Dead Links #9

In 2012, the Internet is saturated with fansites.  You can find a review of virtually any movie that was ever released (and some that weren't).  For would-be journalists such as yours truly, it's hard to stand out amongst the crowd and make a dent with your own findings.  I'm old enough to remember when there were only a handful of sites that catered to bizarro, singular tastes.  Okay, it wasn't that long ago, but I sure do feel ancient.  Badmovies.org was one of the haunts wherein I would perch in the days before there were enough blogs to constitute a "blogosphere."  There was no Facebook, no YouTube, no Random Reviews Incorporated...God, can you imagine?

I was pleased to see that Badmovies.org is still kicking.  Obviously, they specialize in cheese, as evidenced by the example I have given (I'm not convinced that Munchies and Munchie exist in the same universe).  The reviews are fun and exceedingly detailed.  Check it out when you're not busy writing Harvey Korman fan fiction.


Title of Post

I'm giving myself an off day.  I think I deserve it.  Obviously, I still have quite a bit of archiving to do, but I hope to knock some of it out over the weekend.

PS-If you've never read one of the many Batman vs. Predator comics, you should.  Make it happen.  I'm serious.


Carnosaur 3: Primal Species

This is the end, my only friend.  The end.  Ew, that's how suicide notes start.  Wouldn't it be funny if some guy killed himself and left a review of Carnosaur 3: Primal Species as his suicide note?  That would be awesome.  I would do it if it weren't for the whole "dying" thing.  I'm veering off-course...while putting this trilogy to bed enchases a dispiriting wrinkle into my brow, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't itching to leave this abstract mezzotint behind me.  I need to spend time away from crass, churlish schlock.  It's for my own good.  But these reviews were necessary.  I had to get them out of my system.  Carnosaur 3 is a film I hadn't seen since I was an ostracized teenager, so I was looking forward to revisiting an old friend.

Now I know why we lost touch.  This direct-to-video washout is more generic than those jugs of brand-free juice you see at the supermarket that are only identifiable by their flavors (or rather, their colors; they all taste like sugar water).  The first act consists of military grunts wielding modernized muskets.  The second act consists of military grunts acting tough and slogging afoot in a dingy warehouse.  The third act consists of military grunts dodging dinosaurs on a ship.  By the way, the pluvial climax is accompanied by a score "modeled after" Alan Silvestri's tribal Predator theme.  Man, these flicks laugh in the face of dignity.

If you've seen Carnosaur 2, then Carnosaur 3 will give you a few reasons to scratch your head.  What's with all the references to itching and scratching?  Anyway, the late Rick Dean played a major role in the second entry.  He wasn't the lead, mind you, but he was one of the last people to be dispatched.  Here, he appears in another major role...as a different character.  The fuckity-fuck?  Moreover, the two characters are practically the same dude.  They are both bawdy, chauvinistic class clown types.  Again, the fuckity-fuck?  Dean isn't alone in his duality.  Mad TV regular Michael McDonald has bit parts in Carnosaur 2 and 3...as different characters.  I demand an explanation!

On the upside, the effects are decent, and I managed to stay awake until the closing credits crept onto the screen.  The action sequences are competent, which is how I would describe Carnosaur 3: Primal Species as a whole.  Have you ever recommended a movie on account of it being competent?  It's just bland.  I watched it three hours ago, and I can barely remember plot specifics.  It's not terribly gory.  Ugh.  If I was forced at gunpoint to hazard a guess, I would wager that the crew was comprised of "C" students.  That may seem harsh, but it's most likely true.  Robert Z'Dar says, "I'm honestly surprised that I didn't star in at least two of these fuckers."


Shitty Webcam Movie Review Site Update I Have Heartburn #15

Click HERE to listen to the podcast that I guested on.  I talk about it in the video, as well as Dean Ambrose.  And not much else.  It's pretty boring.


Panels From Beyond the Grave #27

Guess who's back?  Bob!  That's right, kids...part-time Random Reviews contributor Bob Ignizio returns to help out in the comic book department.  Personally, I'm not terribly familiar with Deadpool, but cripes golly, that cover is badass!  I may have to pick up a copy.  As always, I will advise you to click HERE to check out Bob's movie-oriented website.  Take it away, daddy-o!

