Geek Out #84

Geek Outs are usually fun or jovial in spirit.  This one...not so much.  I almost feel like I should apologize for posting such a bleak, depressing video.  It's a documentary on Unit 731, a Japanese death camp that killed thousands in the name of medical research.  It inspired the notorious Men Behind the Sun series, as well as the underrated Philosophy of a Knife.  Enjoy?



If the cover art doesn't sell you, you have no heart.  1988's Destroyer is a dumb slasher disguised as a dumb action flick.  Before I reel out an in-depth vivisection of this steroid-addled corpse, I'll go ahead and give it two thumbs up.  That's for all you shiftless fucks who don't want to read the entire review.  The rest of you will grin and bear it while I eulogize Lyle Alzado.  The would-be direct-to-video star died of brain cancer in 1992.  He was convinced that his tumor (or "tumah," if you prefer) dilated as a result of steroid abuse.  I'll be honest with you.  I'm second-guessing my decision to refer to Destroyer as a steroid-addled corpse, but thankfully, I harbor no pangs of conscience.

This film also features Anthony Perkins in one of his less sovereign roles.  He plays a director shooting a low-budget "women in prison" epic on location at an abandoned penitentiary.  It just so happens that this godforsaken bastille was left in the lurch after a riot claimed the lives of several guards and inmates.  The circumstances surrounding the chaotic ruction remain a mystery.  However, the screenwriter behind the movie-within-a-movie (dubbed Death House Dolls...fuck, that's a great title) believes that the calamitous snarl was prompted by the scheduled electrocution of serial killer Ivan Moser.  Did the homicidal maniac die in the chair?  If not, is he still prowling the prison grounds?  Isn't this just another variation on Shocker or The Horror Show?

Seriously, how many fucking horror pictures milked this motif?  The only thing separating Destroyer from The Horror Show (or The Chair or The Stay Awake) is the fact that our villain is a mortal man.  He doesn't spook teenagers from beyond the grave.  In any event, Alzado makes for a fantastic baddie.  Imagine Kane Hodder squared.  That's a whole lot of badass.  On a sour note, I didn't quite disentangle his motive(s).  It's never explained why he fixates on the heroine, an unflinching Deborah Foreman.  I couldn't figure out the significance of the game show hostess either.  Maybe there are deleted scenes that clear up the confusion.  Maybe not.  It doesn't really matter, as Destroyer managed to entertain the soft pretzels out of me.  Mmm, soft pretzels...

For the most part, the characters are written reasonably well.  I actually dug the comic relief, and that's extraordinarily rare.  Rewire should have had his own spin-off series.  If you've seen Destroyer, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Three cheers for Rewire!  But I digress.  The pace is lickety-split quick, the violence is over the top and the climax is somewhat tense.  The kills could have been bloodier, but to be fair, that's how I feel about the majority of slashers.  It's a shame that Lyle Alzado passed away at such a young age.  I mean, he was no Robert Z'Dar, but he was built for cinematic dreck.  Recommended to fans of the Maniac Cop saga.


Album Cover of the Week

Movie review tomorrow!



Remember nu-metal?  I sure do.  Bands such as Korn, Sevendust and Nothingface acted as my metal training wheels.  At 15 years of age, I wasn't ready for extreme brutality, but nu-metal was just heavy enough to make me feel like a badass.  I can vividly recall dawdling the halls of high school while listening to Around the Fur via headphones.  I assured myself that my constitutional sense of poise was unmistakably macroscopic to those around me.  They knew I was cool.  Oh, yes.  They knew.  Some bands were more respected than others by the underground elite.  Actually, Deftones are an effulgent example of a DJ-equipped group who escaped the late 90's/early 00's with their credibility in tact.  Now that I think about it, Sevendust were also able to weather fitful trends.

Flaw had no such luck.  Timing is everything in the music industry, and this Kentucky quartet arrived late on the scene.  Their major label debut, Through the Eyes, didn't disembark until 2001.  I believe that they enjoyed minor success.  It's hard to say.  I can confirm that by the time Flaw issued a follow-up three years later, metalcore had domiciliated itself as the latest craze amongst eyeliner-caked youngsters.  Well, now it's 2013.  The underground elite loathes metalcore.  Personally, I can't stomach the shit that kids call metal these days, and I find that I'm getting nostalgic for nu-metal.  I was sick of it when the 21st century came calling, but compared to modern metal trends?  I must say, even a band as generic as Flaw doesn't offend my ears.

