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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Mar Veeks interview!

In 2010 film Beyond the black rainbow, quietly made its way across the web with its mind-bending esoteric trailer. Written and directed by a virtual unknown at the time, Panos Cosmatos son of director George Cosmatosis (Leviathan, Rambo 2, Tombstone and Unknown Origin) and Birgitta Ljungberg-Cosmatos, a Swedish sculptor with a hard lean to avant-garde and surrealism. Birgitta and was a big inspiration on Panos giving him his cinematic eye for surreal.  Beyond the black rainbow is equal parts of its creator's mind-body, and soul.  Panos almost single-handedly funded his first opus with royalties from his father's film Tombstone which Panos worked on as a camera operator.  

This film crept under the radar of most movie lovers with a film that would sear itself through our amygdala into the pineal gland of all that saw it. The deliberate slow pace, the gorgeous visuals, and set design, the storytelling and the actors who exceeded all expectations, and the sonically inebriating music of the film scored by Jeremy Schmidt aka Sinoia Caves who is part of another band that one should listen to, Black Mountain. Be warned though, watching this film could make you fail a drug test!  

And the next person that I had the privilege to talk to was as affected by this film as I was.


Can you tell me your name and a little bit about yourself and where you are from?

Hi there! My name is Mar Veeks and I am twenty-two years old. I am a huge fan of filmmaking, animals, and all things horror! I am from Maine, which is great because I love the woods and most of this state is covered with woods. There is not a huge film scene here, though. 

Have you lived there all your life?

I have lived in Maine all of my life, but someday I want to move even more north where there is only cold winter and endless woods. 

What got you into making horror-themed masks? What is the attraction for you? 

I started making horror-themed masks when I was twelve as a way to cope with my negative self-perception and scary psychosis symptoms. I found that transforming myself into something that was creepy or supernatural or odd helped me process emotions and experiences better. Building my own “face” gave me a really unique sense of control over the more difficult things in my early life. As a kid I would run around my school wearing the masks I’d make and it helped me gain confidence. My first mask was an albino werewolf, but it just kept getting progressively more grotesque from there!


So when did you discover this film and how? The film was on the cusp of the closing of brick and mortar video stores. Were you able to find it around that time? 

I first saw “Beyond The Black Rainbow” last year (2019) in November after having first watched Mandy in October. I had heard of Mandy’s success from film circles before, but I had not once heard of BTBR. When my film-school girlfriend showed me Mandy for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with Panos Cosmatos’ dark ethereal storytelling. The film moved and enchanted me like nothing else ever had. After that, she was really excited to share Black Rainbow with me. At first, she was worried I wouldn’t like it as much as I liked Mandy, but oh boy she was very wrong! If only I had been more sentient back in 2010 when BTBR came out, I’m sure I would’ve loved it then, too. At that time, my favorite film was Wes Craven’s classic 80s hit “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

What was your first impression of the film? Was it love at first sight?

My first impression of Black Rainbow was that it felt like a near-death experience. My entire body was cold as if I was physically sitting outside on a chilly night in the fall. I felt a deep, distant sadness that welled up within me and sent me into a strange melancholy trance. It was like Elena’s grief and Barry’s psychosis were tangible tendrils that latched onto me and would never let go. When Elena was able to escape the seemingly inescapable darkness that was coming after her, it was like I could suddenly feel warm again. With the ambiguity of Elena’s future at the end of the film, I felt deeply inspired to help her find warmth again, as well. The moment the credits rolled I knew that I was in love with this movie. 

What are your thoughts on control and what the film conveys about this subject?  

I think BTBR has a great understanding of the various psychological aspects to human beings controlling other humans. We see the highlight reel of Dr. Mercurio Arboria’s grand ambitions as a cult leader, and later, his overwhelmingly miserable demise. Mercurio devoted his career to finding inner peace and lost everything truly important in the process. He couldn’t control the horror that he created in the same way that he likely controlled his follower’s minds with spiritual nonsense. Dr. Barry Nyle goes through a similar arc of being in complete control over others and then later finding himself unable to stop the world he built from falling apart. Without the power-suppressing ability of the Triangular Prism, Barry wouldn’t be able to stop Elena from escaping the facility. Without mentally breaking down and emotionally manipulating Elena, she wouldn’t stand for his abuse. Barry, although more powerful and scary than your average creepy man in a position of power, is still weak without that which keeps him above those he tries to suppress. ( The film’s very name “Beyond The Black Rainbow,” implicates that the “black rainbow” itself is an unattainable state of being that both Mercurio and Barry never stop trying to meet despite having already gone “beyond” its reach. It is an intangible perfect reality that could never exist. )

Have you been writing for very long? What was your first venture into the life of the mind? 

