I doubt that it's considered canon, but for what it's worth, this is presented as a sequel to 1920's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The sets are visually stimulating. And that's where the similarities end. The granddaughter of the original Caligari runs a mental asylum where she conducts controversial experiments on her patients. Our lead character begs the doctor to ameliorate his nympho-psycho wife, even though he doesn't trust her methods. If you told me that the term "art house" was coined to describe this flick, I would believe you. It's relentlessly weird. Abstract dialogue is delivered with a musical cadence, and taboo-exhausting special effects bring David Cronenberg to mind. Why don't we go over some of the acts depicted? You've got your sodomy, your transgender incest, your pedophilia, your cannibalism, your plastic surgery fetishism and your scarecrow crotch fondling. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. It's fun trying to make sense out of the wanton imagery and innumerable metaphors. Dr. Caligari is one cult classic that lives up to its crackpot reputation. Smoke it if you can find it.
I have ghoulish goodies being anointed in the Random Reviews laboratory (of madness). A blood capsule, a new edition of Vanity Scare (!), an album review and more! I probably just made your day, didn't I?
First of all, that's not my picture. I found it on Facebook, but it's from the show that I attended. Most of my pictures came out shitty except for one, and it's at the bottom of this post. So that kind of sucked. HOWEVER! It was a badass concert. I had a good fucking time, and all of the bands were in fine form. Let's go in chronological order... -- We left early so that there would be ample time for a sinewy powerhouse meal. I had a hamburger stacked with onion rings. It was so goddamn manly, it added weight to my dick. And my dick was already fucking enormous. All of those stricken with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (the rare condition I have) are blessed and bedecked with bulbous boners at birth. That's not true. Yes, it is. -- The opening band? Newcomers Black Crown Initiate. I heard that they bought their way onto the tour, which wouldn't surprise me. Their only release is a four-track extended player. I would describe them as a progressive "djent" unit. Imagine Opeth transfused with Meshuggah. Trust me; it's not as epic as it sounds, but I did enjoy their set. They have a freighter load of potential. -- Next up? Motherfucking Inquisition. If you're not savvy to this grim-as-cunt two-piece black metal dreadnought, I pity you. I've been getting into them quite heavily for a couple of years now, so I was stoked to see them on the bill. On my way into the venue, I passed vocalist/guitarist Dagon and we exchanged pleasantries. For two Colombian dudes (the band was founded in South America, although they are currently stationed in Seattle), they emit imposing, stentorian vibrations. They don't need a bass guitar to rankle your solar plexus. Personally, they left my tummy in a tizzy, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
If you're curious about their brand of riff-driven black metal, I recommend checking out "Darkness Flows Through Unseen Horizons" and "Command of the Dark Crown." Admittedly, the frog vocals are an acquired taste, but I dig that shit.
-- 1349? It's a number. It's also the next band in the batter's box. Prior to the evening's entertainment, I had heard a modest spattering of their music, but I had no real opinion of them. 1349 simply existed. After the evening's entertainment, I consider myself to be a fan. They aren't reinventing the pentagram, but their jams are so caustic, it's hard not to be stimulated. I plan on buying Hellfire, which seems to be their magnum opus. On a sidenote, frontman Ravn has serious stage presence. -- The penultimate ass kickers? Goatwhore, a favorite Cajun cuisine of mine. This was my second time seeing them live, and they did not disappoint. Fuck, I love Goatwhore. Before the festivities kicked into high gear, I promised myself that I would go easy on the headbanging. I really didn't want my neck to be in the throes of discomfort the following morning. Well, that token of circumspection went out the fucking window mere seconds into "The All-Destroying." That was the opener, and what a fine opener it was! Luckily, we were treated to a cut off of the forthcoming Goatwhore release (!). I am happy to report that it's a proper scorcher. -- And your main event? Behemoth! They put on a killer piece of extreme metal theater. Nergal locked eyes with me and actually smiled. He threw me a SWEET pick. The whole thing was awesome. The lighting, the sound, the costumes...you name it, it was awesome. I do declare, the material from The Satanist is ferocious in a live setting. Oy, I'm tired of maundering. Better wrap this up. Here is Inferno's godly kit.
Tomorrow night, I'm seeing Behemoth, Goatwhore and Inquisition. It will be the most metal Wednesday in the history of mankind. I shall write about my experience. I'll probably rest my brain until then. Stay tuned!
How about a legitimately good film for a change of pace? Hey, I live for schlock, but my body does not bounce back from a cheese-only diet. My figure is excitable, mercurial you might say. I've been known to gain weight just from peering at kaiju posters (the burbling one-sheet for Varan: The Unbelievable cost me a couple of dress sizes). 1988's Pin has a sterling reputation amongst serious horror nerds. I knew that it was held in high favor, but since when do expectations - grand or pragmatic - guarantee anything? In the case of this Canadian crumb of psychosomatic horror, you would be well-advised to believe the hype. Leon's father is a doctor. Often times, he and his kid sister (Ursula) fritter the time away by sitting in on Dad's patient visits. I'm pretty sure that's illegal, but whatever. Oh, I forgot to mention that Dr. Papa is portrayed by Terry O'Quinn. He gives off "stepfather" vibes. If you think that's creepy, keep fucking reading. He entertains his bored brood by anthropomorphizing a medical dummy and giving it a voice through amateur ventriloquism. At first, Pin (short for Pinocchio) acts as a harmless educational tool. Both Leon and Ursula (aged 7 and 5, respectively...sorry for the parenthesis overkill) believe it to be real. Six years later, we see that Ursula has cracked the code. She has debunked her father's gambit, but her older brother isn't quite as perceptive. Poor, poor Leon. For various reasons that I'll denominate in a minute, his mental faculties never stabilize. His views of sexuality are warped, to say the least. Of course, watching a nurse violate the anatomically correct Pin as an impressionable youth probably didn't help matters. Ew. But how unstable are we talking here? Well, Leon learns how to ventriloquize (???) and begins to speak for Pin. At this point, he can be classified as a full-blown schizophrenic adult. The parents are now dead. As for Ursula, she's trying to deal. Satan bless her, she genuinely loves her brother in spite of his cerebral cachexia. Okay, I've spent way too much of this review expatiating on the synopsis. Normally, that's a no-no, but it's important that you know exactly what Pin is about. The script is rich with subtext, the people are three-dimensional and the acting is incredible. All of the players nail the nuances of their given roles. Cynthia Preston deserves an honorable footnote for her sensible, informal performance as the ripened Ursula. There is such a strong emphasis on character dynamics, the viewer develops empathy for each of the main troupers. Get it? Troupers? On a sidenote, V.R. Troopers is superior to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers in almost every conceivable way. Pin is deep, but it also ticks as a menacing genre flick. The mannequin itself is spookier than thou (I may have just named the next Rob Zombie album), and the score is a mishmosh of gnarled reverberations. Grievances? Arraignments? Citations? Eh, I can't point to a recognizable flaw, which isn't to say that Pin is the meridian of filmmaking. It's fucking awesome, though. FACTOID: Director Sandor Stern wrote the screenplay for The Amityville Horror.
My name is Dom Coccaro. I'm an established freelance writer. I like to write reviews, but I find that it's hard to find review-writing gigs on the Internet that pay more than $0.00. I don't like being boxed in and I don't like to constantly give my writing away for free, especially if it's not on my own website. So I created this blog. I'm free to review anything I want to, though I'll be mainly focusing on horror, metal and wrestling. Often times, my review selections will seem incredibly random. Randomness is underrated. Thus, Random Reviews has been birthed from my cavernous vagina.
PS-This blog is rated R for profane language.