Of course, "generic" isn't necessarily a jaundiced adjective.  This record doesn't bring anything fresh to the table, but it does what it does remarkably well.  Vocalist Chris Volz is the main attraction.  The guy can sing.  As a matter of fact, he chooses to sing over the bulk of the music.  There isn't a great deal of solicitous screaming on Through the Eyes, but the few instances of angsty yelping are well-placed.  Volz's warm, clean tone is immediately euphonic.  You'll catch him repeating melodies here and there, but he redeems himself soon after with a catchy chorus or a killer harmony.  The guitars are typically detuned.  Shocking, I know.  The riffs won't jerk you off, but they're pleasantly chunky.

One of the aspects of nu-metal that I miss is the full-bodied production style.  Modern metal production fucking sucks, plain and simple.  Through the Eyes has dynamics.  The mix is organic, and the bass bleeds into its fellow instruments.  The vocals never compete with the drums or vice-versa.  It didn't surprise me to learn that this album was produced by David Bottrill.  He worked on Tool's Aenima and Silverchair's Diorama, two of my favorite long players of all ever.  He probably encouraged the dudes in Flaw to campaign for the loose, asymmetrical arrangements that pop up from time to time.

I dig Through the Eyes.  It may appeal to folks who never cared for nu-metal to begin with.  I would advise sampling "Only the Strong," "Get Up Again" and "Reliance."  My enthusiastic rating may trouble readers who only ingest death metal, but that's their problem.  Variety is the spice of life, no?


A semi-important video...

If you don't feel like watching a video, basically, I'm taking a short break from the site.  I go into some detail, but you'd have to watch the video for that.



Ugh.  I'm fucking sick.  I'm not apologizing, though.  Fuck you.  Should be back in business tomorrow.



Happy Birthday, Tim Curry!

Music review tomorrow.  Y'know, I should have posted a picture of Tim Curry, but perhaps it's best to keep you people on your toes.  Don't do drugs.


Matches That Time Forgot #53

Gee, I can't believe that time forgot this epic encounter between Gillberg and Luna Vachon.  This was early 1999, so the Monday Night Wars were in full swing.  The competition wasn't friendly.  WCW and WWF took shots at each other at every opportunity on live television.  One of Vince's more memorable shellings of mounted offense was Gillberg, a creation that mocked WCW's top babyface.  I don't know for sure, but this may have been Gillberg's debut match.  Flanked by the J.O.B. Squad (with sparklers in tow), seasoned jobb...er, enhancement talent Duane Gill gives a spirited performance as the not-so-hulking beast of a "man."  I loved Michael Cole's dig at WCW's practice of piping in phony chants.

Man, it's a trip realizing that Cole commentated during the Attitude Era.  Anyway, Luna does her best, but it had to be disheartening knowing that she would have to do a job for Sable at the Rumble.  What a fucking joke.  This is kinda-sorta off-topic, but Luna Vachon deserves a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.  She was an underrated worker, and she was robbed of her lifelong dream to be a champion under the McMahon incumbency.  Sable was a cunt who didn't respect the business, and I guaran-goddamn-tee you that she will be inducted before Luna.  Of course, it helps that she's married to Brock Lesnar.  Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.  GILLBERG!  GILLBERG!  GILLBERG!



Today, I'm appealing to a niche market.  I'm appealing to...the SOV crowd.  If you don't know what "SOV" stands for, then clearly, you are not a part of said crowd.  This stuff is an acquired taste.  Forgive me if I repeat something from a past review.  It's just that a proper inspection of a film like 2012's Deatherman needs an avuncular advisory, an admonitory disclaimer of sorts.  You either get it or you don't.  That may sound pompous, but it's true.  Before I dive into the plot details, let me commend writer/director Bob Keller for espousing a time-honored methodology.  He eschewed digital video in favor of a trusty camcorder.  Atta boy!  If you're going to produce a throwback to cult classics such as Sledgehammer and Video Violence, do it right.

Deatherman centers around Dalton Law, star meteorologist at Channel 13 news.  An intern invites him over for drinks, so naturally, he assumes that she wants to ride his lightning bolt (his turn of phrase, not mine).  As it turns out, she is angling to be his successor.  Ordinarily, she is level-headed, but wouldn't you know it?  She forgot to take her pills!  Long story short, the intern kills the weatherman and buries him in the middle of the woods.  Unfortunately for our would-be haruspex of five-day forecasts, Dalton is resurrected by a spell of acid rain.  That covers the first half hour, give or take.  Deatherman clocks in at a whopping 55 minutes.  So...yeah.  It goes without saying that this no-budget creepshow has its fair share of infirmities.

