Album Cover of the Week

I can't believe this cover hasn't been featured yet.  For the record (pun intended), this is one of the few Anthrax albums that I dig.  I can't pinpoint why exactly, but I've never been a big fan.


Matches That Time Forgot #52

I found a real beauty.  It's a match from USWA circa 1993.  We have Scotty Flamingo (a.k.a. Raven...ha!) versus Jeff Jarrett.  JJ was only a few months away from being called up to the majors.  It's strange seeing him work as a babyface, although it's not as surreal/sad/funny as Jerry Lawler sticking with traditional Memphis booking in 1993.  This whole segment has "1981" written all over it.  Apparently, Flamingo and Brian Christopher had just stolen the tag titles from The Moondogs.  There was a title switch every two weeks, so I'm not sure why the crowd is exacerbated.  Oh, right...they are marks.  Redneck marks.  The horror, the horror!

The match itself is way too short.  You might even say that it's laconic or diminutive in stature (y'know, if you were a dick).  Lawler's offspring interferes, and The Moondogs interfere with said interference.  The actual wrestling is respectable enough.  As much as it pains me to admit such an apostasy, I can't deny Jarrett's in-ring skills.   You don't know how hard that was for me to type.  FACTOID: Men on a Mission originated in USWA where they were dubbed The Harlem Knights.


Wishlist FIXED!

Okay, THIS link should take you to my wishlist.  Let me know if it doesn't.



Want to support the site, but don't know how?  Maybe you feel weird sending PayPal donations?  That's perfectly understandable.  I need money all the same.  I'm not able to work a "real" job at the moment, so I'd love to make a few bucks writing about wrestling and b-movies.  Unfortunately, that may never happen.  "So how can I support Random Reviews Incorporated outside of donations?"  Easy!  Buy me something cool on my Amazon Wishlist.  I might just return the favor when you're least expecting it.

Of course, simple donations are always welcome.  Wink, wink!


The Werewolf Reborn!

I'm stumped.  What remarks can I make when a film is so...unremarkable?  In the late 90's, Charles Band created a subdivision of Full Moon features called Pulsepounders.  These were silly, comestible genre dishes custom-built for prepubescent geeks.  Filmonsters! (that has to be the most superfluous exclamation point in the history of mankind) was a quasi-division of Pulsepounders developed as an homage to Universal classics.  Only two projects came to fruition, both written by Benjamin Carr.  As you can imagine, The Werewolf Reborn! (that has to be the second most superfluous exclamation point in the history of mankind) is a housetrained, attenuated update of 1941's The Wolf Man.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating.  It's incredibly hard to review a mediocre subject.  And boy howdy, The Werewolf Reborn! is mediocre.  It's so mediocre, that it barely exists.  Conversely, I don't regret watching it.  Certain aspects of the production appealed to my folksy, jejune sensibilities.  I am a horror junkie divided.  This calls for a list of pros and a list of cons...yay?  Congratulations, Mr. Band.  You have produced a werewolf flick too tempestuously prosaic to be described by coherent paragraphs.  In consequence, you have broken journalism.  Do you have any idea how many filmmakers would love to silence critics?  I'm not giving you the silent treatment, though.  No, that would be the mature thing to do.


~ If you'll notice, I have yet to blame director Jeff Burr for The Werewolf Reborn!'s general drabness.  There was only so much he could do to salvage the script.  I've always championed his efforts behind the camera (check out 1990's The Stepfather II or 1995's Night of the Scarecrow), and he manages to pepsinate this cheapie with eye-catching visuals.  The beautiful scenery doesn't hurt.

~ I'm not naive.  I understand that the ground-level budget probably played a hand in the decision to opt for "old school" make-up effects, but I don't care.  Whatever the impetus, I dug the basic look of the werewolf.  The year was 1999, so CGI was definitely available.  You have to applaud traditional tricks of the trade.

~ Surprisingly, the acting is focused.  The trailer stresses the fact that our heroine (Ashley Lyn Cafagna) was a principal player on Saved by the Bell: The New Class.  Alright.  Fucking Uncle Leo from Seinfeld plays a hard-boiled detective, and he actually kicks ass.  The rest of the cast is practically faceless.  Man, Uncle Leo should have played the werewolf.


~ The promotional material for the Filmonsters! series compares each bloodcurdling convoy to an episode of Goosebumps.  That's accurate, mainly because The Werewolf Reborn! runs for 45 minutes.  You read that right.  This fucker ends quicker than a lubricious romp with...well, Uncle Leo.  I didn't have enough time to become emotionally invested in the characters or the storyline.  Speaking of which, the "plot" follows a teenaged girl sent to live with her uncle.  Her uncle is a werewolf.  The end.