DEADPOOL (#1, November 2012)

Deadpool is one of those comic book characters that I never really bothered with in the past. I read a few issues of Daniel Way's run of the character and thought they were okay, but even with having access to the series for free at my local library, I didn't bother sticking with it. Before all you fans jump down my throat, I'm not saying the book was bad; it just didn't grab me personally. However, when I heard that comedians Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan would be writing the first issue of Deadpool for its "Marvel Now" relaunch (with original Walking Dead artist Tony Moore handling the illustrations), I figured I'd give the book another chance. As it turns out, I'm reasonably glad I did.

No familiarity with Deadpool's previous exploits is necessary to jump right in with Deadpool #1. Duggan, Posehn and Moore follow the old axiom of "show - don't tell," laying out the basic premise of the “merc with a mouth” in a sequence teaming Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson) with Thor to dispatch some hapless Godzilla wannabe in gleefully gory fashion. With just a few panels, you get an understanding of Deadpool's personality (smart ass), powers (healing factor) and weaknesses (permanently disfigured and slightly insane), as well as where he stands in the larger Marvel universe (not exactly Mr. Popular) without a single panel wasted on bland exposition. That's how it should be with a first issue starring an already established character.

The story proper concerns a necromancer unhappy with the current state of America who decides to resurrect all the dead presidents, which sounds almost rational compared to some of the things Republicans have been saying and doing since Mitt Romney lost the election. Anyway, Captain America is on the scene and manages to take out zombie Harry S. Truman, but it's decided that it just doesn't look good having America's most patriotic superhero decapitating her former leaders. The job of putting the undead presidents back in the ground needs to go to someone not directly connected to the government, someone whose actions can be plausibly disavowed when things get ugly. Someone like Deadpool.

Deadpool is a character who has always walked a fine line between comedy and more straight-forward comic book action, with the character especially known for his habit of “breaking the fourth wall” and addressing the reader directly. The issues by Daniel Way that I read tended to tilt more to the latter than the former. Duggan and Posehn, as their background in comedy would indicate, take the opposite approach. The general tone here is like an early Peter Jackson film or maybe something from Troma if Troma had budgets and decent scripts (in other words, there's a lot of violent, tasteless humor).

Moore's artwork further accentuates that approach by utilizing a more overtly cartoony style than generally found in mainstream superhero books. It all adds up to a fun, if not exactly essential, read. Basically if you're looking for a comic book that offers superhero action, laughs and gross-outs in about equal measures (and you've already read Garth Ennis's far superior and more overtly satirical The Boys, which recently came to an end), Deadpool #1 is worth checking out.


Carnosaur 2

I may have mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again.  I have a sick, credulous obsession with insouciant Alien ripoffs.  My zest for Aliens ectypes is even stronger.  I need help.  It's bad enough that I use words like "ectype" and "insouciant."  I'm already fighting an uphill battle.  I have to go and add a dogmatic appetite for vanilla, shopworn b-movies to my list of hang-ups?  Yes.  Yes, I do.  When screenwriter Michael Palmer was commissioned to churn out a script for Carnosaur 2, he saw an opportunity to apply the skills he learned in high school.  I'm not referring to masonry chops or mathematical sagacity.  No, I'm talking about the skills that I, too, picked up along the way.  Palmer banked on his ability to cheat.

Did you procrastinate and wait until the last second to draft your term paper?  No problem!  Just do what Palmer did when he was being tyrannized by a remorseless deadline.  He took that empty screen and filled it with the script for Aliens.  Copy.  Paste.  Replace character names.  Replace "xenomorph" with "dinosaur."  BLAMMO!  Now, I'm not saying that Carnosaur 2 is marginally derivative of a certain James Cameron epic; I'm saying that it's a fine example of decreed plagiarism.  I won't bore you by recapitulating all of the similarities between the two sci-fi/action hybrids (hop over to IMDb for a systematic rundown).  What will I do?  I'll simply tell you what you already know in your heart to be true...this insurrectionary sequel is a hoot!

The question is, how much of a hoot?  I've spent hours - no, years reflecting on this.  I can't decide which film I prefer.  Carnosaur or Carnosaur 2?  Goddamn it, it shouldn't be so laborious picking a favorite.  I'm susceptible to leaning in the original's direction, if only because it's darker and weirder.  This camp composite does lay claim to more burnished production values, more likeable characters and...well, more dinosaurs.  For the record, the central critters are Velociraptors this time around.  We still get a T-Rex, and ironically, it's the same robot model that was utilized in the first film.  For the most part, miniatures and mechanical puppets subsume the footage that survived the editing stage.