Considering the medium, I allowed for certain hindrances.  I expected the acting to be shaky, and I endured the substandard audio.  The only foible I can't discount is the excessive padding.  Select scenes drag on for several eternities.  Perhaps Deatherman would have worked better as a short (a really short short).  Despite the leaden pace, this was an enjoyable watch.  Most campy horror comedies fail to make me laugh, but Keller has a bizarre sense of humor that pairs well with my off-kilter ulnar nerve.  Yep, you'll have to Google that one.  Don't give me grief.  I appreciated the absurdist gags, especially the ambulatory stuffed animal.  Where the fuck did that come from?

A lot of the jokes are "left field" material.  That's cool with me, which isn't to say that every punch connects.  Elsewhere, the special effects aren't particularly special.  The gore is telegraphed, although I did smirk at the umbrella impalement.  It's obvious that the cast and crew had fun piecing Deatherman together.  More often than not, the heart of a shot-on-video oddity is what determines its replay value.  Keller's pet project has heart in spades.  For those interested, you can purchase Deatherman on VHS from Press Eject Video at THIS location.  The tape is red!  Colors are pretty.  By the way, I wasn't cajoled into advertising this flick.  I try to support the underground where I can.  You should, too.



Album Cover of the Week


Blood Capsule #31


I like being pleasantly surprised.  On the surface, Stones of Death bears all of the trappings of throwaway discount bin detritus.  The plot is a hodgepodge of 80's horror clichés, but smart writing and sinister imagery keep this creepy catamaran from capsizing (ugh, I sincerely apologize for that sentence).  Get a load of the synopsis...a group of teenagers begin having the same nightmare.  They each wake to find a stone on their pillow.  Sadly for our expendable youths, the stone signifies their death.  It has something to do with an aboriginal curse, and of course, the lead chickadee happens to reside on an ancient burial ground.  Basically, it's A Poltergeist on Elm Street.  I'll admit that the stones are a novel touch, but they're just moppets to machinate the narrative.

The damsel in distress seeks out the help of a local shaman.  You knew there had to be a local shaman.  As prescriptive as Stones sounds, it's deliriously entertaining.  I had fun, though I can't speak for the ten other Americans who have seen it.  Oh, right.  I neglected to mention that this is an Australian picture.  I'm embarrassed to reveal that I'm not particularly well-versed in Ozploitation, but that's a problem I shall soon rectify.  Anyway, believable characters anchor Stones of Death.  They actually come across as real people.  Writer Ian Coughlan and director James Bogle could have done more with the puny ending, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this fright flick from down under.  That's my critic quote.


Geek Out #83

I really, really want to see this.


Carnage > Venom

I feel like I should address the recent dearth of comic book/magazine reviews.  Simply put, I haven't had the urge to write them.  I do plan on revisiting reading material, but I can't tell you when.  So, um, here's a badass picture of Carnage, one of my favorite Marvel characters.



I was hoping to close out my werewolf wingding with a bang.  It looks like I'll have to settle for a whimper.  Not that I expected 1978's Deathmoon to live up to its gnarly cover art (all that's missing is a holographic image and an A-Pix logo).  This isn't the worst werewolf flick that I've ever seen.  It's not even the worst werewolf flick that I've seen in the past month, but it leaves much to be desired.  The workaday storyline is about as complex as the mating habits of the North American sand fly.  To be honest, I need to brush up on my trivia where the order Diptera is concerned.  What, you've never reflected on an insect's mating habits?  I can't control how I feel when I see two aphids copulating.

"Dat mesothorax!" I screamed.  Did the other tourists on the trail notice that I was perfervid in the throes of lechery?  Whoa, sorry.  I think I've had one too many bottles of Sprite.  That doesn't change the fact that Deathmoon is run-of-the-mill foodstuff for lenient cinephiles.  It will do fine if you simply want to watch...something.  I was doubly disappointed because this old-fashioned creature feature was produced for the tube.  A made-for-TV horror film from the 70's?  Count me in!  Robert Foxworth plays Jason, a tightly wound businessman who takes a vacation on the advice of his psychiatrist.  He skedaddles to Hawaii, the birthplace of his ancestors.  Unbeknownst to our soon-to-be furball friend, his genealogy has been stricken with a voodoo curse.

