7/31/15

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper 1954-2015


This has been a shit(ty) year for legendary wrestlers.  Hot Rod got a little senile towards the end, but I still loved him.  Most fans did.  His spat with Stone Cold didn't temper that love, nor did his odd defense of Hulk Hogan.  He was a heatseeker.  Besides, none of the palaver took away from his classic promos or his memorable matches.  Personally, his bout against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania VIII stands out, as does his brawl with Goldust four years later.  I ache...ACHE to see more of his territory stuff.  And I will.

Of course, he also graced the silver screen.  Do I even need to remind you of They Live?  I might need to remind you of Hell Comes to Frogtown, but trust my ass, it's a fun cornball.  Piper led a full career, which is doubly impressive when you consider that it sprouted from squalor.  Baby Jesus!

I was going to review muzak, but it can wait.  I wasn't expecting Roddy to leave us, and I had to write something.  Don't turn that dial.

R.I.P.

7/30/15

Poll: Did die you, too?


  • What?
  • Zanks pheta.
  • Probably a review tomorrow.
  • Exhaust pipe miracle.
  • "Clean my fuckin' leg, Bixby."
  • "Bixby!  Nooo!"

7/29/15

Blood Capsule #52

TEENAGE EXORCIST (1991)

I feel like a criticaster whenever I bash a film that was clearly made with benign intentions.  The cast and crew of Teenage Exorcist are having a blast.  Unfortunately for them, they are the cast and crew of Teenage Exorcist.  Scripted by Brinke Stevens (!), this z-grade horror/comedy alloy pits a nerdy student (Stevens herself) against a random demon in the basement of her new house.  She becomes possessed and kills...nobody.  You read that right.  Aside from a topless corpse in the prologue, the body count is lower than my current blood-alcohol concentration.  HINT: I don't drink.

Mercifully, there are boobs here and there.  Arg.  This is why I'm not partial to comedies.  If the gags flounder, there is nothing else to lean on.  And the gags do flounder.  Why, they flounder harder than...oh, forget it.  Michael Berryman is depredated in a bookend cameo (he's plastered on the goddamn poster), and top-billed Eddie Deezen shows up halfway through the second act.  I did not care for Teenage Exorcist, thank you very much.

7/28/15

Geek Out #118



This column usually shoots for the lovingly absurd, but this time, I'm going for the heady, the cerebral.  I'm going for The Holy Mountain!  It's not just a cool System of a Down song.

7/27/15

The Diva Revolution


Unlike the past several months, I actually made an attempt to watch Raw in its entirety instead of just reading results and relying on word of mouth.  No, I'm not commenting on the Hulk Hogan fiasco.  Pictured above?  The current WWE roster.  I don't know about you, but I don't see any women.  What kind of fucking revolution is this?

Okay, "joke" over.  When NXT-bred badasses Charlotte, champion Sasha Banks and Becky Coccaro finally debuted on Raw, I popped.  I hadn't popped like that in a sustained while.  Was the Diva's division about to undergo a legitimate rhytidectomy (I'll let you look it up)?  Understandably, most fans were cynical, reticent to give WWE too much credit.  In my opinion, tonight was the true beginning of the Diva revolution.  Why?  For starters, there were two matches (that has happened before, yes, but the wrestling was iffy).  Plus, we got a singles match.  That's important.  Thus far, we have only seen feuding between stables, which has progenerated a cluster of tag matches.  Meh.

Perhaps more importantly, the match itself (between Paige and Sasha Banks) was hellacious.  I love how it started on the technical side, and the finish was appropriate.  Sasha going over makes sense, all the sense in the world.  That's how you book your champion.  Of course, in a WWE panorama, the NXT Women's Championship is the Intercontinental Championship of the Diva's division.  Or at least that's how I envision the landscape.

Last.  Paragraph.

7/26/15

I'm melting! I'm meeelllllllting!


Our fucking air-conditioning is busted, so it's hot as shit at the moment.  Ugh.  I'll post something tomorrow, but right now, I need to get naked and cool off in bed.  Fuck.  I usually love summer, but this one has been inadmissible.  On the bright side, I am in possession of mellowcreme pumpkins!

7/25/15

Album Cover of the Week


A loooooong time ago, an earlier Praying Mantis LP took the honor of Album Cover of the (fucking) Week.  These dudes formed in the 70's as part of NWOBHM badassery.  Personally, I would describe them as melodic hard rock with an Iron Maiden edge.  It's good driving music.  Every single Praying Mantis album cover is fucking sweet.  This particular album isn't even out yet, but again, look at that cover!  I should review 1957's The Deadly Mantis.

7/24/15

The Battery


No, this isn't The Catcher.  Dear Christ, that was a cinematic tumor.  This is The Battery.  I remember seeing the title here and there when it came out a few years ago, but for whatever reason, I turned my back to it.  Since I'm trying to catch up with new releases (or new-ish releases), I thought I'd give it a shot.  I went in clean slate.  Had no idea what the plot entailed, which proved to be fortuitous.  If I had known that it dealt with a zombie apocalypse, I likely would have kept walking (metaphorically, you ingrates).  I'm sick of zombies, I'm sick of "end times" entertainment and I stopped watching The Walking Dead midway through the second season.  Sue me.

