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About Blake I. Collier

Blake has a Masters degree in 19th & 20th Century British Imperial history from Texas Tech University. He writes consistently at his own website on horror film and culture, as well as co-hosting podcasts: Impossible to Say, The Smell of Music & The Body | The Blood. He is currently single and working as a draftsman for a small architecture firm in Amarillo, TX.

http://www.blakeicollier.com

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Author Archive
    
    When Kiss Means Kill: Reflections on the Apocalypse of Language

    When Kiss Means Kill: Reflections on the Apocalypse of Language

    “As the cool stream gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other the word water, firstly slowly then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motion of her fingers. Suddenly I felt the misty consciousness as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened by soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free… Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought….

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    The Dirty Deacon's Top 10 Horror Films of 2016

    The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2016

    Disclaimer: Pinning down actual years on films is a tricky endeavor. Some films travel film festival circuits and have limited theater releases well before they’re actually “out”. However, my list below contains the top 10 horror films that had a wide release in 2016, whether it was in theaters or through video-on-demand services. So while films like The Love Witch might have been seen by some in the more metropolitan areas, I do not include them here, because if I can’t get my paws on it somehow in the Panhandle of Texas, then it’s not wide enough.

    That being said, I saw 53 horror films that…

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    Ian & Blake's Terrifying Top Fives: This Season's Best Introductions to Horror For Kids

    Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: This Season’s Best Introductions to Horror For Kids

    Welcome once again to Ian and Blake’s annual Halloween series about a genre that does what few others can. This month, keep your eyes peeled for weekly top-five horror lists–with blistering #hottakes below. Be sure not to miss last week’s installment of the series with October’s Creepiest Urban Legends, too!

    5. Dead Man’s Bones’ debut album

    I am constantly keeping my ears open for music that places me within the ambience of Halloween whether it be merely how the musical atmosphere hits me or if the lyrics explicitly find their inspiration in the season. However, finding music of this variety that I would feel secure in having my niece…

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    Ian & Blake's Terrifying Top Fives: This Season's Best Horror Double Features

    Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: This Season’s Best Horror Double Features

    Welcome to Ian and Blake’s annual Halloween series about a genre that does what few others can. This month, look out for weekly top-five horror lists–with blistering #hottakes below. 

    Trick ’r Treat (2008) / Southbound (2015)

    There is nothing better than an anthology horror film that actually attempts to weave its stories within a grander wraparound narrative. Most find themselves framing the short films with characters telling each other stories, but a newer breed of anthology films is attempting to make the framing device just as compelling by truly weaving the vignettes in with the wraparound. Enter Trick ’r Treat, arguably the best…

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    Phi-lippin’ Philippians: Tony Hale and Stephen Colbert Play Bible Games

    As someone who has intentionally watched every episode of The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert and followed the trajectory of a man who came out of one of the best examples of American satire into the “normalcy” of late night, I find the best moments of his new incarnation are when religion pops up. Thursday (Aug. 25) was scattershot with Philippians verses which started with Sen. Tim Kaine–who was a Jesuit missionary for several years–and continued when Mbird favorite, Tony Hale, called out their “Bible games.” What follows is Tony Hale potentially being the only guest to seemingly out-Bible Stephen Colbert.  The moment is full of hilarity especially when placed in the context of Hale’s creation of The Haven, a meeting place in NYC for Christian artists who were outcasts from the church in his earlier days. Check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

     

    "We Just Have to Find a Way to...(Sigh)": Wallander and the Memory of God

    “We Just Have to Find a Way to…(Sigh)”: Wallander and the Memory of God

    Kurt Wallander: It’s just moments, now, Dad. Everything. Just moments now. They don’t join up.

    Povel Wallander: What don’t?

    Kurt: My memories. My life doesn’t join up. Can’t remember.

    Povel: Someone else will remember. Someone will remember for you.

