Traveling to new horizons

Whether it’s space travel or moving to a new pad (which in my case means reducing, compacting, compressing, storing, and re-establishing selected stuff in a new home after seven years in a toxic mold-infested abode), stress is a factor that determines whether those moving from point A to B have the will and resolution to see it through, or go plain cuckoo in the process (of which I came close, particularly after vital keys were locked, for a second time in personal history, in a very stupid, inaccessible place).

Moving to a new house is one thing (and a loathsome, bothersome, disruptive thing at that), but going into space with a hard plan only to have things go awry is a wholly different experience (well, duh), and one the world at large watched on TV in 1970 when the men stuck inside the joined crafts of Apollo 13 were trying to figure out how to get home safely, with a massive NASA support team working overtime on practical solutions.

Although released way back in April, it’s worth checking out two space exploration documentaries from MVD Visual, particularly as they function as intriguing appendixes to the recent theatrical doc, In the Shadow of the Moon, which traces Man’s journey from this rock to the smaller one that’s been hypnotically roving around us for a long time.

Apollo 13: Houston, We’ve Had a Problem (2004) relies on archival footage and audio, and unlike prior docs and dramatizations of the mission, it plops the viewer (you) in between the scientists and the astronauts as the mission moves towards a very uncertain resolution.

Apollo 11: The Eagle Has Landed, is director Robert Garofalo’s second space doc, and similarly relies on rare footage, plus intermittent narration by Tom Baker (Dr. Who), and traces Man’s mobilization to safely land on the moon. The pacing is appropriately measured, and the footage is hypnotic, and both docs offer some vintage glimpses into the events depicted in David Sington’s 2007 doc, In Shadow of the Moon.

To balance out the ethereal beauty of real space travel we’ve added Queen of Outer Space, a longtime cult favourite that was recently given a deserved DVD release as part of Warner Bros.’ Cult Camp Classics wave.

Included in Vol. 1 of three genre-themed boxed sets, this 1958 stinker was made for a few bucks, and endures as a hypnotic (though sometimes dull) depiction of wonky fifties morality with women clumsily governing their own planet until the guys set things right with some smiles, bad gags, and some nuzzling and cuddling.

Zsa Zsa Gabor co-stars, and while she never really becomes more than the queen of her planet (a much smaller dominion, for sure), this B-picture proves Gabor couldn’t act for more than 30 seconds of screen time – making Queen of Outer Space a real treat.

Lastly, we’ve added an interview with Jeff Toyne, an up-and-coming composer whose prior experience as an ace orchestrator has served him well on several recent solo ventures. Released on CD and as a downloadable MP3 album via MovieScore Media, Shadow in the Trees is another fine horror score – low-key, thoughtful, and character driven – coming from a new voice in film scoring.

Toyne’s album was reviewed in a recent issue of Rue Morgue magazine, so here’s an interview with the composer.

And now that the unpacking is 65% done (I still have no idea where 4 tailor-made screws for an IKEA desk went, dammit), the backlog of material will start filling up the site, so keep checking for new material, or watch for our web posts, and those interested in expanding their soundtrack collection with titles they missed during the late 80s/early 90s are encouraged to check out our sale, which knocks down the prices substantially.


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