Bookworm Infested #7


I vividly remember renting Hellraiser with my cousin as a teenager.  I knew of Pinhead, the Lament Configuration and the name Clive Barker.  That's basically all I knew.  I went in expecting Krueger-screened carnival horror, a commodity that the 80's had been known to ferment.  Obviously, I didn't see much of that.  Where was the psychoactive spangle?  Wasn't the lighting supposed to be colorfast?  Why isn't the villain running around with weapon in hand?  For one, I mistook the Cenobites as the real bad guys.  Over the years, I came to appreciate the film series, but deep down, I knew that Barker got it right the first time.  I knew I had to refer to the source material.

I was wrong.  This is a shitty fucking book.  Just kidding!  I'm becoming something of a Barker demagogue.  No, that's not the proper term.  A dogmatist?  That's still too strong.  An enthusiast?  Yeah, that's it!  I'm a goddamn enthusiast, and I'm in the centriole of learning everything I can about the sententious, semen-throated prose pitcher.  Hey, give me some credit.  I waited until the second paragraph to unstrap a blowjob joke.  And I'm no bigot, if that's the charge you're preparing to inveigh next.  I love homosexuals!  Why, I've swallowed more seed than an acreage farm.  I'll have you know that I very nearly poked a hole in...hmm, I would have to backtrack to finger the exact point of deflection, but I seemed to skid abroad and beyond the main topic.

Barker has created an extremely intriguing mythology to wrap his characters around.  I couldn't wait to flip the page, but I found that it was his writing that kept me reading.  He has a way with words, doesn't he?  "Blood-buttered."  That's probably the loveliest adjective my eyes were lucky enough to scour.  There were many other attractive units of language, of course, but what kind of picture did these vocables paint?  Themes of self-control, existential suicide, stagecraft and duplicity underpin what amounts to being a fucked up love story.  The Cenobites are window dressing.  Now, I don't mean to insinuate that the showy gore is negligible.  At the end of the night, this is terror fiction.

Pinhead is never named.  As a matter of fact, The Engineer is the only demon/angel to be designated.  I'm dying to know how these beings were turned into Cenobites.  There is so much to reveal as it relates to The Order of the Gash, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be in line to purchase a hot pressing of The Scarlet Gospels.  It's mind-boggling that literary sequels failed to transpire, unless you count comic books.  Speaking of which, I'm putting Hellraiser comics at the top of my chopping list.  Yahtzee scorecards and soft taco shells will have to wait.


Album Cover of the Week


Blood Capsule #50


This dowdy, callous war drama was distributed by Troma, but don't pick it up thinking that you're in for a stub of barometer-neutral Lloyd Kaufman-style folly.  You want schlock?  Give Toxie a call.  Combat Shock is the cinematic equivalent of an autopsy report.  It's deadly serious, and the perpetuity of plot points is thoughtful in its own unnerving way.  Frankie is a rattled Vietnam veteran suffering from a discounted case of post-traumatic shamrock deficiency (that's what PTSD stands for, right?).  He has no way of supporting his family, and he can't walk twenty paces outside of his apartment without being pestered by gangsters.  Oh, and that's his malformed baby boy staring off into nirvana.

Heh, nirvana.  Remember when that was just a word?  Anywho, Combat Shock ventilates a wide variety of social maledictions.  Hardcore heroin abuse, child prostitution, the sickening spoils of war...ew.  If you're in a good mood, this flick will tug you down into a joyless pothole of mescaline.  I already had the blues, so I could appreciate how well Buddy Giovanazzo directed his low-budget carrion.  The confrontational visuals hit hard.  In all honesty, this is the best Troma release I've ever encountered.  Don't do drugs, kids!


TYPE O NEGATIVE - World Coming Down

It's going to be hard to rise and shine to write this review.  I'll state right off the bat that I dig 1999's World Coming Down, but it's a bleak slog.  Years back, I read an interview with The Man of Steele where he remarked that he was a depressed, drug-benumbed sorehead during the recording of this album.  He didn't like listening to it much because it reminded him of his inner cricks and fidgets.  Now when I listen to it, I think of how we lost an impossibly talented frontman who spent the corpus of his adulthood in the kedge of distress.  You never get anywhere with a corpus in a kedge.  My point is, World Coming Down is a bummer.  While it's true that I listen to mopey metal all the time, this record leaves a dyspathetic gash near my pulmonary valve.

It's hard to explain.  "White Slavery" and "Who Will Save the Sane?" turn my recesses to gruel.  "Everyone I Love is Dead" turns my entrails to polenta.  "Pyretta Blaze" turns my...um, breadbasket to a chunky lobscouse.  I told you it was hard to explain.  Since those sentences didn't make a lick of goddamn sense, I'll repeat the fact that these tunes are a bummer.  You can practically smell the self-loathing.  That's the main reason why I spin this Type O Negative long player (and boy, it's long) less frequently than the others.  Musically, it's indisputably capable.  Kenny Hickey is let loose, and he hurls hostile riffs to the heavens with the mighty strength of a hundred Hulks.

