Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life: On the LAMoMaM

I've never understood the morbid fascination with serial killers -- I mean, I understand a passing interest, but the nearly cultish following that some killers obtain is that of rock star. This episode of Life ("Canyon Flowers") deals with the fascination, profiling a fictional museum called the Los Angeles Museum of Murder and Mayhem (LAMoMaM), while also setting up season one badass Roman (played by the great Garret Dillahunt) for another bow in next week's episode.

While LAMoMaM is fictional, there's basis for it's existence, specifically the Serial Killer Museum in Florence, Italy. Here you can find a waxwork figure of a young Ted Bundy, a model of John Wayne Gacy's bedroom, and a thorough history of the abhorrent inclination. Manning LAMoMaM is Michael Raymond James as Tex and Rachel Miner as Squeaky, utilizing their recent creepy pay-cable turns (True Blood and Californication repectfully) as character references. James' murderous Rene could've had his own wing in the museum, with the body count he racked up this season.

Speaking of characters playing mass murderers popping up on this episode, seeing Garret Dillahunt's face show up in this context had me thinking of all the fictional kills his character's have had. From playing two different murderers(!) on Deadwood to his portrayal of Cromartie the terminator in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and now his return as the Russian gangster Roman, Dillahunt's characters could have their own museum. Did I hear someone say typecast?

Aside from finding out that Garet Dillahunt* is in next week's mid-season finale, the highlight for me was the music chosen for scenes in the LAMoMaM. The first song was from the obscure seventies psychedelic Mexican band Los Dug Dugs, who's "Lost in My World (Perdido En Mi Mundo)" hit just the right vibe to bring to life a killer from the 1970's. The song had me trying to find more of their stuff, but it's out of print and difficult to find. Perhaps my friends over at Light in the Attic Records can rectify that? The other LAMoMaM scene is backed by "The Big Sleep," a fine psych-rock pop song from Los Angeles by-way-of-Austin band Oliver Future. The final scene contained more psychedelic sounds, this time of the smooth variety from New Mexico's Brightblack Morning Light, with "Everybody Daylight." And yes, a song from Coldplay opened the episode, but the less we say of that, the better.

Playlist: Life - Episode 2.11
1. "42" - Coldplay
2. "Lost in my World (Perdido En Mi Mundo)" - Los Dug Dugs (YouTube)
3. "The Big Sleep" - Oliver Future
4. "Understanding The New Violence" - The Uncut
5. "Everybody Daylight" - Brightblack Morning Light

*A small part of my fascination with Dillahunt has to do with our brief overlap at the University of Washington. Dillahunt, a Selah native, was in the school of journalism there, and focusing on acting later at NYU.

Previously: Evil and his brother Red Herring (Episode 2.10)

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