Apart from a couple of useless subplots, Deathmoon is barebones.  The stalk sequences are there to separate twinklings of character development.  Thankfully, the cast is up to the challenge.  I didn't mind Jason, but I did mind the static shots of him sunbathing/flirting/drinking.  The script spends an inordinate amount of time on his cocksure dalliance with a blonde stranger.  I'd give the whole charade a zero on the "chemistry" meter.  There is also a ridiculous bit involving a petty hotel thief that goes absolutely fucking nowhere.  How Deathmoon reaches 90 minutes is beyond me.  And yet, I wasn't completely disinterested in the proceedings.  Why?

Hell if I know!  I was curious to find out how Jason planned on curing his lycanthropy.  As it turns out (don't worry; this isn't a sizeable spoiler), he ignores his pesky problem and enjoys a romantic getaway.  Okey-dokey?  On the monster front, we are treated to Universal-style make-up effects, including a lap-dissolve.  I approve.  Obviously, there isn't a drop of blood.  I can accept the lack of gore, though.  I cannot accept the innumerable lapses in logic.  A full moon each night over the span of a week?  Did the earth stop rotating?  I mean, what the shit?  I'm not comfortable recommending Deathmoon to genre die-hards.  While I enjoyed it to a certain extent, it doesn't exactly stand out in a hairy crowd.  Robert Z'Dar says, "Eh."


Well, it's official; The People's Elbow is more devastating than The Tombstone...

Damien Sandow watches from the sidelines and ponders, "I was scrapped for this?"

It wasn't the worst Wrestlemania that I've seen, but where was the electricity?  Where were those moments I keep hearing about?  The first five minutes of Punk/Undertaker were truly magical, thanks in no small part to the obstreperous New Jersey crowd.  But the rest of the PPV?  Flat as a pancake...with small breasts.

Now, a swerve should never take place just for the sake of having a swerve, but the opening bout between The Shield and Beeker/The Sedated Rattlesnake/Midcard Andre desperately needed a Randy Orton heel turn.  At one point, this guy was poised to outpace John Cena as WWE's brightest superstar.  Where does he go from here?  His character is dwelling in a customary rut, and he hasn't main-evented a meaningful event in eons.  The Big Show spurning a babyface is no big deal because that's what he has been doing for the better part of a year.  At least the right team won.

Can someone explain to me why Ryback was pinned clean?  He was already wavering in the eyes of marks, and this could/should have been his launching pad.  Is a post-match feat of strength supposed to expunge an embarrassing loss from his record?  Speaking of missed opportunities, Dolph Ziggler returned to his hotel room with absolutely nothing.  I'm fine with Team Hell No retaining the tag titles, but when is the McMahon/Helmsley cartel going to pull the trigger on a future headliner?  I swear, WWE is beginning to resemble latter day WCW.

Fandango's debut was surprisingly sloppy.  The match didn't showcase enough of his offense, and the finish was botched.  It goes without saying that Punk/'Taker was a rarefied saving grace.  Still, it wasn't as captivating as the last four "streak" contests, which isn't easy for me to type.  I'm hoping that The Phenom makes a retirement speech tonight on Raw, if I'm being honest.  This will sound batshit crazy, but HHH/Brock was my favorite match on the card.  It was fittingly brutal.  Rock/Cena was...a match.  I can't believe it lasted over 30 minutes.  Oh, and the pre-show Intercontinental strap defense was entirely too short.


PS - Paul Heyman is the modern day equivalent of Bobby Heenan.
PS2 - Bob Backlund fucking rules.


No Tons of Funk???

This WM really needed a heel turn.  Write-up tomorrow!


Album Cover of the Week

It's been a slow couple of days, and I apologize for that.  I haven't been particularly enthused (I'm pretty sure it's an offshoot of stress).  I can't promise a glorious update tomorrow, but look out for my Wrestlemania recap on Monday.


It's late...

I have nothing to say today, so here's a wicked Dog Soldiers figure I found.  I'm dedicating this post to a lovely lady who lives down under.  Thanks for the inspiration, Bea!


Project: Metalbeast

This has been an enjoyable ride so far, hasn't it?  We've encountered werewolf cops and even a Disney-flavored lycanthropic quickie.  Brace yourself for another quirky spin on a platitudinous bestiary.  1995's Project: Metalbeast presents a werewolf in shining armor.  That's right; our lead critter has bulletproof skin.  The storyline is fairly convoluted, so bear with me.  The year?  1975.  Special agents are dispatched to Hungary to fetch vials of werewolf blood.  Of course, that's easier said than done, and one man is serrated asunder.  The surviving envoy returns to America, only to inject himself with the full moon juice against the orders of his superiors.