With the exception of two gnarly scenes, the gore is discouragingly sparse.  I dug the special effects, though.  The budget couldn't have been too ponderous, but director Louis Morneau excels with the resources available.  He has a knack for assembling carnage and high-octane violence on a large scale.  If you need proof, watch Bats (a fun romp in its own right...don't lie to yourself).  As obtuse as the protagonists are, I wanted to see them escape unscathed.  I realize that I've neglected to provide a synopsis, but c'mon.  A team of whatevers (I'm guessing electricians) in cramped quarters.  Toss in dinosaurs.  This isn't rocket surgery.  On a sidenote, wouldn't it be neat if brains were rockets?  Jesus, it's late.

If I could, I'd grant Carnosaur 2 a precise decimal rating.  3.28 maybe?  For what it's worth, this is easily the best R-rated dinosaur movie from 1995.  It's also the worst.


Album Cover of the Week

Tomorrow, the epic trilogy review continues!



Any metalhead worth his salt knows about G//Z/R.  What does that even mean?  I'm worth my salt...seriously, what does that mean?  Why salt, and what if my salt is worthless?  Am I worthless?  Is the value of a sodium-based crystalline mineral directly tied to acumen?  My brain hurts.  So G//Z/R is a side project led by Black Sabbath bassist and all-around badass Geezer Butler.  Nevermind the fact that the band's name is spelled differently on each release.  I'm calling this a G//Z/R record.  Emancipated in 1995, Plastic Planet should have left an austral, sweltering crater in the earth's crust.  But it didn't.  It should have appealed to obdurate traditionalists and vernal grooveheads alike.  But it didn't.

I should be knee-deep in pussy.  But I'm not.  My point is, this album fed proto-sludge through a 90's filter, and the resultant riffage struck a balance between Paranoid and Demanufacture.  I referenced a Fear Factory opus because Burton Bell lends his caveman vocals to this slammin' set of tunes.  That's why I find it hard to believe that G//Z/R flew under the radar.  Is diminutive marketing to blame?  It may have something to do with the outfit's capricious, herky-jerky line-up.  Bell exited the fold for 1997's Black Science, and the project was lodged on the backburner for eleven years (Geezer's other gig took precedence, and rightfully so).  Still, Plastic Planet is strong enough to subjugate a prolonged period of dormancy.

Meat and potatoes.  That's what the music reminds me of.  I'm pretty sure that ending a sentence with "of" is frowned upon, but fuck it.  Today, I'm a morphology mutineer!  Earlier, I intimated that this record blended the sonic quirks of Paranoid and Demanufacture.  And that's accurate.  The riffs weigh a ton, but there is plenty of variegation where tempo is concerned.  On the slow side of the spectrum, we have the monolithic "Catatonic Eclipse" and the baleful "Seance Fiction."  Meanwhile, "House of Clouds" and the savage title track serve up double-bass brutality courtesy of Journey skinsman Deen Castronovo.  Yep, Journey.  Needless to say, Geezer's bottom end can be felt in the organic, full-bodied production.  No compression here!

Bell's throaty screams are as magnificent as ever, though his precarious clean vox can be disorienting.  He wouldn't reach his meridian until Obsolete.  That's not a bad thing per se; I'm just biased towards Obsolete (it's my personal favorite Fear Factory album).  Squawks and/or imputations?  I'm not big on "Cycle of Sixty," an acoustic ballad that has "b-side" written all over it.  Also, the lyrics are spotty.  "Drive Boy Shooting," in particular, comes off as self-important drivel.  "Detective 27" focuses on Batman.  Okay.  These are minor pitfalls, you understand.  Plastic Planet will kick you in the balls.  Recommended to fans of Black Sabbath, Fear Factory, Pantera, Machine Head, Crowbar, Pentagram and Die Antwoord.  Well, maybe not Die Antwoord.


Geek Out #72

I thought I'd post something to celebrate the holiday.  Y'know, the one that matters.




