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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
    
    Inheritance

    Inheritance

    Today, I was working on a rent house—cleaning baseboards and repairing cabinet doors, among other things—and I found myself needing a tool from my truck. I remember standing up and walking out of the door of the rent house and my mind just completely blanking out on the walk to my truck. The very reason why I was going to my truck in the first place vanished momentarily from my mind. Or, at another point, I found myself simply walking into another room and losing my train of thought. And, for whatever reason, the very recognition of this—my cognizance of…

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    "I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight, Oh Lord": Frank Darabont's The Mist (2007)

    “I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight, Oh Lord”: Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007)

    The fourth and final installment of Ian Olson & I’s Halloween series for Mbird focuses on Frank Darabont’s 2007 adaptation of a Stephen King novella, The Mist—which has been spoken about briefly before. The film stars Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden & Andre Braugher.

    Blake:

    The Mist is a throwback 60’s style creature flick where a group of people are trapped in a grocery store surrounded by a strange, dense mist that came in after an intense storm the night before. If that was not weird enough for the poor captives, those who try to escape the store into the mist seem…

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    "Strange Fascination, Fascinating Me": John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)

    “Strange Fascination, Fascinating Me”: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

    The third installment for Blake & Ian’s four-part series is Ian’s second selection, the 1982 classic creature flick The Thing, directed by John Carpenter andstarring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley & T. K. Carter.

    Ian:

    John Carpenter’s The Thing is a masterpiece of cosmic/body horror which viscerally manifests the alien abjection of sin. Through masterful use of freezing, tension-fraught atmosphere and brilliant (i.e. horrifyingly gory) special effects, Carpenter meditates on embodiment, identity, and paranoia with breathtaking results. The story, set in hostile Antarctica, follows a shape-shifting alien which can replicate the physiology and even the memories of everything (and everyone) it assimilates. Its arrival triggers an…

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    "Just The Two Of Us": Robert Harmon's The Hitcher (1986)

    “Just The Two Of Us”: Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher (1986)

    The second film selection for Blake & Ian’s four-part series comes from Blake’s selection of favorite horror films, the 1986 version of The Hitcher, starring Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

    Blake:

    Jim Halsey: Why are you doing this to me?
    John Ryder: You’re a smart kid…figure it out.

    Whether it’s the rise of urban legends or the rise of actual incidents, hitchhiking is all but extinct nowadays. It seems to be another victim slain in the slow and continuous death of the old neighborly courtesies.

    Hitchhiking is just one aspect of a wider American artistic landscape full of the open road–from…

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    "Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy": Carl Dreyer's Vampyr (1932)

    “Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy”: Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)

    Ian Olson (who brought Mbird a wonderful reflection on Law and Grace in the new Godzilla) and I decided to put together a 4-part series in celebration of October and Halloween–Mbird-style, of course! We both chose two of our favorite horror films and wrote an article for each one and then allowed the other to present a brief addendum/rebuttal about the film and the article written. This week we open with a classic vampire film from 1932 from the Danish filmmaker, Carl Theodor Dreyer, entitled Vampyr.

    Ian:

    How awake must I be to grasp the real world? To see it for what…

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    In Memoriam: Robin Williams (1951-2014)

    In Memoriam: Robin Williams (1951-2014)

    Williams’ comedy was more settled into the gap of my parents’ generation than it really was in mine. I, however, grew up watching the best (The Awakening, Good Will Hunting) and worst (Popeye, RV) of his films. He was a household name. A comedian that was so energetic and so child-like that it was impossible to not allow his charisma to drastically change your demeanor. That same energy and child-like-ness, also, made him one of the most devastatingly difficult people to endure during interviews. He would fidget and act like he had drank two gallons of Kool-Aid before coming on…

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    New Music: French Style Fur's Is Exotic Bait

    New Music: French Style Fur’s Is Exotic Bait

    On the heels of obsessing over Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence, Matthew Linder and I found another target for our obsession in French Style Fur’s Is Exotic Bait. The band is made from members of We Barbarians and Cold War Kids, and most of the lyrical content comes straight out of the poetry of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and mystic. Here are the results of a conversation surrounding one of the deepest albums we have heard in quite a while.

    Matt: So what did you think about “All the Way Down”?

    Blake: That track is just so credal. I can’t ignore that…

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    New Music: Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence

    New Music: Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence

    Matthew Linder (who gave Mbird a delightful treatise on Willy Wonka) and I, for well over a week and counting, have been infatuated with the newest Lana Del Rey album, and conversations over Facebook and email ensued. Below are some of the highlights of our discussion of what we both consider a tremendously beautiful and heart-wrenching album.

     

    Blake:

    So from the first listen, I felt an aural tie to the gothic americana genre, but without the usual folk/bluegrass instrumentation. Gothic americana is notorious for using religious allusion and imagery for often non-religious reasons. It is all tied into this idea of Flannery…

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    The Day I Confessed My Sins To Louis C.K.

    The Day I Confessed My Sins To Louis C.K.

    Louis C.K.’s FX show, Louie, has been a breath of fresh air in the world of situation comedies. That fresh air, though, sometimes steals the wind out of my sails and leaves me drifting in open water, alone with my thoughts, convicted, waiting for rescue. I have noticed that episode 3—“So Did The Fat Lady”—struck a chord with many since it aired on Monday night. It has the classic Louie setup, with all of the awkwardness and profound insights that are part of who Louis C.K. is as a comedian.

    Vanessa, a waitress at the Comedy Cellar where Louie does his…

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    The Berserker In Us All

    The Berserker In Us All

    Berserkers were fierce Norse warriors who were thought to be invincible. They were men who would battle with rage-induced fierceness and violence. Beings so mentally unstable they would cut down their enemies without a single thread of compassion. Frenzied. Crazed.

    I am a bit surprised there wasn’t more commentary on the Internet about the most recent Queens of the Stone Age music video for their song, “Smooth Sailing.” Maybe it is because everyone is so accustomed to Josh Homme’s lyrics and antics both on and off the stage. The band, in their videos, have always delved into the darker parts of…

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    On TV: Salvaging This Season of Parenthood

    On TV: Salvaging This Season of Parenthood

    Like many reviewers out there (and a number of my fellow Mbirds), I’ve found this season of NBC’s Parenthood to be profoundly underwhelming. But I continue to watch because I love the characters, chief among them these past couple of seasons being Hank, played by a post-Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano. Matter of fact, I think the Hank and Max storyline may be single-handedly salvaging this season of Parenthood for me.

    If you are caught up to the 15th episode that aired Jan. 23rd, then you will know the substance of the storyline of which I am speaking. If you are not…

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    Ain't Nuthin' But Frontin': Best Hip-Hop of 2013

    Ain’t Nuthin’ But Frontin’: Best Hip-Hop of 2013

    My good friend, Jeff, and I are on the eve of a six-year project–all the brainchild of Jeff, but with my full participation. Most hip-hop heads place the golden era of the genre between 1988 or 89 to 1994. So we are celebrating 1989-1994 hip-hop by listening to and reviewing every album that came out during those years in real time. In other words, the album(s) that came out in the first week of January 1989 will be listened to and reviewed on the first week of January 2014 and so on. We will be listening to everything from genre-defining…

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