Matches That Time Forgot #67

Abby isn't just a blaxploitation title.  No, no, no...Abdullah the Butcher (his chums call him Abby) is a hardcore wrestling legend. I'm talking to you like you're a wrestling novice when I would normally write as though I were preaching to the choir.  The reason? I'm an Abby novice.  The man debuted in the 50's (!), so I didn't see his formative bouts.  I'm more than familiar with his gimmick (his own creation, as I understand it).  Permanent scarring paves his scalp from decades of, shall we say, enthusiastic blading.  By late 1991, he was nearing the end of a fabled career and decided to splash his blood around WCW.

In today's match that time forgot, The Butcher is scheduled to face "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton.  Naturally, the match doesn't get started. Eaton is attacked just outside of the ring, and as luck would have it, Cactus Jack joins in on the fun.  Rick Steiner tries to make the save, but he's easily overpowered by the two weapon-wielding maniacs. Charming!  And excessive for pre-Hogan WCW.  You can't hear me, but I'm chanting something about how this is awesome.


Seeding of a Ghost

We're back in Hong Kong for 1983's Seeding of a Ghost, an otherworldly Shaw Brothers production that is just as sleazy as it is baleful.  In fact, the sleaze detracts from the intended effect.  Well, maybe.  It's very possible that the intent was to exploit its (female) cast members, but that's where Seeding takes its eyes off the ball. I'm zooming ahead of myself.  Square one says that this is Asian Zombie Pumpkinhead.  A cab driver's wife is raped and murdered, so the cab driver enlists the ministration of a necromancer to redress those responsible.  Unfortunately, it's the same voodoo daddy that he nearly struck with his car in the opening scene.  Fuck, I'll have to look up names for this shit.

Chau?  I'm pretty sure that the cab driver is named Chau.  Apart from the policemen, he is the only redeemable character on display.  His slain wife is an adulterer and her oh-so-discreet lover is married. And then you've got the rapist, his co-conspirator and the creepy black magic fuck.  We have no compass.  It could be me, but I feel that this stripe of horror needs an emotional anchor.  An emotional purlieu, if you will (no one will).  Director Chaun Yang is too preoccupied with bush and getting to know the disreputable scoundrels.  Ever called a rapist a SCOUNDREL?  That would be weird.  Normally, the plentiful nudity wouldn't bother me, but context is key.  Seeding is oppressively misogynistic, which distracted the hell of me.  And I hate women!  They're all fuckin' whores.

That was a joke.  Everyone, please.  Calm down.  Putting my critic hat back on (a white Phrygian cap, conical headgear associated in antiquity with freed Smurf slaves), I found Seeding to be more digestible once the supernatural stuff started up.  Luckily, the pace never brakes.  This is a concise flick that doesn't stay in one place too long.  The special effects are commendable.  You can tell that the budget was limited, but the gore is purty.  The main gag, I suppose, would be Irene's desiccated corpse coming to life and floating above a bed.  Yeah, wires are visible.  It is what it is.  The most impressive effects arrive in the last ten minutes and have drawn comparisons to John Carpenter's The Thing.

I wouldn't go that far.  However, the "devil fetus" creature IS awesome.  The climax is a plasma-soaked spectacle, but I don't want to make the mistake of overhyping it.  Because when it comes to Seeding of a Ghost, that's what everyone else does.  My goal with any review is to let you know what you're in for and to share my bogus opinion.  This isn't Dead Alive or Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, but it's an entertaining spookshow stamped with an unmistakable 80's vibe.  The flaws are heavy. They won't ruin the film for the majority of genre fans, but they do exist.  I take all of it into account and I ask Robert Z'Dar what he thinks.  He offers, "I had to have more bush."


NXT Round-Up

SANITY CALLS OUT AUTHORS ~ AOP is fucked with.  They have never been dominated in a feud like this, but that could mean that they're going over at Takeover: Brooklyn III.  That's usually how it goes.  Then again, Vinnie Mac isn't pulling the strings.  Who knows?