Guitars rung attenuated on October Rust, almost faint.  There is no mistaking World Coming Down as anything other than a guitar-heavy ("Hickey-heavy" sounds wrong) collection of jackhammer dirges.  The opening chug of "Everything Dies" alone seals the deal.  Sexually.  There is plenty of good stuff here, but in my two-faced opinion, we have winks where the boys mimic themselves.  By 1999, their signature moves were set in stone.  I sense that Peter was playing it safe, timorous of alienating core fans any further.  Thus, the songwriting is kept in a predictable vain.  Did the title track really need to extravagate for eleven minutes?

Earlier efforts mixed shit up with puckish gaiety ("My Girlfriend's Girlfriend") and lethal repartee ("Kill All the White People").  World Coming Down doesn't offer spirited experimentation until you reach the finale, a plucky, first-class Beatles medley.  Eh, ratings can be a bitch.  I don't know where I fall on this one.  "All Hallows Eve" is fun as the token horror shanty, but it's not a patch on "Wolf Moon" or "Black No. 1."  The drum machine is in tip-top shape.  I'd probably enjoy World Coming Down more if it smiled every so often.  God, I can't believe I said that.  Abbath says, "God, I can't believe you said that."


The Three B's

On a total whim, I watched Blood, Boobs and Beast earlier today, a documentary about cult maestro Don Dohler.  'Twas enlightening.  I didn't expect it to tug at my heart strings, but it most assuredly did.  I was also flooded with tidbitoids recounting the productions of The Alien Factor (man-o-man, I heart this supreme b-movie), Nightbeast and Blood Massacre.  Highly recommended!

PS-I didn't have much access to my laptop yesterday, so the TON review is still forthcoming.


Magic Dragon of the Week

Currently listening to World Coming Down.  Review forthcoming.


Demon Warrior

NOTE: There is no note.

The Native American burial ground...it's a fixture that we're all familiar with as horror hounds.  It's a common appurtenance.  It's genre gingerbread.  It's terror tinsel.  Man, I need to watch myself; I'm only allowed so much alliteration per review, and I fear that I may have already burned through my annuity.  My gratuitous gratuity?  Knock it off, brain.  So!  Dead Indians.  There is a weird little clique of movies that makes use of evil redskins.  Eek, can I say that?  It feels racist, but if it were truly offensive, Robert Griffin III would be a Washington Polecat or a Washington Tree Apron.  Anyway, this caste of cinematic tomahawks (I'm uncomfortable) includes 1980's Ghost Dance, 1975's Johnny Firecloud, 1978's The Manitou and 1983's Scalps among others.  You could even toss in 1990's Grim Prairie Tales, if you were so inclined.  In terms of plot, 1988's Demon Warrior is most comparable to Scalps.

Incidentally, I haven't seen Scalps.  What's up with that?  In the context of this campfire story, a "demon warrior" is an ancient spirit deputized to pay a visit to an explicit strip of land every ten years.  It has to do with a curse placed on the property in response to the plundering ways of our main character's grandfather.  Goddamn white people.  The grandson decides to be typical and invites his buddies (both fuck and platonic) to go hunting on the hexed tract.  Would you believe that it's the tenth anniversary of his uncle's insoluble death?  You would?  Would you believe that I have a penis for sale?  It's the size of a pony truss bridge.  Er, I didn't tell that joke correctly.  Something about selling a bridge or exchanging gullible genitals for money.  A gangplank maybe?

Needless to say, the cracker youths (I'm still uncomfortable) are executed one by one.  The weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.  That's pretty nifty.  I can roll with it, but the kill sequences are disagreeably edentate.  With the exception of a near-obligatory scalping, there is a shortage of gore.  Nada.  Zot.  Nada and zot.  I'm cool with the titular villain, though.  Motherfucker is built, and that mask is begging to be stocked at Spirit Halloween.  I expected to drown in boredom at some point, but the pace was industrious enough to keep me cognizant.  If I'm being honest, the acting was passable, too.  Remember, this is a film called Demon Warrior.  Standards have been adjusted to fit your screen.

The ending is beyond goofy.  If you don't want it spoiled (wtf lmao), stop reading...now.  Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat's doppelganger enters a trance state to dovetail and synchronize with an electrical storm.  Telepathically, he fries the devilish spirit slicker via controlled bursts of lightning.  And that's how Demon Warrior wraps itself up.  Hey, if you chance upon the tape at a flea circus (a flea market will work as a stand-in), swipe it.  It's as sharp as a haversack of wet leather, but when it comes to b-fuckery, I've weathered worse.  Robert Z'Dar says, "The bitch who plays the callgirl.  With the tits.  If I were her father, my soul would be burning right now."


Album Cover of the Week