As I’m sure our loyal Vault Hunters are already well aware, we’re pretty big fans of The Projectionist here at the Vault. We streamed their split with Féretro back in January; I chatted band’s mastermind Lörd Matzigkeitus in May about Chapel of Astaroth, his most recent collection of poetry, and premiered a track from The Black Sorcery, another project he’s involved with; and in August we had the honor of premiering “Act 4: What Can be Mollified in a Banshee’s Thrashing?” the first track from The Projectionist’s upcoming two-part opus Visits From the NightHag, Part 1.
Since the NightHag will be making her first appearance on Halloween, and given the supernatural/horror themes of the NighHag saga, it seemed appropriate to give Lörd Matzigkeitus a space to talk about some of his favorite horror films in the weeks leading up to its release.
In case you missed it the first time around, check out “Act 4: What Can be Mollified in a Banshee’s Thrashing?” while you read the first installment of Lörd M’s column, and make sure to grab your preorder of Visits From the NightHag, Part 1 from Appalachian Noise Records here before all the really cool vinyl variants are sold out.
I was approached by Clayton of IMV to see if I’d be interested in doing a weekly column leading up to All Hallow’s Eve in response to the unusual nature of my lyrics for The Projectionist’s new horror-themed, Shakespearean Black Metal opera Visits from the NightHag, and I thought its high time I put down the toilet brush porn and take a crack at prose for a change. So here is the first installment of my personal favorite horror films of all time…
Now all you crusty warlocks and nighthags may think that Anthony Hopkins’ most stirring, jarring role would be his iconic portrayal of Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, but I firmly believe if you’d seen my first selection, you’d agree that his most psychologically disturbing role was in 1978’s Magic.
Starring alongside Ann-Margret Olsson and Burgess Meredith. Hopkins is Corky, an odd and awkward, seemingly failing magician who brings a ventriloquist dummy (Fats) into his act, and suddenly the notoriety he always sought is falls into his lap. Therein begins the visible crack in his fragile psyche as he has a bizarre anxiety attack over not being able to pass a medical exam to be on a television show.
He finds himself fleeing to the countryside in fear of his agent (Meredith….mwehhehehehe Penguin voice. Had to) and comes across his high school sweetheart. But Fats will not share his half of Corky’s skull with affectation over a woman. Corky completely unravels in the last half of the film, leading to a few grizzly murders perpetrated by Fats, as Corky loses the sense of who he is versus the fabricated split personality of the dummy in his mind.
Hopkins is so convincingly insane and deluded, unchained to the point Fats has him crawling around and barking like a dog. It’s miles away from the perfect calm of his Lector and proving himself in my eyes as a supreme character actor.
I can relate to the total descent into madness and losing yourself entirely. The whole thing is very cryptic and startling. When I first saw it this year, I watched it over and over – back to back whilst staying in complete seclusion 6000 kms away from anything that mattered to me. I needed to immerse myself in the mental sickness of it. The way his anxiety grips him and utterly owns him is very definitive of how that state can be so dizzying and manic.
For me, the glory of horror is it’s subjectivity. Giving this ventriloquist dummy such full range of your consciousness is an eerie thought driven home like an atom bomb by Hopkins’ unhinged performance.
I actually wrote a song about this one for my upcoming extremely schizophrenic Lord Matzigkeitus album entitled “It Talks through Him” a death/doom affair on a record that has a different style of extreme metal on every song.
“By what creeps, what crawls, by what does not,
Let all that grows recede and rot.” (Darkstorm)
So begin stirring your potions and casting your rancorous spells upon the yard, the dead are coming to thieve you of treats, lest you defy them