Monday, October 19, 2020

Music Video Monday: Switchblade Kid

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 11:28 AM

click to enlarge vampire_of_marrekesh.png
Music Video Monday gets goth-y.

Harry Koniditsiotis jokes that he may be “the gothest motherfucker in town.” This is his time of year. The proprietor of 5 and Dime Recording knows how to create a spooky sound. The proof is in the blood pudding with his band Switchblade Kid, who tap the vein of classic death rockers like The Jesus and Mary Chain and Bauhaus. For his latest song “The Young Don't Cry,” Koniditsiotis says the discovery of a forgotten film reel led to the creation of a supernatural music video. “My friend Parker Hays goes to estate sales and usually gives me all the 8mm stuff he can’t sell. It’s always old home movies and various film releases. I joke to him that one day I’m going to find stag films or something scandalous in the lot. This time I did find something interesting on an unmarked 3.5 min reel — Hammer Films’ ‘The Vampire of Marrakesh.’”

Hammer was the British film company who produced a string of classic horror films from 1955-1975. Productions like The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, with their spooky, atmospheric production design and straight-faced camp portrayals of monsters and maidens, made stars out of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. ‘The Vampire of Marrakesh’ is a rare short film that was produced as part of a serial called Tom Terriss the Vagabond Adventurer — Quest of the Perfect Woman. “Basically, the plot is, a douche British guy travels to exotic lands to scam on chicks,” says Koniditsiotis.

The serial predates the founding of Hammer in 1935, but the fledgling company is believed to have purchased the rights to the film from a defunct production company and released as a stand-alone short. “Memphis film scholar Matt Martin of Black Lodge believes the film has never been released on VHS or DVD,” says Koniditsiotis. “Oddly enough, 'The Vampire of Marrakesh' does have an IMDB review: 'Incredibly awful film is something that I’d highly recommend to those who love bad movies. So incredibly awful it’s worth watching.’”

If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is. Koniditsiotis edited the surviving scenes from the 8mm reel together to create a suitably seasonal video for “The Young Don’t Cry.” Switchblade Kid will be hosting a Halloween Death Rock Party at 5 & Dime Studio on October 31st. It will be socially distanced to emphasize the gothic alienation and existential horror of the pandemic holiday. Take a look at the video — if you dare!
  
If you would like to see your music video featured on Music Video Monday, email cmccoy@memphisflyer.com. 

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