Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have an interview in the Polish magazine BLACKASTRIAL this month! I'm thrilled to see my artwork supported by this pro-printed "magazyn muzyki ekstremalnej" and since most of you cretins can barely speak English (much less a foreign language) I'm publishing a short excerpt of the interview here:

BLACKASTRIAL: "If you were to pick ten films that were the most important for you, which ones would you choose?

Dennis Dread: This is an impossible question! Only 10??? It's like choosing the 10 most important bands. The list changes every moment depending on my mood! I'll pick a dozen gems from some of my favorite genres of films. And I'll cheat by throwing extra films on the list. I apologize but this is very difficult for me...

Jaws (1975)- This is my "man against nature" movie. It might seem like an unlikely choice but this was the first scary film I ever saw in a movie theater when I was only 4 years old! It terrified me then and it holds up very well to this day. Such a masterful use of soundtrack music and underwater shots to build almost unbearable tension. Oddly, there is almost no gore and it was rated PG!

Black Sabbath (1963)- This is such a fun atmospheric trilogy! Mario Bava's use of color in Black Sabbath was obviously a huge influence on Dario Argento who would go on to use similarly surreal colors in his early films to great disorienting effect. Of course the band took their name from this film. Consider this my "horror anthology" film and Creepshow (1982) is a worthy contender.

Hour of the Wolf (1968)/ Persona (1966)- Hard to choose between these two moody existential Ingmar Bergman films. I return to them every few years and I'm always intrigued by Bergman's sensitivity and subtle use of shadow and light. These films are somehow related in my mind as they both depict slow riveting descents into madness. I guess this is my "moody existential" category.

Santa Sangre (1989)- Forget El Topo and Holy Mountain. This is Alejandro Jodorowsky's masterpiece! I love this film! I've watched this movie more times than I care to admit and it never fails to inspire. File this under my "films that are a bit safer than LSD" category.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)- What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? Low budget, perverse, feral terror that doesn't let up even when the sun comes up! When Sally jumps through the window, all bets are off! This is my "metaphor for the American Dream turned nightmare" film.

Rollerball (1975)- An ambitious tale about Man's struggle against Multi-National Corporations...on rollerskates! Seemed totally plausible when I was 9 years old. You can watch it with the volume down and play Napalm Death's entire discography instead. This is my "dystopian rollerskating" movie.

The Devils (1971)- Pure blasphemy with the added intrigue of historical legitimacy. A hard choice since Ken Russell also directed another of my favorite non-horror films, the brilliantly bizarre biographical film Mahler (1974), but Oliver Reed seals the deal. "Evil".

The Warriors (1979)- I love this movie! A mythological cartoon odyssey set against a bygone gritty New York City background. This film triggered a rash of subway crimes and theater violence when it was first released. This will be my "modern greek myth" film.

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)- I get a hangover just thinking about this sleazy joyride through Mexico's criminal underworld! Co-starring a decapitated head covered in buzzing flies. This is my "nihilistic road trip" movie. Runner up: Vanishing Point (1971), which is possibly the first punk rock movie ever made.

The Road Warrior (1981)- Otherwise known as Mad Max 2. My older brother took me to see this in the theater when I was 9 years old and to this day I still listen to the soundtrack when I draw! This is an absolutely perfect action film and the best "post-apocalypse" movie ever made (and there's been a lot of great post-apocalypse movies)! "Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war!" Brilliant.

Shogun Assassin (1980)- This film was basically cut & pasted from two earlier Japanese films to cash-in on English audiences but it's an AMAZING film in its own right! Ultra-violence has never been so...poetic. Like The Road Warrior it is cleverly narrated by a little boy who accompanies the anti-hero on his journey (in this case his father). Sword of Doom (1966) and Throne of Blood (1957) are other favorites in the "doomed samurai" category.

The Wicker Man (1973)- The Heathens are triumphant and the Christian burns! This film is in a category all its own..."

To enjoy the complete interview, teeming with more pearls of "wisdom", just learn to read Polish and
order your copy of BLACKASTRIAL now!


SEAN said...

Nice selection of classics. I'm going to have to track down the Road Warrior soundtrack now. Just watched Rollerball after having only seen parts of it on TV when i was a kid. Pretty much rules.

Anonymous said...

Yo Moe Alex Skolnick ova here now!

Lucio H. said...

Riffing off your commentary about BRING ME THE HEAD ..., the '70s had the BEST counter-culture "Fuck You!" films. Even THE BAD NEWS BEARS and BREAKING AWAY had it!

Ryan S. said...

Two of those movies I've never seen...
I won't say which ones, but I'm going to check them out.

Have you watched Convoy recently? That and Killer Elite are both very odd movies... I watched them both back to back a few months ago and methinks Peckinpah might have been partying a little too much at that point in his career. I still need to see "Jinxed!" as well to complete my Peckinpah watching, but it looks so lame. I like Rip Torn as much as the next guy, but there's only so many crummy movies a guy can handle wathcing in one lifetime.

Dennis Dread said...

Mr. Sorensen! I've missed your wry commentary (as one of the three people who actually read this blog). Welcome back! Now when do we get together for beer?

Michal S. said...

Speaking of Convoy, I agree that it isn't really that good, but when I was a kid I used to worship that film. At that time Poland was still a communist country, so not many American films were shown on national TV (and there were only two channels at that time), so you had to be impressed by something like that. My friends loved it too, and Rubber Duck became one of our heroes (it doesn't take much to impress a young boy). It is a bit disappointing when you watch it now, but I still enjoy it.

GSV JR said...

OK, so there's no gore in Jaws, but the scene where Quint slides into Mr. Mouth was/is gore! That scream! That's some shit right there. Montauk Shark Hunters, unite!

I finally bought it on DVD and one of the deleted scenes shows Quint going into a music store to buy piano wire. He was using them for fishing leaders. He's also humming Beethoven's IX while he shops. Poetry, man. Poetry!