NEW TEAMS ~ Street Profits finally debut against...The Metro Brothers?  They look like Deuce 'n' Domino-style greasers.  In other words, they didn't resemble metrosexuals.  It matters none, as they were trotted out to be stomped by Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. If you follow NXT somewhat religiously (fucking oxymoron), you'll recognize those names.  They have been haunting developmental for a few years, but it would seem that they have found the right gimmick, the right cranny in which to be ensconced.  Like velvet!  At any rate, the crowd loved them.  Ford is one athletic dude.

STIPS ~ So next week, Drew McIntyre will face Roderick Strong.  If Roddy wins, he will face Bobby Roode after Brooklyn, regardless of who is holding the title.  It's personal.  I dig it.  Man, I can't express how well-booked NXT is, from top to bottom.  Every competitor has an angle.  Doesn't that remind you of a certain era in pro-wrestling? An attitudinal era?  That's right; the New Generation!  Guffaw!

ONEY LORCAN VS. DANNY BURCH ~ Another solid match between these two brawlers.  In all likelihood, there will be a rubber match.  I'm cool with it, but here's my idea.  Maybe the third bout ends in a double disqualification.  A double count-out, let's say. Maybe Lorcan and Birch realize they are each other's in-ring equal. Maybe they decide to forge a tag team.  Maybe I should be hired to write for WWE!?

NO WAY JOSE VS. ANDRADE "CIEN" ALMAS ~ This was supposed to be kind of a rivalry, but it rolls over and dies post-match when Zelina Vega challenges Johnny Gargano on behalf of her associate.  Anticlimactic.  I do like that Vega has assumed the role of manager, as opposed to being a valet.  Unfortunately, NXT brass has no idea what to do with No Way Jose.  It's their own fault for hatching a goddamn dancing gimmick.  And here I just praised the booking team!  The praise stands.  There are no perfect wrestling promotions, but NXT comes awfully close.


Album Cover of the Whatever

Necrolord (a.k.a. Kristian Wahlin) is an amazing artist who just so happens to create album covers for metal bands.  He is responsible for dozens of covers, some of which you're probably familiar with. For instance, he drafted my favorite album cover of all time, Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse.  But for the purposes of today's column, I selected Stortregn's Evocation of Light.  I love those colors!  The record itself is bulging out with melodic death/black metal.  Loads of leads.  Anyway, google Necrolord.  Do it.


Blood Capsule #75


I had zero expectations flying into this cost-effective b-pastry.  Well, that's only partially true.  The film looks better than I had predicted, which would put the budget somewhere in the three-digit range.  It's not fucking Blade Runner, but I was able to surmise that the crew had a telltale inkling of crafty knowledge.  Revenge is palatable to the eye, especially its use of cool (as in "not warm") blues and sci-fi greens.  It doesn't say much for the script that I'm beginning my dinky review by highlighting the color scheme.  The plot is just silly.  An incredulous journalist probes into the practices of a seedy sludge factory.  As far as I can tell, it's a literal sludge factory.  Like the Alice in Chains song!  Anybody?  Milk carton size?  Bueller?

So the reporter congregates with the board of directors and threatens to go public with his findings.  The CEO (or something) takes the soon-to-be radioactive malformation on a tour of the plant to prove that it meets all of the necessary health guidelines.  It doesn't.  The repor...er, Mike is pushed into a vat of chemical gunk.  No, he doesn't turn into The Joker.  He does become gnarled (see above), and by God, Durant is going to pay!  Die, Durant, die!  Okay, Revenge of the Radioactive Reporter isn't 100% original, but it's harmless fun. Relatively speaking, the special effects are modest and presentable. Those are the best adjectives for this flick-a-dee.  It is modest, presentable "rainy afternoon" gaiety.


Be the Worst You Can Be

Trying something a bit different tonight.  This little experiment was catalyzed by an impromptu horror marathon made possible by Roku, YouTube and wired restlessness.  No matter how I settled my bones, I couldn't fucking sleep.  Thank Satan for movies!  Movies, movies, movies.  It's rare that I watch two movies in succession, so surveying three seems herculean in retrospect.  You know what else seems herculean?  My strength!  I am rugged and tenacious.  Why, I have the goddamn strength of ten full-grown carcasses.  The steroids help (the trick is taking more than you're prescribed), sure, but there will NOT be an asterisk next to my anonym in the Horror Blogger Hall of Fame, unless I have to piss in a cup.