Today, 1993's Carnosaur is a source of calumniatory gibes from b-movie savants.  These cheap shots are deserved and good-natured, but I realized something yesterday afternoon.  This flick isn't so bad.  For years, I put it on a pedestal out of playful irony.  It will never be confused for a landmark achievement in the genre; that much is true.  However, it's not quite the absurd buffoonery that I remember it being.  For every scene of a spurious dinosaur puppet mangling some poor bastard's innards, there is a purposeful stroke of refractory nihilism.  No, really.  Carnosaur is fucking bleak.  Don't believe me?  Check out the downbeat denouement where our protagonist is honeycombed with bullets and set on fire.  Damn.

Of course, the heavy themes of oracular misanthropy are buoyed by wild gore and tacky special effects.  It's plain to see how Carnosaur earned its reputation.  The sequels didn't help in that regard.  I wouldn't dare complain about the film's elemental schlock, though.  I have vivid memories of renting it from the video store as an itsy-bitsy scalawag.  My dad let me pick the movie that night, and I was still beaming from catching Jurassic Park at the multiplex.  I was a dino freak, so I was prone to buying tupperware if it was emblazoned with a prehistoric creature (and by "buying," I mean "needling my parental units until they caved in and bought it for me").  We took home Carnosaur.  I was dumbfounded by the gut-gnashing, the limb-tearing and the face-purging on display.

As I recall, this was the bloodiest motion picture I had seen up to that point.  Did it bother me that it was a blatant cash-in?  No.  In actuality, the screenplay's source material was published six years before Michael Crichton wrote his 'saur story.  Most fans forget that Carnosaur is based on the 1984 novel of the same name.  But that doesn't change the fact that the premise was retooled beyond recognition and fast-tracked by Roger Corman to capitalize on the miasmic success of Jurassic Park.  The book centered around a zoo in England.  The "adaptation" focuses on a mad scientist in the middle of nowhere.  Dr. Tiptree (as portrayed by a miscast, yet inspired Diane Ladd) is tinkering with the DNA of chickens in an effort to hatch a regiment of dinosaurs.

In her opinion, humans should return the earth to its rightful owners.  After all, we have managed to fuck it up in an alarmingly short amount of time.  She has a point, but shit, she gives new meaning to the term "proactive."  Personally, I would draw the line at pushing a reptilian carnivore out of my twat.  Luckily for Dr. Tiptree, her bundle of joy opts to stage an impromptu C-section.  Break out the cigars?  Switching gears, I found the pace to be rewardingly expeditious.  This is a fleet-footed flick, and unless you're nuzzled by fatigue, your eyes should be cleaved to the screen like ivy.  I'm aware of Carnosaur's infirmities.  My judgment isn't entirely clouded by nostalgia.

For starters, the sexual tension between Doc (a lackadaisical Raphael Sbarge) and Thrush (a wooden Jennifer Runyon) is piss-poor.  Their chemistry is forced, and I didn't buy their bullshit for a single second.  By the way, whatever happened to Runyon?  This was her last role.  Ouch.  None of the characters are engaging, save for Clint Howard's nuanced interpretation of a truck driver.  That dude rules.  If you don't consider yourself to be a disciple of the divinity that is Clint Howard, I have zero respect for you.  Don't even look at me.  Get out of my goddamn house!  Woah, sorry.  It's just that this is a touchy subject.  I can't believe that liberals are trying to take Clint Howard out of the constitution!

Where was I?  Ah, yes...my other objection.  As much as I appreciate writer/director Adam Simon's creature of choice (the main dinosaur is a Deinonychus, a distant relative of run-of-the-mill raptors), he doesn't exploit his primary beastie to its full potential.  I understand that he was dealing with a slim budget, but I wanted more action.  Thankfully, the follow-up delivered demolition on an elaborate scale.  And that's my cue to stop typing.  Carnosaur is ambrosial cheese traced with grim undertones.  If you ask me, it's a complement to the very film it sets out to emulate.  Mmmmm, I can't resist that Corman stench!


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #14

I review the new Deftones record and I dish on King Animal.

You can almost hear the footsteps...

I'm posting a video tonight, but tomorrow...oh, tomorrow.  Mark your calendar, for it begins.  Here is your second (and final) clue.

Clue #2


Matches That Time Forgot #48

Don't watch this match.  Don't even read this column.  I have unearthed a new low.  Ladies and gentleman, your complaints about Sunday's Survivor Series may be valid, but at least the card wasn't blighted by this mishap.  From 2005's Survivor Series, I present Eric Bischoff versus Theodore Long.  Jesus goddamn Christ.  It doesn't take long for the "boring" chants to ensue.  I don't know the storyline leading up to this melee, and I don't want to know.  It wouldn't make a difference anyway.  Cripes, what am I doing with my life?  Was I put on this planet to watch Bischoff apply the weakest rear-naked choke in the history of feigned combat?  Is this part of God's plan?