~ This con is fairly obvious.  I almost feel redundant typing it, but we don't get to see an ounce of violence.  Yeah, it's targeted at fledgling sprouts.  I wasn't expecting wall-to-wall gore, but c'mon!  Do we raise our children under the assumption that monsters are content to leave tiny, inconspicuous scars?  I know I won't, provided that I multiply.  My kid will be scared shitless on a daily basis.  "Clean your room, son.  Remember, werewolves are real, and they will fucking mangle you."

Wow.  I'm honestly impressed that I was able to write more than three sentences about The Werewolf Reborn!.  Oh, the pros/cons portion of today's program is officially over.  I was going to italicize it to avoid confusion.  Maybe I should.  Eh, fuck it.


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #30

I go on a tangential tangent.


Lukewarm Coke for only $3???

You haven't lived until Jake "The Snake" Roberts has told you to go fuck yourself.  Of course, he was just goofing around, but still...that was awesome.  So yeah, Jake was one of the celebrities I met at the second annual Mad Monster Party, a horror convention located in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Ardent fans of the site might recall that I also attended last year.  It was my first real convention experience, and I wondered if a repeat visit would stupefy me in the same quixotic fashion.  I knew what to expect, but I was still taken aback by the sight of certain "stars."  Catching a glimpse of Gary Busey was quite surreal.

Going in, I had a game plan.  I wanted to focus more on autographs, although I did accost the VHSPS booth.  Bear in mind, funds were limited (aren't they always?), so I netted three autographs.  First, I chatted up pet psychic Amelia Kinkade.  Most of you know her as Angela from the Night of the Demons trilogy.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Everyone knows her as Angie, and no one at the con gave a custardfuck about her loopy predisposition for animal ESP.  By the way, cosmetic surgery has rendered her unrecognizable.  Great rack, though.

Amelia was sitting next to Linnea Quigley, the main attraction (as far as I'm concerned).  She was super friendly, and she made sure to give each fan her undivided attention.  Class act.  While we were waiting in her line, Sgt. motherfucking Slaughter brushed by our sleeves.  Christ, that turned my brain inside out.  I should note that "we" includes my pal, Paul the Intrepid Spider Wrangler.  At any rate, Jake Roberts yelled at us and sent us on our merry way with a wink.  I didn't realize it until later, but he gave me his signature free of charge (along with a sweet DVD, also signed).  He is expeditiously ascending to the top of my list of all-time favorite wrasslers.

Random nuggets separated by letters...GO!  A) I spotted Kirk Hammett gallivanting about in the dealer room with his security guard.  I shudder to think how many bags of cool memorabilia he took home that night.  B)  I came close to working up the courage to say something (something artlessly nerdy, no doubt) to Danny Glover, but I feel weird approaching a guest if I have no intention of handing him/her money.  "I'm a big fan, but I'm not that big of a fan."  C) Cerina Vincent waved at me and smiled.  Is a courtship in order?  Yes.  I'm positive.  D) Seriously, room temperature soda for three bucks???

I wasn't able to stay as long as I would have liked, but I covered a lot of ground.  In terms of merchandise, I picked up a rad Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man t-shirt.  I didn't really collect much swag, what with cash being a finite resource.  But I had a blast, and if you live in the Carolinas, you need to show up next year.  Here are a handful of still photographs...
Critter photo bomb!

THE MAN.  Well, a lifelike replica of THE MAN.

An original.  He's not cool or sexy; he's an introverted insect, and he wants your blood.

His name is Bruce (yes, I'm posting this image twice).

Tits Amelia tits Kinkade tits.



Holy shit, I'm tired...

Convention write-up tomorrow.  Here's a teaser.


Album Cover of the Week


Floodgate - PENALTY

I'm a huge proponent of the New Orleans scene.  Not that I'm a music expert or anything.  I don't have my finger on the pulse of modern day "NOLA metal," but I dig every band that crawled out of those quaggy swamps.  The 90's, in particular, saw the unswerving expulsion of one killer record after another.  I'm talking about the exploits of Crowbar, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Acid Bath, Soilent Green, Graveyard Rodeo and others I'm forgetting.  All of these outfits share a decidedly Southern predilection for gut-level, down-tempo grooves, yet they each forged their own unique identity.  Duck!  It's a paragraph break!

Floodgate was an obscure group from this very "movement," and I don't blame you if you've never heard of them.  They stonewalled my homing device (or sonar tracking system, if you prefer) for years.  Most metalheads compare this album to Down's 1995 debut.  There are several similarities between NOLA and 1996's Penalty, I grant you.  For starters, we have a thrash icon on vocals.  Kyle Thomas of Exhorder fame handles guitar/throat duties.  However, this isn't the rancorous, carcinogenic assemblage of speedy head-stompers that fans were expecting.  Like Down, Floodgate specializes in sludge-quilted hard rock.