I pissed once.  Years ago.  Um, 1987's Blood Frenzy is a dull slasher set in the middle of a desert.  It gets the tiny things right.  A couple of characters are likable to the point where you don't want to slit their throats.  The final act is moderately atmospheric, as it takes place in a mine.  But jeepers Friday, if I wasn't wide-awake fidgety, I would have conked out at the 30-minute mark.  There's a reason why "desert slashers" aren't a subclass of the modern day exploitation film.  Deserts, much like blood frenzies, are bare.  A startlingly low gore quotient and no nudity. One of the supplementary parts is a blonde nymphomaniac, for fuck's sake! Next.

Oh, Lisa Loring plays a bitter cunt.  She was the original Wednesday Addams.  Interesting, yet entirely irrelevant.

1986's Hunter's Blood spends a paunchy, loose-lipped 45 minutes cramming nothing up the viewer's asshole.  It's well-acted, but the plot is far too simplistic for a 101-minute running time.  Speaking of which, we follow a covey of hunters (y'know, hunters) as they quail deep into a forest.  Uh-oh!  They have run aground of bully poachers. Oh, shit!  They're not poachers; they're cannibals!  Are our protagonists about to lose their blood (y'know, blood)?  I'm being flippant, but this might have been the best film that I viewed last night.  Actually, strike "might" from the record.  It was easily the most refined product.  The second half is a marshland of suspense, and fucking orange hell, the violence is brutal.

The cast speaks for itself.  Clu Gulager, Bruce Glover, Billy Drago (hell yes), Charles Cyphers, Kim Delaney...Hunter's Blood doesn't want for stellar acting.  I would describe it as The Hills Have Motel Hells After Taking Wrong Turns.  If you can weather a precarious exposition, you will be rewarded with a quality thriller.  Remain firm. Stand fast.  Win out.

Would you believe that Hunter's Blood was not the fright fare I enjoyed the most out of the motion pictures I fellated?  Execrable word choice, I realize.  I'm tired, okay?  While I recognize that it isn't top-shelf entertainment, I had a blast with 1986's Revenge (a.k.a. Blood Cult 2).  Patrick Wayne is unbelievably stilted as a guy who investigates the death of his brother in a classic small town.  He is aided by an old lady ninja who kicks 78% more ass than anyone else.  No joke, my friend.  Dis bitch is ryde or die!  Once Revenge arrives at the halfway stamp, all bets are off.  We get motorcycle chases, cheese-wadded demons (love the make-up effects) and John Carradine being awesome.

I was literally smiling as the end credits rolled across the screen. Me! Smiling a happy smile!  If this were an episode of Best of the Worst, Revenge would win.  Of course, I would destroy Blood Frenzy, despite it being somewhat tolerable.  "Tolerable" doesn't cut it around here.  Imagine the DVD being crushed under the weight of my wheelchair.  Or VHS tape.  You grasp the basic concept.


Dead Links #19

Holy shit, it's Dead Links!  I brought this column back to promote my current favorite podcast.  It has nothing to do with horror, metal or wrestling.  Can you believe that shit?  It has everything to do with Norm Macdonald, possibly the funniest man alive.  I can't describe why he's so goddamn funny.  It's the combination of his delivery and his material.  He has had a video podcast on YouTube for a few years now, and I've taken the initiative to post my favorite episode. Yes, there is a second part.  Leave it playing in the background and laugh your cock off.


Cripple of Honor

Me with The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels)!  The comic book?  Daniels wrote half of it and both members of The Addiction appear within its pages.

So last night, I attended my first Ring of Honor show.  It was a TV taping, and as ROH fans surely know, they record four episodes at one fell swoop.  My main goal was to see The Young Bucks wrassle. After their match (it was the main event of the third episode), Mom and I called it a night.  By the way, thanks to my mom for driving 90 minutes and sitting through well over three hours of professional wrestling, a leisure pursuit that she does not call a hobby.  That's love, folks.

