A new bloggy depot?

If you've been missing Random Reviews, fret not!  No, the site is not returning, but I have carved out a cozy parking spot on Tumblr.  Click HERE!  It's called Kingdom of the Shatners.  Obviously, I brilliantly named it after the "spiders run amok" flick of the same name.  It will have the same general tone of RR Inc.  One major difference will be the focus on the horror genre ONLY.  No wrestling chatter, no music reviews...just spooks.

I may write full-length movie reviews over there in the future.  Thyme will tail.


Indefinite Hiatus

I've given this a great deal of thought, and I've decided to put the site on hold for a good while.  It may be permanent.  I don't know yet.  Inspiration is lacking, and as I near 30 (*breathes into a brown paper bag*), I feel the need to engender some type of financial...bedrock?  To be frank, I need to be an adult.  Hobbies are fun, but at this very moment, I don't have time for them.  Plus, this particular hobby isn't supporting itself.

If I decide to give it another go, I'll flood the airwaves.  Random Reviews Incorporated will remain, so feel free to dig through the archives, either by date or by column.  I want to thank Erin Williams for her donation, although she may not crave the attention.  You have her to thank for the seventh edition of Bookworm Infested.

I'm off to...do something else!  Actually, for those interested, I'm going to dive into creative writing (my first love).  My e-mail address still works.  The Facebook group is still open.  Reach me if you are inclined.  Lastly, THANK YOU to ANYONE who has read ANYTHING I have EVER written.

Dom Coccaro


Tired Sleepy

Awake not as much.


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.