Motherfucker.  I was going to write an in-depth article that tied three things together, but for stupid and personal reasons (some involving my stomach...resist the urge to ask questions), I haven't had time to write shit.  Motherfucker.  Hang in there!


Rassle Inn #11

On Sunday, Survivor Series will mark thirty years of deadened dominance for The Undertaker.  The career of one Mark Calaway cranes back even further than three decades, which is astounding to consider.  He possesses every trait that you would need to be a superlative, distinguished professional wrestler.  He checks all of the boxes.  And then you realize that he has always put the business first, ahead of politics and ahead of self-serving vainglory.  Hey, all due respect to Shawn Michaels, but that's why I rank The Heartbreak Kid behind The Phenom when it comes to placing the best of the modern era in formation.

'Taker has stated - definitively - that he is retired from in-ring competition.  Naturally, I expect him to engage with a few superstars in acutely physical ways at Survivor Series.  But whom?  And how?  I've read rumors and guesstimations.  It wouldn't surprise me to see The Fiend make himself conspicuous, but technically, he's a babyface.  Good God.  That opens a can of sandworms.  The comic, cosmic audacity of Vince McMahon's logic-defying booking is tantamount to that of Superman's gravity-defying bullshit.  You know that Superman is an asshole.  Don't argue with me.

My point (???) is that anything could happen.  I sincerely hope that Calaway isn't pressured into working "one more match."  The only dream bout left is opposite Sting, and no, I don't want to see it.  Ten years ago?  Fuck yeah, I'd pay the full pay-per-view price to order that sumbitch.  Even five years ago!  In 2020, it's not worth it.  Let the man rusticate to his native Texas.  Let him REST...I can't believe I'm actually using the catchphrase...IN...this is far too cheesy...PEACE...you dicks, you didn't stop me.  Here's a badass picture of The Undertaker leaving the 1993 versions of Crush and Bob Backlund in the dust.  I made that sound intense.  But they're just, like, walking.


Album Cover of the Whatever

Morwinyon!  They play atmospheric black metal and they do it pretty damn well.  The cover is essentially perfect.  I mean, that's what the record sounds like.  So there you go.



You wouldn't normally associate Ricki Lake with Traci Lords, but they have actually appeared in two films together.  First, they played cool "'drapes" in Cry-Baby (man, I want to be in an awesome gang).  Then they starred in 1993's Skinner.  Traci Lords.  Really, just...I want to talk about Traci Lords.  I mean, I can review Skinner if you want, but Traci Lords.  Back in the 90's (my favorite decade), she might have been the hottest human to have ever existed.  Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or am I right here, you guys?  She's currently 52, and I would still bang her bathtub.  Remember that mediocre industrial rock record she released in 1995?  That was weird, huh?

So Traci Lords.  Goddamn it, no!  I'm going to discuss Skinner now.  Besides, that's why I summoned you to this unsettled, far-flung alcazar of substantial enormity.  Pay no mind to the miniature coffins.  Anyway, this is a sleazeball slasher that finds Ted Raimi flaying all manner of prostitutes.  I should mention that Raimi is playing a character named Dennis, not himself.  It's a compelling performance.  The script attempts to be an abstruse, intellectual study of psychosomatic maladies, but despite admirable efforts, it doesn't know how to carry its own thematic weight.

Let's be honest.  Horror hounds only rented this tape to see estuaries (or tributaries, if you prefer) of blood and acres of female flesh.  To Skinner's credit, it does yield a surplus of both elements.  Lords holds fast to her articles of clothing, and yet, it didn't bother me.  The woman is a work of art, whether she's nude or not.  She fares well as Heidi, a disturbed, deformed lady in black who seems to be stalking Dennis.  Hmm?  It's not as intriguing as it sounds.  She swears to get revenge on the unglued schizoid, but she wastes a zillion opportunities to hack the fucker to pieces.  Does that constitute a spoiler?  I promise that you don't care.

For a movie that didn't leave indissoluble indentations in my seat of affections, Skinner was well-manicured.  Props to director Ivan Nagy for making everything easy to ogle.  He uses jazzy, chromatic filters for nighttime exteriors, and it helps mundane sets pop.  Of course, I don't know if he used filters.  I'm a buffoon when it comes to the technical side of filmmaking, but ah, I know when colors are pretty.  I'm basically an expert.  As I was expertly saying, Skinner isn't too shabby.  The cast is committed, the KNB effects are grotesque, and I suppose I wanted to learn how the plot resolved itself.  That isn't quite the same as being hooked, though.

I wasn't stupefied by anything that this film was offering.  Was it overtly, hawkishly crummy?  No.  My rating is somewhat altruistic because, y'know, Traci Lords.  Traci Lords.



Kiefer Sutherland Sounds Like Adam Carolla

So I watched Shudder's Creepshow animated special.  I didn't want to do a big review or anything, but my opinion is twofold.  On the "yay" side, I love the fact that they are keeping the property active in between seasons of the anthology series.  An animated jubilee is a great idea.  On the "nay" side, still-frame animation?  Why can't it be a standard cartoon?  While "Survivor Type" is a gripping character study, the animation style pulled me out of the narrative on more than one occasion.  And "Circus of the Dead" is just lackluster.