I'm not going to circulate a blow-by-blow bulletin of the results.  You can find the full card on dirtsheet sites.  I will merely give my general impression of certain talents and the overall ambiance.  Hats off to the dudes who worked the triple-threat dark match.  I couldn't understand their names (something about a monkey?), but in roughly six minutes, they did every move they could do.  Ordinarily, I'd characterize that approach as short-sighted, if not witless, but this wasn't your average card.  Again, it was a TV taping.  Whomever was booking the proceedings ran the risk of draining the crowd, and yet, it didn't.  You have to book for TV.

The ring.  Pre-show.

I'm sounding too clinical.  I had a blast!  I'm just...y'know, writing, which is my biggest weakness.  Before the first episode got underway, we were treated to a Women of Honor match.  Karen Q defeated Stella Wade?  Wayne?  Waverly Place?  Seriously, I couldn't make out much of what the announcer said, and it's a shame.  Stella was sexy as shit.  Of course, her looks are irrelevant. Apparently, this was her first WOH (or ROH, for that matter) bout, and while I'm not up to speed on her credentials, I could tell she was a bit bosky around the fringes.  That's my oblique way of saying that she lacks experience.  Karen Q hasn't been in the game for long, but damn, she comes off as a seasoned veteran.  Legitimately surprised that she hasn't gained access to the NXT performance center.

As soon as the show(s) started, Kazarian cut a promo and turned heel!  Wooooah!  Honestly?  I thought The Addiction was already a villainous duo.  Yeah, this is where I state that I don't follow ROH terribly closely.  I wish I could, but we don't get Comet, the channel that airs their series on a weekly basis (it's The Fight Network for you Canadian marks).  Where was I?  Ah, The Addiction being awesome and worming their way into the main event of the third episode.  You read that correctly.  They interfered in the match that I was most hyped to see...the bastards!

Fortuitously, said match still delivered.  The Young Bucks (my favorite active tag team on Earth) took on The Motor City Machine Guns in a contest that reminded me of 2010.  That was the year I started watching TNA.  Actually, it was the year I started watching wrestling as an adult through "smart" eyes.  Both teams were signed to the TNA roster.  The Bucks were known as Generation Me, and although they weren't quite as polished as they are in 2017, I recall their double-team badassery spoiling my brain.  I would never view WWE's tag team division in the same light ever again.  Naturally, the Guns deserve plaudits for their part in Ye Olde TNA Tags.  Chris Sabin banged Velvet Sky, so they have my eternal respect.

Judging from the conclusion of the third episode, it seems as if The Bucks will defend their ROH Tag Team Championships at War of the Worlds against - wait for it - The Motor City Machine Guns and The Addiction.  Yes, please!  Okay.  The rest of this piece will consist of a bulleted list (stuff I noticed, stuff I enjoyed, stuff that happened in my vicinity) and another photograph.

  • I know Flip Gordon from Being the Elite, but as it turns out, he's exciting to watch in the ring.  One of the best solo high-flyers in the promotion.
  • Sweet heavens, War Machine is a brutal monstrosity of a tag team.  It's no wonder that they lay claim to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.  Scary viking sumbitches.
  • Jay White is one hell of a cruiserweight.  The New Zealand import was unlucky enough to face War Machine.  Yes, he had a partner, but he suffered the brunt of the bumps. Maybe it just felt that way.  Ouch.
  • Brandi Rhodes made her ROH debut, competing in a tag match.  I'm in love with her and I might be a stalker if she learned how to wrestle.  Harsh, I'm aware, but it's clear that she doesn't have it.
  • Speaking of the Rhodes family, Cody grappled during the fourth episode, and if you've been paying attention thus far, you know that I missed him.  Sad emoji.
  • I bought a copy of the comic book pictured above.  I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it looks righteous.
  • I finally...FINALLY own a Bullet Club t-shirt.  That means I'm in the Bullet Club, right?  Right???
You'll have to excuse the quality, but those are The Young Bucks!  Loudest pop of the night.