I was always writing and drawing comics even as a young child, but my brain was way too chaotic and emotional to convey a compelling story back then. But in my head, I was still constantly building new worlds and adding to pre-established ones. I am always day-dreaming and thinking of things to create. A couple of years ago I wrote my first ever fan-fiction for a different film. It helped me deal with the trauma I was experiencing and I found the whole process really fulfilling. My writing ability and understanding of grammar was not very good back then, though! Haha! So, I made a commitment to learning more writing skills before I worked on anything like that again. 

Did you feel compelled to write this fanfiction or was it something that gestated slowly? 

Writing a fan-fiction for BTBR was an inevitable occurrence once I saw the film. I love the movie too much. I care about the characters too much. The film moved me waaay too much. My only apprehension in writing a fan-fiction was that I know how deeply personal Pano’s two films are to him and how they were a way for him to channel his grief. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t disrespecting the story or diminishing how perfect BTBR actually is in all its ambiguity and finality. I think my continuation “Return To The Black Rainbow” is really just a tribute to how much I love “Beyond The Black Rainbow” and the art of storytelling. The ideas for what would actually happen in the plot of RTTBR came gradually, but I always knew I wanted to see Elena find some sort of real peace and closure. 

How far do you feel this story will go? Do you have a lot planned for the characters?

I am happy to say that the entirety of the fan-fiction is already complete and has been since late October! Right now, I’m just taking my time editing each chapter and making sure everything lines up and makes sense. I’m sure there will still be errors but my goal is to write a compelling story that fans could really visualize as a faithful sequel. I love receiving feedback and new ideas, though! I hope more fans discover my writing and art and take enjoyment in it! One day I hope to make a stop-motion tribute to BTBR and maybe even animate scenes from RTTBR. All I can reveal to curious readers of the fan-fiction is that yes, all characters will get their moment to shine! Even dead ones! 

Ellena and her friends feel well rounded and knowable, was it easy for you to give her pathos but also good conscious after all those years in Arboria?

Writing Elena ten years post her escape from Arboria felt very natural. I empathized with her all throughout the events of BTBR even though she never gets the opportunity to verbally describe how she’s feeling. Through visuals and sounds, we are able to get a window into her emotional world. Truly, I don’t think Elena is a cruel or dangerous person despite having every right to be that way. I think she longs so badly for a sense of normalcy and basic human compassion. I believe that she would choose to internalize her pain rather than go on an enraged psychic rampage. Let’s face it though, she’s earned one! In RTTBR, I gave her an extra helping hand in her emotional healing process by allowing the Sentionaut “Sky” to become her first true companion. Sky is the kind of friend who will always put Elena’s well-being before anything else. Sky also helps keep Elena in check until she wanders into Marie’s life

In the film, the Devil's Teardrop comes out from under Barry's bed like it had always been there. As if it were in a state of flux, of nothingness and tangible. As if it was just waiting to be willed onto this realm. What are your thoughts on this cult-like and definitely fetishized weapon?

The Devil’s Teardrop is honestly the coolest thing ever and I’m kinda mad there are no clear still images of it because I’d love to get it’s silhouette (along with Red Miller’s Beast Axe) tattooed on my arm one day! Honestly, it strikes me as something that was forged in sheer malice and holds a great amount of ethereal dark power. I think for Barry, it symbolizes his complete dominion over the physical bodies of others. When he chooses to wield the weapon, I believe it’s a sacred ritual for him. I don’t think his intention was ever to kill Elena with it. (Barry does a fine job of killing others with just his hands anyways!) I think Barry intended to use it as a way of physically demonstrating his power over Elena in the hope that she would physically submit to his control. I sort of fail to see what Barry would gain from killing Elena. As messed up as the situation is, she is everything to him. She is his way of attaining power. She is his only emotional connection. Barry isn’t just going to waste tons of resources building caretaker Sentionauts and injectable tracking devices just to have one fleeting moment of vengeance. He wants to control her forever. That being said, when Elena escapes and Barry’s paranoia and jealousy overtakes him, he still uses the weapon to metaphorically (and literally) penetrate and overpower the two Heshers. Whether it’s through violent killing or just the perverse act of Barry rubbing the dagger against his inner thigh, The Devil’s Teardrop is an absolutely wicked creation! 

