Eyes Without A Face // James Pate


I’m really just using the mirror to summon something I don’t even know until I see it.

Cindy Sherman

When I look across the table, I don’t only see you but I see a whole emanation which has to do with the personality and everything else. And to put that over in a painting, as I would like to be able to do in a portrait, means that it would appear violent in paint.

Francis Bacon



The opening music a carnivalesque mixture of the whimsical and macabre.

Jaunty, eerie, pranksterish.

Like a jester in a skull mask.

Night, country road, a single car, only the tree trunks illuminated by headlights.

Treetops lost in the night sky.

The driver a woman in a shiny black leather coat, black gloves.

The style of 1960’s pre-Goth Goth.

A huddled figure in the backseat in trench coat and lowered fedora.

No face: not from our angle. Never from our angle.

A figure from a French noir in a film that leaks horror.

Dead or sleeping, the figure waits.

Wheels stop. A door opens.

Light fog, lapping water, the body dragged to the lake’s edge.

Black water glistens and her black coat glistens.

The figure barefoot, as bodies are in caskets.


film notes

The face as a specter we conjure in order to imagine what others see when they imagine us. But we have no idea what faces others imagine when they think about us. Our face multiplies in ways we can’t begin to conceptualize/control/account for. And we’ll never encounter those imagined faces, never see them in the mirror.

Most faces are imagined, not seen.

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Inland Empire 2 // Gary J Shipley


Note: this was originally featured in a larger collection called 30 Fake Beheadings, published by Spork Press. It posits imaginary, ludicrous sequels to 30 existing films, including The Holy Mountain 2, Happiness 2 and just in case war trauma didn’t stick the first time, Come And See 2.


Mine is the longest running sickness in history. I contracted it in the Baltic, in an old hotel, with dark hallways leading to an exaggerated darkness that I didn’t recognize. On my way in to watch this film I ask where I am and the same kind of darkness pervades everything. I ask if I’m in the right room. I’m afraid if somebody answers they’ll know who I am. And they’ll know from that what it is I want—before I do. The screen appears when I sit. It’s the same kind of hallway and the same kind of darkness. This sequel’s like me: it’s afraid of itself. It understands how people sit in rooms wearing the heads of the same animal. It understands how in looking for a way in the audience will find a dead person in the seat next to them. I face the front; I face the screen. The film has just started but I think it will be over soon. It may help me. You see I have a new neighbour I’m planning to murder over coffee. The problem is if I enjoy it very much. The problem is unless I murder her I’ll be forced to say hello. It’s rare but it’s nice, this aversion to dishonesty. And the film knows which house I am living in. It’s the woods around it. It’s difficult to see because I’m afraid, and the film is afraid, and our being afraid is feared by the people living inside our being afraid. The film and I make an evil marriage. We are both the worst kind of memory we try hard to forget. A little boy is born, goes out to play and does not come back. I’m sorry to see his reflection still breathing. I’m sorry that his murder is still not part of the story. I’m sorry I can’t seem to remember the things I’ve been saying, or how it is this film deviates from the first one. If actions have consequences there’s a chance I’m purposeful. If it was tomorrow this film would be watching me. Oh my God! You’re not mine after all! We are happy if our roles don’t kill us before the end. And yet, I’ve never felt better up to my neck in another film’s caviar. The woman on the screen says if you pull her hair she’ll tell you where she lives, and she’ll feed you her daughters out of professional courtesy. It’s Hollywood, where how you feel is perfect and incredible and dreamt. I’m stuck watching a scene apologize for its seriousness. Hollywood is eating husbands. Hollywood is finished before it’s unfinished. Hollywood is lovely weather. Hollywood is going to kill someone. Hollywood is millions of bad stories. Hollywood has the nicest ass.

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Black Sunday // Oli Johns


Whim of your whim of a wet witch lit by hag-tag cinematography

desperate for coffin scene, beyond it

getting there


[Bava Methodology]









Bava Junior at twice-his-height wheel

scared of wheel

wheel that looks like Istituto Luce, turns like it


Accept anything they give me

Not a marketing agency


Steer with good hand, chin, elbow, forehead and lighting schematic

Eyebags wondering what it’s all about

Horror is for thing in corner

Cornered and arch

Shadow in pocket of bolder shadow’s shadow pal

Much to be ashamed of

Sorry dad

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Robocop 2 // Tyson Bley


Recording this curdles the wild machine man’s insides.

Robocop car sick, stone cold simmering rainbow

mud, time’s shards’ bereavement smell

folding a unique, disrespectful computer hue

along the alley where the neuron once went bowling.

It is now an archeological site. Only phantom memories,

weird, nasally funereal, pretty-woman sounds go

dancing here. Dead bodies’ friendly recoil.

Fright night. Texas Chainsaw Massacre at one with

the saxophone of pure evil.

Surroundings contoured with Leatherface’s brow ridge.

Writhing covering an electro prod’s

fang tension, tucked under the ripped-off face,

wet basketball jersey soaking up the feel

like a zombie’s mustache.

Insects scooping out the petri dish.

Slayer comprising the nerd’s every subconscious

bodily function.


Tyson Bley is the poet responsible for Drive Thru Zoo over at Schism Press and more recently the singer and lyricist behind songs like Gertrude’s Knees, which you can listen to at MerylxStreepx