideous!”
“I'll tell you in the car, there isn't time - now, come on, get some things. You got something I can drink?”
Luckily, she has ('in the kitchen, over the dishwasher'), and he’s going to need it, because the silly cow has left all the windows and doors open, and the pack (who seem to be very clear about their specific targets) are on their way.
The film doesn’t so much conclude as just STOP – no climax, no exposition, no explanation, not even an explosion - just the shocked survivors driving out of town and hearing radio reports of other attacks in the area. It’s not particularly satisfactory, but at least it’s enigmatic - then the camera zooms in on a passing cat and ruins everything by attempting a shock conclusion (and a hint at a sequel) which is just deeply shit. It’s an embarrassing ending to what had, until then, been an unspectacular but quietly entertaining piece of hokum.
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
The Sunn0))) / Ulver collaboration ‘Terrestrials’ has been a compulsive spin at the TOMTIT underground facility in the last few weeks, so much so that we have mixed feelings about sharing it with people like you.
The music is immense enough to evoke seismic shifts and cosmological events, but would also make an interesting soundtrack for a film about Vikings fighting robots. Four years in the making, it’s a stupendous piece of work.
Here's the opening track, in which Miles Davis seemingly improvises a theme for the creation of the world.
We have reason to believe that God is listening to this album right now and thinking it is awesome.