How did you feel about adding to the Black Rainbow universe? Were you apprehensive or confident about what you had in mind?

Once I felt like I could create a meaningful story, I just started writing! I wrote the prologue to RTTBR first and just left it there for a while. It took a little time to decide whether or not to delve back into the horrific trauma of Elena’s past or just let the poor girl live a happy life as a closeted telekinetic being. I decided that as cute as it would be to see Elena’s shenanigans around town, delving back into the deep dark stuff felt more honest. 

Do you have any future projects that you would like to share with us?

As far as original work goes, I am in the process of writing and illustrating my own horror-themed graphic novel! Whenever it’s complete, I will self publish it. My hope is that it inspires others to create and share their own stories. I really genuinely believe that making art is one of the best ways to live a happier life! My girlfriend and I also plan to start making horror short films that incorporate my masks sometime in 2021! Thank you for taking an interest! 

You can find more of Mar's drawings and writings here at:

Sunday, November 15, 2020

I started a Patreon account!

Hey everyone. Hope you are well. I just wanted to let you all know that I have started a Patreon account and I invite everyone to please join me on my quest to make and create awesome stuff for you all! 


The link is below! wooo!

Deep dive into deconstruction

 I was told recently that I have a stoic face.

That I can hide emotion really well. I guess I have never thought about it that way.
I see it as a form of protection. It's something that I have done since high school, being a person that was heavily bullied. I learned to closely guard my emotions. I learned to keep emotion away from my face so no one knew how I felt.

I still do it. I just didn't realize that I did until last night. Maybe that's my problem with talking to people and interacting with them. I see every stranger as a potential threat and I don't open up to them until they open up to me first. And in this world, that usually doesn't happen a lot. I wait for someone to talk to me so I can see that they are not a threat and it's ok for me to open up and talk to them.

It sucks that I've just learned this about myself. So how do I fix this? How do I untrain my brain to be more open? I know it's little steps. But I'm not a snob. If you talk to me. I will talk to you and be warm and considerate. I just need the other person to make the first step and show me that I don't have to consider them a threat, so I stop looking for potential weak spots in them in case they try to hurt me.
It's really no way to live at all. Just imagine, all the potential friends that I've shut out because I saw them as a threat or that I thought they were going to harm or hurt me.

It's very depressing.

So please know though. I am loyal to my friends. To an almost stupid level.
It's just making friends. Making new ones. It's just hard.

Friday, July 17, 2020

update from 8 weeks later in quarantine limbo

On Sunday, May 17th, I developed a fever. Nothing really bad but it was higher than normal. Also, I was told that someone I was in contact with, tested positive for COVID 19. I knew in my gut that I was going to test positive as well. And on May 19th I tested positive. My symptoms were Fever, headache, weakness, dry cough, heaviness in the lungs, then lack of smell and taste. After 8 days, my cough got much worse, and so did my difficulty managing my mucus. I went back to the doctor nearing the end of 14 days and was told that I had a mild case of pneumonia and was given a dose of z-pac.

Then I took another test and was positive again. I took zinc, vitamin d12, and lots of hot tea, (peppermint, and green tea) I started sweating thru my shirts, twice a day. (once in the day and the other in the night) I took Tylenol daily to keep the fever down. And around the 18th day, my fever went back to normal, but the other symptoms were still with me and I started seeing things, fast-moving grey shadows around my feet which I thought were cats. It's a good thing I have two cats or I would have thought I was going crazy.

 Then I tested positive for a third time which left my doctor bewildered and she said that she would talk to the CDC to see what else they can do. (which didn't happen) She did give me a prescription for antibiotics. Also, during this time I had contact with the state health department but they didn't stay in contact with me for very long (4 days) and then UAMS contacted me and then stopped as well.

You'd think that there would be some communication with each other during this whole ordeal but nope! Every time I tested positive I had to go thru the same hoops as the beginning.
I still felt weak, and still had a problem with coughing and mucus even after my second round of antibiotics, then I took Mucinex which didn't do anything for me.

I tested positive for a 4th time! But around the end of the first week, my cough started to let up, and then the mucus did as well, but I still felt like I was wearing a weight vest on me. Even though I lost about 30 lbs, I didn't really get winded though. I just felt very weak.

I am telling you all these things to show you this is no joke! Wear your stupid mask!
Once thought that was a constant in my mind while this was going on was either I get better or I am going to die. I was terrified for so long! I was stuck in my house for 8 weeks!