So after five minutes of cock-and-ball torture, The Boogeyman appears.  I shit you not.  Why the fucking Boogeyman?  Because...um, he was comin' to get Bischoff.  For some reason.  In my veridical opinion, this tripe outpaces the debut of The Gobbledy Gooker as the most insulting moment from any Survivor Series.  I will concede that random Boogeyman sightings would drastically improve WWE's television product.


Album Cover of the Week



Real updates will start pouring in on Monday, but I thought I'd mention that I'll be recording a podcast soon for Super Marcey.  The topic?  Universal horror movies.  Should be fun.  I'll be sure to notify my adoring fans when the 'cast is posted.


Things I'm Working On

Just a quick update.  I'm behind on my Rue Morgue intake, but instead of covering every issue that I've missed, I'm going to focus on the uber-cool Halloween issue.  I've also obtained an old Fango.  Sweeeet!

A match that time forgot, a panel from beyond the grave and an album review are all in your future.  And then there is the epic trilogy...what could it be???  No, the above image is not a clue.  It's simply rad.


The Most Epic Series of Reviews Ever

Next week, I begin my AWESOME trilogy review.  What trilogy is it?  Over the next few days, I'll be dropping clues.  This is so goddamn exciting.

Clue #1


Blood Capsule #24


If this film was permeated with baseless gore and categorically wanton nudity, it would be heralded as distinguished cheese.  Alas, The Stay Awake is flummoxed junk.  I'm not even sure how to go about contriving a synopsis.  Let's see...a serial rapist is sentenced to death in America.  30 years later, he haunts a boarding school in Europe.  And I'm immediately baffled.  Why Europe?  Don't worry; the script poses more questions that it has no intention of answering.  Our arbitrary poltergeist spooks a group of girls by manifesting as an effusion of lambent light, an ambulatory firehose and a clammy lizard demon.  The good news is that we get to see a ridiculous creature suit.

The bad news?  Well, The Stay Awake fucking sucks.  Nothing happens during the first act.  Writer/director John Bernard doesn't settle on a main character until late in the game, and by then, I was ready to torch the tape.  Apparently, a "stay awake" is a slumber party, but of course, all of the cute girls in attendance remain clothed.  We're cheated out of a shower scene.  That's a big no-no, in my book.  So yeah, fuck this movie.  The pace is disinclined, the ending is ambiguous and most importantly, we're cheated out of a shower scene.  To be fair, Bernard has an eye for sublime visuals (I dug the POV shots).  I'm surprised that this dud is his only credit to date.

Did I mention that we're cheated out of a shower scene?  Grrrr...


Shitty Webcam Movie Review Site Update I Have Heartburn #13

I weigh in on defective organs.


Demon Queen

Sometimes, I enjoy writing movie reviews.  Sometimes, I don't.  Certain films make the process more laborious than it needs to be.  Take Demon Queen, for instance.  I dread spending an hour expounding on its panoptic atrocity, but for some ungodly reason, I decided long ago that this website would be updated daily.  And I have nothing else to write about.  Jesus, why me?  Pity me, dear reader.  Hold my hand with succor in your eyes as I muster the strength to slobber four paragraphs onto my keyboard.  Check my pulse regularly.  I have a feeling that it will fade halfway through, but I'll do my best to conserve my puissance.  Heh, puissance.  What a stupid fucking word.

Okay, so why am I in such a pissy mood?  I wanted to dig Demon Queen.  It's a shot-on-video cheapie from 1986 that has eluded digital media for over a decade.  Earlier this year, Massacre Video (an underground distribution company that re-releases obscure shockers on both DVD and VHS) rolled out a swank version of Donald Farmer's lascivious debut, but you still won't be able to find it on Amazon.  It may never be widely available.  If you don't get a chance to own a copy, don't worry yourself into a conniption fit.  From where I stand, you're not missing an imponderable showpiece.  Demon Queen is a 53-minute farrago of shoddy editing and tedious dream sequences.  "But Dom, it's low-budget."  No, no, no, no, no...you don't understand.