I'm sure you're wondering why these guys were sent on a suicide mission to collect werewolf plasma.  If you're any kind of b-movie pundit, you should be able to guess the answer.  You see, the government is trying to build an unstoppable killing machine.  A super soldier!  How did they find out that werewolves existed?  If you're any kind of b-movie pundit, you know...it's never addressed.  Okay, fast-forward twenty years.  Scientists are toiling away over the ontogeny of an artificial skin called bio-ferron.  It's metal-based, and it may be a boon to cancer patients and burn victims.  Enter the wily, Machiavellian Lieutenant (or General or Commander or something) Miller.  He kept his secret agent werewolf on ice, and he plots to wrap the monster in bio-ferron, thus rendering it impervious to silver bullets.

Naturally, he lies to the scientists.  He tells them to test the skin on cadavers.  And they do, but they don't know that one of the stiffs is a dormant colossus.  First and foremost, I must comment on the logistics of Miller's plan.  This is an extraordinarily bad fucking idea.  "Hey, let's wake up a werewolf and tweak him until we can no longer control him!"  I mean, c'mon.  A bulletproof werewolf???  On the upside, we are treated to a badass creature replete with a badass creature suit.  Kane Hodder plays the "metalbeast," though it takes awhile for the titular baddie to start kicking ass.  Thankfully, we get plenty of traditional (non-metal) werewolf carnage in the first act.

The special effects are superlative.  If Project: Metalbeast were shot any later than 1995, the werewolf would have looked like a cartoon.  Man, I'm wearing out the word "werewolf."  Anyway, this is an entertaining film with an interesting cast.  Barry Bostwick is sufficiently repugnant as Miller.  Kim Delaney turns in an adequate performance, but semen on a graham cracker, her character is implausibly insipid.  None of the players are developed.  Don't get me wrong; I wasn't expecting esoteric depth, but almost everyone in front of the camera is interchangeable.

The scientists' reaction to a werewolf transformation is hysterical for all of the wrong reasons.  They are barely fazed.  Maybe it's just me, but my mouth would be drooping agape if I were within pawing distance of a goddamn werewolf.  Other annoyances?  Eh, the gore isn't particularly thick.  Mercifully, there are a couple of messy moments that will mollify hemoglobin freaks.  I was slightly disappointed in Project: Metalbeast, but it's certainly fun.  Writer/director Alessandro De Gaetano could have pulled more out of the premise, in my opinion.  If you run across a copy, then by all means, pick it up.  Robert Z'Dar says, "I sought out the role of the metalbeast, but the producers balked at my demands.  Ten zillion dollars and requisite full-frontal nudity are reasonable requests, if you ask me."


Geek Out #82

Remember Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy?  If not, they were presented as Disney Sunday "movies" in the mid-80's.  I put "movies" in quotation marks because each chapter clocked in at 45 minutes.  They offer a sensational cloudburst of nostalgia for geeks my age, but appallingly, neither bundle of Boogedy has made the transition to DVD.  That really fucking sucks for two reasons.  A) Well, they rule.  B) Only Bride was released on home video, and it's a bit of a white elephant.

I'm in the process of procuring bootlegs, but if you're lazy (I'm not judging you, trust me), the Boogedy double feature can be accessed on YouTube.  This is a clip from the original featuring a dancing mummy.  So enjoy.


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #31

WM29 and a brief site update.


Blood Capsule #30


I'm genuinely shocked that I've never heard anyone utter a single word about this flick.  What we have here is an action/horror hybrid with polished production values, a copacetic villain and a script that repackages mildewed clichés in unique ways.  Those aren't the traits that will sell Full Eclipse to surfeited horror hounds, though.  No, its most advantageous feature is its synopsis.  The plot revolves around...wait for it...werewolf cops!  And the main character is played by...Mario Van Peebles!  Why hasn't this monster mash become a cult classic?  It's not seamless by any stretch of the imagination, but I got a hearty kick out of it.  Here, lycanthropes are detonated by a serum, a "super vaccine."

I hesitate to go into further details.  You just need to see Full Eclipse for yourself.  As fresh as the premise happens to be, director Anthony Hickox does indulge in a plurality of hokey "macho movie" tropes.  Mario's partner dies in the opening scene mere minutes after announcing that he's planning to retire and settle down.  Oh, snap!  We're also treated to plenty of slow-motion explosions.  Personally, I didn't mind the discernible cheese.  Recommended to fans of Lethal Weapon and Dog Soldiers.  Yeah.  Seriously, why is this wonderful thing so obscure?  It even stars Paula Marshall, for Max Headroom's sake.  Oh, Paula.  You might be the hottest werewolf I've ever ogled.