Up next...in the coming days...on this very website...er, something!


Blood Capsule #102


I said that I wasn't reviewing the rest of this series, but Son and Ghost of Frankenstein reside on the same disc.  Why not?  This is where the momentum is fossilized anyway.  I can't execrate the last monster mash to be shot by Universal's A-unit.  The atmosphere is still ghoulish, the cast is still aureate (though a truant Karloff is missed), and the pacing is still alert.  Seasoned director Erle C. Kenton is clearly comfortable framing a genre spectacle.  I didn't know it, but he also helmed 1932's Island of Lost Souls.  Here, the plot feels a bit familiar.  Ygor wants Dr. Frankenstein (that would be the original doctor's other son) to redress and rehabilitate his friend (that would be the monster).  I'm tired of parenthesis.

As with Son, the real villain is Ygor.  Lugosi is captivating, even if he doesn't have quite as much jerk-infused lunacy to feast on.  I'm sorry; I'm referring to the style of cooking native to Jamaica.  Personally, I'm fond of dry-rub jerk spices, but I'm down for a good marinade.  What?  Oh, the movie.  Evelyn Ankers is essentially wasted as Elsa Frankenstein, the generic wife.  That's the thing.  Everyone present is punctually talented, but you get the sense that the congregation is going through the motions.  The precursive film told the story to its natural conclusion.  There is no more tale to tell!  Be that as it may, Ghost is a worthwhile way to keep your corpse on ice.



Ideally, a band will evolve from one album to the next.  I can't believe that this is a hard concept for some bands to grasp ("some" is italicized so as not to implicate Type O Negative).  Metallica seemed shocked by the boomerang recoil fans responded with in answer to their queue of streamlined rock releases in the 90's.  And I don't mean to pick on Metallica; I just need an example.  I remember an interview with Lars where he intimated - I'm paraphrasing here - that they felt damned either way.  "We can't change OR stay the same!  Wah!  I'm a whiny bitch!"  I'm confident that's a direct quote.  In any event, he completely garbled the wishes of his adherents.

Nobody wanted Ride the Lightning IV: Dream Warriors.  By the same token, nobody wanted a collaboration with Mary J. Blige or Montell Jordan, although I contend that "This Is How We Do It" is a sick jam.  Die-hards merely anticipated evolution.  Impose a few tweaks here and there, but leave the core unmolested.  You should never have to return to your roots.  Deracination* kills trees, you dummy.  My point (finally!) is that Type O knew how to evolve, musically and even spiritually.  There is a character arc ranging from Slow, Deep and Hard to Dead Again.  It's a plot without holes.  Somehow, each Type O disc is spun of high quality, and yes, I'm doing a celebratory dance over that pun.  Touchdown, suckers!

The group would have been forgiven for delivering a mellow coda.  Sure, we couldn't have possibly known that this was their swan song, but we knew they were getting older.  I can only speak for myself, but I definitely wasn't envisaging Peter Steele reaching back into his Carnivore bag of tricks and parenting a nest egg of pissy, crotchety riffs that would feel right at home on...well, a Carnivore omnibus.  The title track launches the record with a bombardment of speedy stuff (after the requisite doom intro).  "Tripping a Blind Man" is a top-tier Type O tune.  It has swagger, impassioned vocals, bayonet-sharp lyrics ('You think it's your place to dispense justice/Well, I've been sent to judge the judges'), and canorous harmonies.

"The Profit of Doom" is heavier than a fucking fuck.  Is it a minute or two on the bloated side?  Yeah, but I can live with it.  The songwriting is strong enough to carry protracted track lengths.  "These Three Things" is the sole instance of an epic number being sustained past the point of necessity.  Still, it features gnarly moments that justify its inclusion (Pete screams his giant head off, and it's magnificent).  The pensive "September Sun" can be cloying until the near-supernatural guitar solo soars beyond speakers and into the outer realm.

Kenny Hickey, man!  I'm telling you.  He rips another badass lead in "She Burned Me Down," a sentimental favorite in the Coccaro household.  In totality, I almost want to say that Dead Again is a sentimental favorite.  It comes dangerously close to scoring five Abbaths.  For a Type O Negative experience, it's practically perfect.  You can award your own ratings.  Like every other energized listener, I've always wondered where those four dicks from Brooklyn would have transmigrated as a creative collective.  Would they have looked to October Rust and subsumed their 80's goth influences?  Would they have heaved their hardcore base and focused on their 60's psych influences?  Would they have killed each other???

*The act of uprooting.  The more you know!



Geek Out #143

I'll be finishing my Type O discography review soon, so check this out!  I imagine that if you're a fan of the band, even from a casual standpoint, you've seen this beauty.  If not, it's a very cool, very 90's trip into the mordant minds of the Drab 4.  This was where I first saw the video for "Everything Dies."  Thanks for nothing, MTV!