So, here I am with another couple of notes from my unfinished mash-up satire of B-movies & soap operas: Underworld Sabbatical. I did mean to update the blog with more posts around Halloween but I have so many old Post-its, memos, & half-written scraps that I had to sit & organize them in some sort of order before I could even put them up. & It’s surprising how much I did write, considering this was something I was only making up for myself in-between working my full-time office job & going to school. I kind of envy past me.
This post is a rough timeline/filmography that I had sketched out. Current comments are italicized. If you are just joining us & don’t know what any of this is, you’ll find an explanation here.
The 39 Films of Thornton Infernal & Barker Santiago (incomplete)
The Beginning AKA “mostly crap”
- obligatory vampire flick (it’s so obvious I didn’t even come up with a plot)
- Feathertop starring both Thorn & No Tom Bones (an adaptation of Hawthorn’s short story done as period horror, a la AIP’s Poe adaptations)
- Blood Musical (I loved Andy Dick’s Marilyn Poppins sketch)
- Circle of Terror
- As The Candle Burns (really leaning on the obvious soap titles here)
The Period period (menstruation jokes) AKA The Morrigan Period, “Gloom is Love”
- Blue Willow (a Victorian tale of a depraved decadent couple)
- Flowers of Evil (an impressionistic movie inspired by the life & poetry of Charles Baudelaire, the rivalry with Van Von Jean starts)
- something either Arthurian (Mordred & Nimuë) or from the Mabinogion (I had just started reading the Mabinogion at the time, so I hadn’t picked out a tale; still have no idea what.)
- something with Poe & his fantasies coming to life with Morrigan as gypsy-temptress-muse-raven-goddess (Thorn’s character doesn’t even have to be Poe really, this could actually now be a vehicle for Morrigan as this vague folkloric character & it could cause tension for them either because it’s not a very defined role & she’s pissed or because she is taking the spotlight instead of him. & at this point in 2018, there have been a couple of badly done Poe-as-Creator movies anyway, so this isn’t the best idea now. Ooooh, maybe Morrigan could do something about Eliza Poe’s life & living with her husband’s fantastical creations. 2018 me, you’ve done it! Get 2005 me on the phone!)
- The Black Irish (a retread of Blue Willow but with some House-of-Usher-ancestral-curse-anxiety going on. Desmond Diehl plays the mad matriarch/patriarch living in the attic)
- Suger’s Glass (a story about a priest who tries to control his congregation though the theory of light manipulation & how the colored glass affects other’s moods/states of mind) (I had not yet seen Heart of Glass at this point, but it was on my list—can you tell?)
The Alone & Angry Period (when Thorn broke up with Morrigan, met his current wife & Barker went through a divorce)
- Lilith (an adaptation of the Salamanca novel, with Thorn playing both Vincent & Warren) (perhaps this is where Hazel Asher comes in?)
- Heretic Lover (this production is where Hazel introduces Thorn to the woman he would marry & have kids with.)
- Our Lady of Darkness (an adaptation of Lieber’s story) (a lot of these movie ideas are just me daydreaming what certain things I had read would look like. Also, Barker fancies himself very well-read, moreso than most people he works with; he’s kind of a dick that way. Meaning I’m kind of a dick that way.)
- The Heart of Every Nice Girl (a film about a metal rock star with possible ties to Satan; a cautionary tale for the “young people” but is actually Barker’s attempt to make a subversive case FOR heavy metal. This is the film that cements the loyalty of fans like Dane.)
- an 80s slasher about a patient who suffers head trauma & whose hands work independently of one another, wreaking terror (y’know because movies like Body Parts & Idle Hands haven’t already done this.)
The Claustrophobic Period (I have a note here that this is when “Jake Norway” started working with Barker Santiago but I have no idea who this is because he’s not in my cast of characters notes & I’ve forgotten who he was supposed to be. I’m guessing he was some sort of collaborator like a writer, cinematographer, or a producer that helped shape the look of the films, because I have scribbles that say these movies look Edward-Gorey-esque, but I can’t remember anything else. & yes, my character Hunter Gorey is named after Edward Gorey, so I’m going to type out full names in order to not confuse myself.)
- Claustrophobia: another flick taking place in an asylum, except it all takes place in the head of a catatonic Thorn, reliving his trauma & reinterpreting what is happening around him as drama. (One of the best movie industry jokes to me was the running plot of “The Three” in the movie Adaptation, which of course got even more hilarious when it was de-fictionalized & made in real life. This idea is basically me reminding myself how funny I found the whole thing.)
- Verdant Fall: a loose adaptation of “Rappacini’s Daughter” that borders on a sexploitation film made all the more visually interesting because it most utilizes Edward Gorey’s restrained austere style. (And if you’ve ever seen an Edward Gorey drawing, you know there is little that could be considered conventionally sexy, unless you have specific fetishes, so what I’m saying is that this pretend-movie would have a huge fetish following. Also, this one one of my more blatant gestures to the Corman-Price Poe adaptations: Verden Fell (pronounced verdenfell by Price off-camera) is the main character’s name in the mash-up that is named The Tomb of Ligeia.)
- The House of Seven Gables: a pretty faithful adaptation with Desmond Diehl as the Judge & No Tom Bones as a dissipated relative.
- The Star Building: a Deep South murder mystery that takes place in an oppressively huge old plantation/manse. Takes place nearly entirely in one building & members of the production lived in the house while filming. (Shout-out to my hometown.)
- Azure Aspect: something with the opera or a ballet company where Thorn is a menacing director holding back an unearthly power. (Again, a blatant gesture to Blue Aspic, one of my favorite Edward Gorey mini-books.)
- The Weary Wicked: a meta-piece that focuses on the world-weariness & ennui of evil masterminds at an informal reunion (Seriously I’m just making fun of myself at this point.)
Also, around the time of filming this mockumentary, Thorn & Barker are talking about working again, this time on a project called Murder Ballad which few know the details about, but which singer Dane of Suicide Butterfly will be contributing a cover of “Down In the Willow Garden.” (Wouldn’t you want to hear a metal band doing crazy extravagant versions of folk tunes?!)
And to close out this timeline, a quote from Thorn about working with Barker.
Soundbite THORN: “Part of the reason why I loved Barker’s films & working on them were that they were great therapy. When I was in love with Morrigan, I could get out all the emotions I couldn’t tell her. When I got married, I could take out all my frustrations ‘at work’ on learning to build a life with someone. And then, when I had kids and had to be a role model, I could go on-set and lose control.”