Friday, 29 March 2013

Photo post: Some 3D images (grab your glasses!)

It's been a while since I posted any of my own photography on here, so I thought I'd remedy that with some of my attempts at stereoscopy. The images should be viewed with old school red and cyan (or blue) glasses, but I've included a couple of images in side by side format too. This way of viewing allows for better stereo viewing, providing you can train your eyes to see the image. I've kept these images smaller as I've found it's easier to see the effect. Enjoy, and feedback welcome.


3d stereo image

3d stereo image

3d stereo image cemetery

3d stereo image salford quays

3d stereo image cemetery

3d stereo image salford quays

3d stereo image

3d stereo image


3d stereo image


3d stereo image frank sidebottom chris sievey
This is a custom Subbuteo player made by the legendary Frank Sidebottom. 

 Some side by side versions:
To view these, relax your eyes until you see the stereo image appear as a third, centre image.






(images are copyright Martin Unsworth and may also appear on my Deviantart page)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Review: Maniac (2012)


maniac 2012 poster

I told you not to go out tonight....
Frank (Elijah Wood) is a troubled man. Running the family business, a mannequin restoration shop, after his mother dies, he cruises the internet and the streets looking for women. Nothing altogether strange about that, he's a good looking lad. Except his outings tend to end with him going home with the ladies' scalp.
maniac 2012 elijah wood
When he meets art photographer and mannequin enthusiast Ana (Nora Arnezeder) it looks like things might change, and he may well have met that soul mate even psycho killers crave. True love, of course, never runs smooth and he is naturally crushed when she casually slips into conversation she has a boyfriend. A revelation which will send him spiraling even further out of control of his diminishing mental state.
maniac 2012 elijah wood
There is always going to be an outcry and some worry (and often preconceived hate) when it is announced a film, especially one which has a reputation, is being remade. Luckily, Franck Khalfoun's update of William Lustig's 1980 nasty, sleazy (but fantastic) flick is a revelation. Instead of turning in a glossy, Hollywood formulaic slasher, we get a film that gets so far under your skin you may well ingest it, staying with you for some time after. While the original had the effect of making you feel dirty, largely thanks to Joe Spinell's inspired performance and the general misogynistic tone, this version, while not completely polished, has something of a heart that is ready to be torn out.
maniac 2012 elijah wood gore
Director Khalfoun appeared as an actor in screenwriter/producer Alexandre Aja's brilliant Haute Tension (aka Switchblade Romance, 2003) and has crafted a work of genius. Shooting the majority of the film from the point of view of our friendly neighbourhood killer is a masterstroke. This is a standard slasher trope but using it throughout instantly sucks you into his world, making you compliant with his actions, while also making you feel empathy with him, much in the same way Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) did. The casting of Wood is a masterstroke, beating his turn in Green Street and Sin City (both 2005) and certainly puts all thoughts of Middle Earth from your head.
maniac 2012 elijah wood gore
The story stays fairly true to the path of the original, with just some minor tweaks, and as such anyone familiar with that will know how it will end and where it is going, but it manages to avoid copying set pieces (so the fabulous exploding head in the car is absent). A great shot has the original movie's artwork re-created in a reflection in a car door, and raises a smile when one of Frank's early pickups puts Q Lazzarus' Goodbye Horses on to seduce him. The junkies and prostitutes of the original are replaced by vacuous art dealers and elitist idiots. Ana's agent and boyfriend (and, we can assume, Ana herself) think Frank is gay, much to his horror. It would, however, have been more radical to have no attempt to explain why Frank is compelled to kill, rather than blaming the usual dysfunctional parent problems.  
The film does not avoid being very visceral and graphic and newcomers to the material are going to be in for a wild ride, and should be prepared to be well and truly freaked out by the end. The evocative soundtrack (credited to "Rob") is impressive too. 
This is, without doubt, a classic for the future and is genuinely terrifying, which is refreshing in this day and age. Catch it on a big screen if you get the chance.
9 out of 10
maniac 2012 elijah wood poster

Review: The Devil's Carnival (2012)

Three characters, all whom have recently died in unfortunate circumstances all find themselves in the titular carnival, run, as the name suggests, by Lucifer himself. Suicide victim, John (Sean Patrick Flannery), driven to his act by the loss of his son, Miss Merrywood (Briana Evigan) is a thief and was gunned down  in her trailer park home by police, Tamara (Jessica Lowndes) was killed by her abusive boyfriend.
 devils carnival devils carnival

 devils carnival devils carnival
They each arrive with an envelope containing a ticket for entrance to the carnival, and along the way each meet with one of the sideshow entertainers and fall for the temptations laid out for them in a series of interpretations of Aesop's Fables. The Devil himself (the film's writer, Terence Zdunich) is paying close attention all the time.
devils carnival emilie autumn
emilie autumn devils carnival devils carnival bill moseleyshawn crahan slipknot clown devils carnival

From the director (Darren Lynn Bousman) and team that brought us Repo - The Genetic Opera (2008), this is yet again another musical piece, which manages to fit quite a lot into its swift 55 minute running time. The  colourful cyberpunk burlesque look of this particular carnival is a joy to watch, peppered, as it is, with lots of familiar faces, if you can recognise them under the impressive makeup. Cult musician Emilie Autumn, Bill Moseley, Spy Kids' Alexa Vega, Slipknot's clown, Shawn Crahan and Five Finger Death Punch's Ivan Moody all put in a appearance, alongside the legendary Paul Sorvino as a doll making God.
shawn crahan slipknot clown devils carnivaldevils carnival
The morality tales are not laboured so that it becomes preachy; this is Hell, after all, but are enough to keep the interest and provide a backdrop for the musical set pieces. 
 devils carnival ivan moody five finger death punchdevils carnival
While the songs may not be as instantly catchy as those in Repo, they are serviceable and are worth dipping back into where they will soon burrow into your mind. It is the visuals, however, that will strike you straight away, and despite being shot on one set, give the impression of a much larger space, and the sleazy carnie atmosphere drips from the screen.
devils carnivaldevils carnival
As yet, there is no UK release on the cards, which is a shame, hopefully that will be corrected at some point this year. The film has been on a roadshow style tour in the US, with the director and writer doing Q & A sessions, and general circus atmosphere. The US DVD can be purchased from the website. A sequel, subtitled The Librarian is in development.
8 out of 10