Several shots linger for WAY too long, the audio drops out and the credits are glutted with typographical errors.  If there is one thing I can't stand, it's poor spealling.  In all fairness, Farmer was smart enough to keep the running time at bay.  The "plot" follows Lucinda, a succubus who tantalizes men and kills them after coitus.  She inexplicably fixates on a drug dealer and crashes on his couch.  Where did she live before she met this dude?  I don't know.  Anyway, Lucinda's bite victims (yes, bite victims; demons are vampires, I guess) return as melting zombies.  How?  Again, I don't know.

We are canonized with a couple of bright spots.  The special effects are quite convincing, and the last five minutes feel like they were extracted from an honest-to-Satan horror film.  I'm a sucker for tacky lighting.  Plus, I'd be a bold-faced liar if I said that Mary Fanaro didn't give a poised, hypnotic performance as the titular archfiend.  She's a real actress.  It's a shame that the leaden pace dashes any hope of engrossing entertainment.  Demon Queen isn't the worst SOV production I've endured, but fuck, I wouldn't even recommend it to my enemies.  I'm willing to give Donald Farmer a second try, though.  I'd love to grab Vampire Cop or Scream Dream.  Hey, I survived four paragraphs!  Do I win a medal?  No?  Right.


Parts Unknown #110: NXT

NXT has quietly become one of the best wrestling shows on TV (well, it doesn't air on TV, but you know what I mean).  Most of us remember it as a kayfabe competition where green indie names pretended that they were fighting for something really, really important.  In the grand scheme of WWE's furnishings, the first season was the only showboat to produce a coterie of future stars.  Granted, the dire mishap that was Season 3 gave us A.J. Lee, but it didn't take long for NXT to cannibalize itself.  It was unwatchable.  Credit Triple H for debugging the developmental system.

As it stands, NXT is basically FCW on steroids.  I can forgive it for violating the wellness policy.  Does its mixed roster of major-league midcarders and minor-league abecedarians ply enough untapped talent to serve up an hour's worth of spiffy sports entertainment?  Read this necropsy of the Halloween episode to find out.  NOTE: I believe that this was the 10/30 installment of NXT, but you'll have to allow for a week-sized margin of error.


~ The Uso's kick off the festivities with a clean victory over Michael McGillicutty and Johnny "Fandango" Curtis.  Now this is what I like to see!  Rikishi's pups click with the cramped crowd, as they flaunt their well-oiled double-team methodology.  We get a post-match staredown between the stylin' Samoans and The Ascension.  Who are The Ascension?  They remind me of a modern day Brood.  I would expect them to debut on either Raw or Smackdown in the spring of 2013.

~ I will readily admit that I don't know much about Leo Kruger, but he impressed the hell out of me.  His menacing "hunter" gimmick smacks of The Stalker.  Without the wonky make-up.  Actually, he strikes me as a photogenic evolution of Waylon Mercy.  I approve.

~ Dusty Rhodes sets up a fatal four-way main event for next week involving Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Bo Dallas and Justin Gabriel.  It's interesting that they ignore 3MB.  It's almost as if NXT exists in a parallel universe.  The promos are lukewarm, but I'm listing this as a pro because The American Dream still rocks.

~ Roman Reigns has a tremendous look.  He was previously known as Leakee in FCW, and it's obvious why officials were eager to repackage him.  Yet another Samoan.  Man, those guys take bumps in the uterus.

~ The US Championship match between Antonio Cesaro and Tyson Kidd.  Yep.  Needless to say, the technical mat wrestling kicks ass, and both men hit every mark.  Fucking perfection.


~ I dig Big E. Langston, but he desperately needs to refine his mic skills.  I had no idea what he was babbling about.  And the whole "five count" thing?  No.  Just no.  That's an insult to King Kong Bundy.  In my opinion, they should pair Big E. up with a manager.  Or slit his throat.  Whichever.

Do what you can to catch an episode of NXT.  I had to download a torrent, but I suppose that subscribing to Hulu is a viable option.  Ah, fuck it; download this bitch.  It's a cool show.

Album Cover of the Week


Geek Out #71

Embedding disabled upon request.  Goddamn it.  Follow the link to see a rare interview with Tim Curry from 1975 about his role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It's funny...I loathed the film as a child, but nowadays, I appreciate its quizzical camp.  If you ask me, Phantom of the Paradise is the superior rock opera.  That doesn't take anything away from Curry's sheer brilliance, though.