And COVID did something weird to my brain for a bit there. I couldn't write anything and drawing was difficult because my hands shook, so I could do any kind of fine detail. Just recently, I started coming up with writing ideas my hand stopped shaking which were a relief because I was beginning to think that COVID took my writing away.

Are you listening to me?! I am telling you now. This was worse than anything I have ever been through. I would have to sometimes use a pillow and press it against my chest to help with coughing, or basically wrap a towel around my chest very tight like a corset to help with the pain of coughing. I would cough so hard I'd lose my breath and my eyes would go black.

I thankful for all the prayers during all this, because I really didn't know what to do. I was the only person that I knew that tested positive 4 times. And being stuck at home for that long, kind of messed with my head. It still does.
But I have been released from quarantine and I am going back to work soon.
So my message to you is, wash your stupid hands, keep your mask on over your nose and mouth in public! Stop being a stupid crybaby, complaining about how you can't breathe! Well, once you get this, and you will! If you don't follow protocol! you'll know first hand about not being able to breathe!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Update 5/19/20


I started feeling a little peculiar Sunday evening. Also, I was told by someone that I have been in contact with was positive for COVID, so my work told me to go get checked out. I had the swab test done and this morning they said, I tested positive for the virus. I have had a low-grade temp, cough, headache, and a dash of sneezing so far.

I am now legitimately quarantined now will be so for the next 14 days.

There are a lot of unknowns here at the moment. My dr. said the majority of positive cases lately have been not very bad. Let's hope that mine is within that category.

I will try and update any who reads this blog still on my progress. Prayers and thoughts and positivity are all very welcome.

And please be safe, and keep doing what you are doing.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

50 things that make me laugh

50 things that make me laugh

1. Faulty Gas pumps

2. Hang gliding mishaps
3. Matadors getting their comeuppance 
4. Dom Deluise’s laugh
5. Movie bloopers 
6. Depressing talks that end awkwardly
7. People getting slapped
8. Drivers with road rage 
9. The word “swamp” 
10. Slave bracelets 
11. People talking to their exes on the phone
12. The word “eyeball” 
13. Repeating a word until it has no more meaning
14. Butts
15. People “ugly crying” 
16. Drunk people getting badly injured 
17. Bull riders getting badly injured 
18. Flat earthers 
19. Antivaxers
20. People who drive giant trucks 
21. Hair plugs
22. Hair extensions 
23. 40-year-old adolescents 
24. Shoplifters crying
25. Overhearing weird conversations in grocery stores
26. Late-night clothing styles 
27. The word “hamburger” 
28. Cowboy boots
29. Contemporary country music
30. Giant rims on surplus, ex-police cars
31. The car sticker “salt life”
32. “In memory of” car stickers 
33. Intestinal parasites that egress during a bowel movement
34. Chicken soup books
35. Dull scissors 
36. Toenail clippings on public bathroom floors 
37. A thin layer of bubbling, burnt, coffee tar left in the pot. 
38. Skidmarks on toilet seats 
39. Men’s room grunts 
40. Nicotine stained fingernails
41. Flipflops in January 
42. Black ice 
43. Stranded cars on the side of the road
44. Kids leaning back to fast and hitting their heads on church pews 
45. Kids crying so hard their parents are shaking them, telling them to “breath” 
46. Children falling off things
47. Incontinence 
48. Two-week-old chili bowls
49. People eating potato chips 
50. 90's cowboy fashion

My solsburry

I woke up with the song Solsburry hill in my head, this rather nice morning. It, being the weather, not the morning. I had the song still with me.
I really like the song, but I didn’t know that I liked it that much.
I heard that the song gives sort of a reason why Gabriel left the group, Genesis. And then after reading the lyrics to the song, It made me feel strange. The song is about change, and about fear of what others will think once they see what you have changed into. With lyrics like “To keep in silence I resigned.” And “I will show another me.” Or “ I walked right of the machinery.” It made me feel as if I was hitting upon something big inside me. Something that I had been ignoring for some time. I couldn’t exactly remember all the lyrics, so when I got to work this morning I looked them up.
What I came up with, was something like the pain of going forward. And the things you tend to leave behind. The people the places. The memories. Will they understand what it is that you are doing? Will they see the path ahead of you? Will they understand?
No. No they won’t understand.
They will think you are crazy. They will say that you have gone weird on them. Your friends that you thought were your closest, will turn on you. It’s moments like these that will define you. They will show you who your true friends are and who will understand your choices. Then you can keep going forward and never look back.