    While watching episode two of Wallander, series four, I began to see the writing on the wall for one of my favorite detectives. A stove left on, nearly burning down the house; a gun left on the seat at a restaurant, endangering a small girl who picks it up. The “writing” on this wall wasn’t written in words, however, but in the slow, crumbling decay of…

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    Some Things Can't Be Solved: The Formation of the New Detective

    Some Things Can’t Be Solved: The Formation of the New Detective

    They all think any minute I’m going to commit suicide. What a joke. The truth of course is the exact opposite: suicide is the only thing that keeps me alive. Whenever everything else fails, all I have to do is consider suicide and in two seconds I’m as cheerful as a nitwit. But if I could not kill myself–ah then, I would. I can do without nembutal or murder mysteries but not without suicide. – Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

    The detective narrative has evolved drastically since Doyle’s unflinching genius, Sherlock Holmes, and his uncanny ability to solve the most baffling crimes with little…

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    The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2015

    The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2015

    Pinning down actual years on films is a tricky endeavor. Some films travel film festival circuits and have limited theater releases well before they’re actually “out”. However, my list below contains the top 10 horror films that had a wide release in 2015, whether it was in theaters or through video-on-demand services.

    10. The Visit [dir. by M. Night Shyamalan]:

    There were so many terrific horror films that came out in 2015 that I had a very difficult time narrowing down my top ten. Some may be surprised by my inclusion of this divisive Shyamalan film, but it was between it and Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (you…

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    A Soundtrack For All Hallow's Eve, Pt. II

    A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. II

    In the second half of our short series on Halloween music, here are Ian Olson‘s selections with my commentary.

    ”Saignee/revelations” by Year of No Light

    http://www.mbird.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/12-saignée-révélations.mp3

    I: Year of No Light brought their blackened sludge to bear on Carl Theodor Dreyer’s classic film Vampyr (my favorite horror film, incidentally) in 2013 and succeeded in crafting a very peculiar and yet very fitting soundtrack to this unorthodox classic. Though separated by eighty years (!), this soundtrack succeeds in encapsulating the film’s aesthetic: the diffusion of darkness as light.

    This song negotiates a difficult balancing act, poised at the juncture of three very disparate moods: stately, yet ethereal,…

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    A Soundtrack For All Hallow's Eve, Pt. I

    A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. I

    Because Ian Olson and myself could not quite leave it alone without making our devilish imprint on Mbird during the Halloween season, we decided to each choose a five song playlist, explain them and then comment on the other’s choices. What follows are Blake’s choices with commentary by Ian.

    “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan

    http://www.mbird.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/10-Hurdy-Gurdy-Man-Single-Version.m4a

    B: Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan wrote this track after a visit to India and the lyrics themselves are saturated with a typical concoction of various Eastern/mystical ideals with a fuzzy center. It is not really remembered for its lyrics so much as its surreal and rather unnerving atmosphere: acoustic guitar…

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    Of Death & Southern Comfort: The Making of an Everyday Priest

    Of Death & Southern Comfort: The Making of an Everyday Priest

    Walking through an abandoned rent house and seeing the ruins of former tenants is an exercise in human connection—archaeology of life, or the privation of it. In nearly twenty years, I haven’t often found deep meaning in getting a house “rent ready,” but I find myself being taken in by the nihilistic futility of Rust Cohle as I traverse from one scene of archaeological ruin to the next. Nothing draws these connections as powerfully, though, as when the ruins are left in a tenant’s wake even though their earthly body still blocks the house’s front entrance. This just happened a…

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    The Dirty Deacon's Top Horror Films of 2014 ...And Other Related Matters

    The Dirty Deacon’s Top Horror Films of 2014 …And Other Related Matters

    * The Dirty Deacon is my nickname…and, coincidentally, one that has just recently been made official.

    If I had to pick a film genre that I invest the most time in watching, reviewing and writing about, it would definitely be horror. If you have been reading Mockingbird the last couple of years then you may already know this, but this is my first time sitting down and making a horror-related list for the end of the year. I figured I would inject a little Halloween into the Christmas season for all of those who, like me, tend to be a little…

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