And the winner is...

The Random Reviews Hollowgiving Giveaway has ended.  A random drawing has produced a winner.  That winner is...hold onto your bowels...J.J. Ulizio!  I've sent a message to the lucky fellow.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  I'll be back tomorrow.  In the meantime, read the stuff I posted yesterday.  It's neat.


Dead Alive

Or Braindead.  Whichever.  I know it as Dead Alive, but my favorite poster is adorned with the Kiwi title.  Regardless of its colloquial handle, this is an amazing film.  It's a testament to the virtues of practical, in-camera effects.  Every time I watch it, I'm simply astounded by what Peter Jackson was able to accomplish on a relatively slender budget.  Having said that, I prefer Bad Taste.  I won't jockey back and forth between two reviews, but I will say that this zombie epic is trammeled by lovey-dovey bathos.  Maybe it's because PJ's tale of an intergalactic fast food conglomerate didn't leave enough space for maudlin romance, but it seemed to be liberated by its all-male cast.  The script didn't concern itself with sexual tension.

I'm digging a sexist hole.  Look, love angles can work.  It's just that the one in Dead Alive feels forced.  However, that's the last negative thing that I'm allowing myself to say about this splatter sestina.  Fuck, it's gory.  The goriest of all time?  Eh, it's proximately impossible to measure a movie's sanguinary units.  Of course, there aren't many genre flicks that you could call serious contenders.  I haven't seen the uncut version of Premutos.  It's certainly German enough (???).  The only shocker that springs to mind is Philosophy of a Knife, but its four-hour running time gives it an unfair advantage.  Who knows?  For that matter, who cares?  Quality supplants quantity, and Dead Alive rollicks in some of the best-looking bloodshed ever captured on celluloid.  Plus, the editing doesn't flinch.

Modern day plasma merchants ignore a basic rule in splatterology (consider that term coined) - we need to be able to see the carnage in scabrous, disagreeable detail.  Don't cloak your prosthetic limbs in extravagant cuts and muted lighting.  I'm preaching to the choir, but hey, this shit is worth overstating.  Does Dead Alive have anything to offer besides entrail-gashing velitation?  Surprisingly, yes.  PJ is well-versed in physical comedy, steady pacing and brisk action sequences.  His ingenuity was put to the test in later years, but die-hards already knew that he had a few summer blockbusters in him.  Even with Bad Taste, one sensed that the auteur in charge was a multi-tasker with serious leadership skills.

Feeble subplots notwithstanding, the chipper characters manage to glom onto your gray matter.  Lionel is a demure, self-effacing gent who you can't help but to like.  Elizabeth Moody is hilarious as Mum.  It's clear that she is having fun.  That also applies to the rest of the cast, especially Diana Penalver.  Her performance as Paquita is borderline grating, but she's cute as a button.  Hmm, what else is there to add?  I covered the gore, the director, the actors, the gore and the gore.  Again, Dead Alive isn't seamless.  I dare you to watch it without experiencing a natural high, though.  C'mon, Peter...enough Tolkien shit.  Go back to your roots!  Roots, bloody roots!

Dead Links #8

Okay, I promise that this is the last time I'll mention VHS collecting.  For a little awhile.  I've always admired VHS, but it wasn't until I discovered a certain Facebook group ('tis the dead link at hand) that I became bedlamized into the community.  Yes, there is a community.  It's a lattice of "tapeheads," a grillwork of fans who trot out their most prized possessions and buy/sell/trade amongst themselves.  This particular group is for boasting about your collection.  I've spent countless hours scrolling through pictures of oddball obscurities and keeping a mental list of films I might want to splurge on in the future.

Speaking of splurging, you'll have plenty of opportunities to procure rarities that never surface on eBay or Amazon.  Scanning such baubles with an empty bank account is pure Hell.  No, really.  Dancing flames, pitchfork sodomy, the anguished screams of aborted children...the whole nine yards.

PS-It's a screenshot from a shot-on-video antique.  I figured that you were going to ask eventually.  Care to hazard a guess?  I'll give you a hint; it's definitely not Tales From the Quadead Zone.



I HATE having to do this, but I'm not feeling very well.  No update today.  Sorry!  BUT there will be two updates tomorrow.  Be sure to check back.



Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #12

A paralyzed duck walks into a bar...