Sludge-quilted...if Swamp Thing were an interior decorator, he might...ugh, nevermind.  There are moments where Kyle sounds like Philip H. Anselmo.  He almost comes across as an amalgamation of the former Pantera figurehead and John Bush.  Musically, I hear a scintilla of Trouble.  Irrevocably, I keep going back to Down when I reach for gustatory parallels.  "Through My Days Into My Nights" is Penalty's answer to "Lifer."  Likewise, "Whole" brings "Jail" to mind.  I don't want to insinuate that this is a copycat record, though.  You could call them companion pieces, and I doubt that it would offend the band members.

But it doesn't really matter.  The question is, does Penalty deliver the goods?  "Yes," I said.  The riffs are heavy, the hooks are catchy and on the whole, this set has serious replay value.  I bought it on the same day as Suffocation's Pinnacle of Bedlam (a paltry disappointment, I'm afraid), and this is the CD that has hogged my stereo.  I'm constantly craving rock with meat on its bones.  I can't turn to the radio, but Floodgate fits the bill.  It's not groundbreaking.  If I'm being honest, a couple of tracks rub me the wrong way.  "Feel You Burn" and "Black With Sin" flitter too close to stoner territory for my liking, but hey, I'll live.  If you fancy this style as much as I do, give Penalty a whirl.  It's better than whatever you listen to, loser.


Cherry Crush

If you've never tried Cherry Crush (one of the more elusive Crush flavors), you should.  It's divine.  Anyhow, I'll be posting a music review tomorrow.  The werewolf fuck-a-dilly cock-a-thon will continue either Sunday or Monday.  Until then, leave me alone.


Geek Out #81

I loved watching shows like this as a wee lad.  Sure, I knew it was bullshit, but it was cool bullshit.  Isn't that the appeal of cryptozoology?


The Legend of the Wolf Woman

My friend and I have always wanted to make b-movies that hop from one subgenre to another with little to no warning.  I'll give you an example; how about a werewolf rape/revenge flick?  How fucking sweet would that be?  We've resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably won't see such a cultivated masterstroke of perspicuity unless we write the unhallowed thing.  That was before I caught wind of 1976's The Legend of the Wolf Woman (a.k.a. Werewolf Woman).  As most of you know,  I've been out of town for a couple of weeks tending to a family emergency.  Naturally, I didn't think to bring entertainment along for the ride, so a fellow cheese gourmand let me borrow a couple of videos.

Wolf Woman happened to be the first title that hypostatized in conversation.  "Brilliant," I murmured to myself.  "This will be a wonderful way to kick off my lycanthropic clambake!"  I removed the gun from my mouth and apple-polished the nearest VCR.  Gentlemen (and ladies), what we have here is a werewolf rape/revenge flick.  I could split hairs and point out that we only get a glimpse of an honest-to-Satan werewolf in the baroque prologue, but I refuse...I refuse to play the asshole.  If you want to be a pedantic bluestocking doctrinaire, that's your business.  Stay the fuck out of my sandbox.  In any event, Daniela is a shapely blonde obsessed with a certain ancestor, a proverbial doppelganger who was burned at the stake for howling at moons and ripping out throats.  Are they kindred spirits?

I know what you're thinking.  You've heard this story before, right?  I know I figured that Wolf Woman would reveal itself to be a homogenized tale of reincarnation not unlike Black Sabbath or its countless derivatives.  Well, I figured wrong.  Daniela never transforms into a snarling beast.  She simply goes insane and models herself after snarling beasts.  It's a novel concept, and quite frankly, the foundation of the exposition is firm.  I was actually into the plot.  But don't confuse this for a lucid, spruce motion picture.  No, no, no...Wolf Woman is trash.  It's Eurotrash, to be exact.  There are copious drams of full-frontal nudity, splashes of blood (the more violent kills are implied, unfortunately) and a terse rape sequence.

Yep, rape.  Daniela settles down with a stuntman in the third act and leaves her life of...er, werewolf pantomime (?) behind.  Hold the phone!  It isn't long before her boyfriend is murdered by the same dudes who violated her personal bubble, so to speak.  Needless to say, she relapses and steals a page from Camille Keaton.  Her revenge is quite nasty, but again, the gore is kept in check.  Bummer.  I have to hand it to Annik Borel, our able-bodied leading lady.  She fucking commits herself to the role.  I was convinced that she had succumbed to raging lunacy, and was only allowed on set because of her astonishing cans.  Jeepers, she looks good naked.  Rusty English be damned, she should have been a Bond girl.

The Legend of the Wolf Woman is a fun watch.  It's nowhere near perfect, and it does need a stronger dose of graphic horror, but it made my weekend a tad easier to digest.  Hit it up!



When it rains...

I don't have much time, so I'm going to copy and paste my Facebook status.

Just so everyone knows. I may not be online much in the next few days. My father is in the hospital with bleeding in the brain and a fractured skull. He was doing some work on a house last night when he fell through the roof. He's currently in "stabilized critical condition,"5 but he's expected to get worse before he gets better. That said, the prognosis is positive. Unless he goes downhill out of nowhere, he should make a recovery.