Curly Fries

Watching Raw.  Eating curly fries.  Video tomorrow.  And maybe something else.  Cellar Dweller is awesome.


Album Cover of the Week


Blood Capsule #23


Known as Lighthouse on its native soil, this UK-lensed slasher hasn't inveigled a peep of exposure stateside.  I've never met anyone who has seen it.  Hell, I've never met anyone who has heard of it.  The generic title played a part in its cabalistic obscurity, I'm sure, but I'm surprised that it didn't benefit from word-of-mouth.  Dead of Night is actually a sleek, harrowed thriller fraught with pelvis-plunking suspense.  Granted, the storyline is barebones.  A prison ship thumps into the jagged, pebble-ribbed littoral of a remote island.  The guards and the convicts wash ashore, but there is one party missing.  Naturally, the party is a stealthy psychopath who has a weakness for severed heads.

This is a standard "divide and conquer" horror flick, but director Simon Hunter brings the premise to bear fruit.  The atmosphere is off the charts.  Silence is used to great effect, and the stalk sequences are genuinely startling.  Seriously, why hasn't America sniffed this sleeper out?


Geek Out #70

The best (and hottest) Morticia, if I do say so myself.


Panels From Beyond the Grave #26

EERIE (#1, July 2012)

One of my goals for this column was to critique comic books from the point of view of a casual reader.  Each fan may have their own definition of "casual," but to me, I'm channeling the guy who buys a handful of comics every few months.  Maybe this guy collected comics with insatiable ardor as a pee-wee goblin, only to outstay his costly hobby.  Maybe he still has itemized binders of comics leftover from childhood on his bedroom floor.  Maybe...okay, the guy is me.  But I can't be the only geek with an occasional interest in comic books.  Like-minded genre junkies will get a valorous kick out of Dark Horse's Eerie relaunch.  Die-hard collectors, on the other hand, will have valid reasons to bewail the dubious presentation of an anthology favorite.

Eerie is seen as the sci-fi sibling publication of Creepy.  In truth, the sci-fi shades are best described as leanings (or shades).  The futuristic space stuff is conspicuous throughout the magazine's denotative continuity, but so are tales of vampires and mummies.  Personally, I would call Eerie a sci-fi/horror book.  Another contrasting quirk between the two tomes would be Creepy's absence of serials and recurring characters.  That's right, kids; most issues of Eerie feature continuations of stories from past comics.  Of course, that's a non-factor today.  We're dealing with the primogenial salvo of the shells within a howitzer.  Wait...strike that.  I don't know what it means.  What I meant to type is that this is the inaugural periodical of a brand new series.  From what I gather, the ultramodern Eerie will be published on a quarterly basis, as #2 hits stands in January.

Now, why did I suggest that die-hard collectors could have an axe to grind over this, the premiere issue?  Two of the four tales harbored therein are reprints.  Big deal, you might say.  Well, Dark Horse has already archived several issues in hardcover volumes (Creepy received the same treatment).  Plus, you can buy virtually any back-catalog Eerie on eBay, and often times, they are quite affordable.  How hard is it to write four original stories?  This brings me back to my initial point.  As a casual reader, I'm not terribly concerned with these foibles.  I've never read these particular stories before.  Besides, they're pretty damn cool.

"Child," the lone colored yarn, is a gripping, imaginative twist on the Frankenstein legend.  Apart from inconsistent artwork (the titular fiend's face varies from panel to panel), it justifies the cover price on the strength of its own merits.  "Life-Species," the other reprint, is throwaway, mother-approved fluff.  The best original offering is "Beta-Eden," a grotesque take on alien breeding.  It's sexy, strange and disgusting.  I dig it.  "Robot for Your Thoughts" is a passable dollop of paranoia that wrenches and wreathes like an episode of The Twilight Zone...if The Twilight Zone was really fucking gory.  Cousin Eerie serves as our host for the evening.  Honestly, you could replace him with The Cryptkeeper and no one would notice.

That's the problem with these anthology comics.  Seldom do you see a title with a distinct personality.  Isn't this just Weird Fantasy or The Vault of Horror under a different snappy logo?  And yet, I eat this shit up.  When I have money, I'm going to acquire heaps of cornball anthology comics of all stripes.  As for the Eerie relaunch, casual readers (again, I'm using a self-serving definition of "casual") will enjoy it.  It's flawed, but its intrinsic charm is hard to resist.