Luckily, The Battery reconciles shabby, overworked tropes and proliferates its budget in smart ways.  Writer/director/co-star Jeremy Gardner utilizes excellent camera equipment to ensure that everything looks professional.  I wish I knew the proper technical jargon, but I don't.  I always feel like a dummy talking about this stuff.  CAMERA PICTURES PRETTY.  There.  That should cover it.  The film was shot on location in Connecticut, and eighty percent of the action (term used loosely) is outside in the ruthless daylight.  Ben and Mickey - our mainstay combatants - do a lot of...standing.  Well, that's not altogether true.  There is some sitting.  Don't go into The Battery jonesing for peppy stunts.

The arthritic pace does a number on this flick's replay value.  "Arthritic" is the perfect word, too; the script budges along as if it were in crippling pain.  The last half-hour is practically immobile.  Was it riveted to an off-screen anchor, I wonder?  An unseen pillar?  The pacing does have purpose.  Gardner wants us to feel how the characters feel.  As The Battery opens, Ben and Mickey are among the last men on Earth.  We follow them as they meander athwart open roads, vacant plains and tenantless houses.  Occasionally, they encounter zombies.  We are not given a reason for the canker of pestilence, and I prefer it that way.

Overall, this was a positive viewing experience.  If you don't care for the characters, though, you're fucked.  I, for one, was on board.  I dig that they are baseball players.  It's a small-scale detail that you don't see much of (outside of sports pictures anyway).  When it comes to his leads, Gardner is big on details.  Even ancillary players are fleshed out.  The relationship between Ben and Mickey is complex, and they are both flawed heroes.  The Battery shines when its central cast members simply have conversations.  It helps that the performances are grounded on all fronts.

No gore.  That's a drag, but it's not that kind of zombie apocalypse.  It's the kind where Mickey masturbates to a zombie lady with ample knockers.  Hey, don't judge.  Think about it; this guy hasn't seen knockers of any size in over six months.  I mean, there might have been a copy of Titquake somewhere.  NOTE TO SELF: Next time, just say Playboy.  You don't need to fabricate a magazine, cum-for-brains.

7/23/15

Ja

Slept a lot yesterday.  I don't remember when it was that I realized I had nothing to review or post, but it happened.  I'm going to watch a movie tonight, though.  I have other irons in the fire.  Some take longer to materialize than others. jajajajaja*

*foreign laughing

7/21/15

Man, those spheres are jackholes!


Watched a little film the other day, a little film called Phantasm II.  If you're talking late 80's horror, it's perfect.  Phantasm opinions are wildly inconsistent, almost as inconsistent as the movies themselves.  Most "phans" cite the original as the most accomplished entry, but I couldn't disagree more.  Part two is quicker, bloodier and snazzier.  I enjoy the original, but good grief, it takes forever to get from one plot point to the next.  It's like the script downed a vat of cold medicine.

What's YOUR favorite Philm?

7/20/15

VERUCA SALT - Ghost Notes


This site has existed for six years now, so I honestly can't remember if I have covered Veruca Salt before or not.  I know I've covered The Breeders, and I probably mentioned my love of female-fronted alt-rock from the 90's in that review.  I should be safe.  It's important because you need to know how much I love - LOVE - this band.  Rolling my eyes is an undignified rejoinder that I regretfully bank on when I overhear someone saying that an artist's music "got them through a hard time."  I'm not proud of it.  I shouldn't do that shit, but in my defense, they are usually praising, like, Coldplay.  Or...Coldplay.  I don't care for Coldplay.  I understand the sentiment, though.  In 1997, I spun American Thighs (I had yet to purchase Eight Arms) punctually while holed up in a hospital bed.

So yes, Veruca Salt helped me in a crunch.  That's true of almost every band I dig, so I must be a dick.  If you don't know the story, the core duo of Nina Gordon and Louise Post split in 1998.  The original line-up began fracturing a year prior.  I'll do the math for you; that's eighteen years ago.  Recently, the guys and gals of Veruca Salt decided to give it another go.  Nina is back!  My precious Louise released two records without her former best friend.  And they're not terrible, but they're not Veruca Salt.  Weezy concurs; she refers to those discs as "Veruca Starship."  Woah, two semi-colons in one review.  To paraphrase Eleanor of Aquitaine, I need to check myself before I wreck myself.  Moving on, bitches!

I haven't typed one word about Ghost Notes, I realize.  It's a trap that bounteous journalists fall into, and I'm not above the majority.  Do the volcano girls sound older and wiser?  Well, yeah.  I see that as both an opportune boon (*giggles*) and an ineludible downer.  Why down...er?  Nina and Louise are betrothed mothers.  They're all out of angst, not that they were ever the angriest band on the planet.  But I'm into angst!  Ghost Notes does rock, but collectively, it's happier and poppier than Veruca Salt's 90's output.  Don't misconstrue my meaning; (fuck, that's three) this is not a bad album.  I like it quite a bit.  It's just not as immediate as, again, the stuff from the 90's.

Ironic then that nostalgia is a running theme.  Several tunes deal directly with the break-up, others indirectly.  Clearly, my harem - I mean, the ladies still know how to concoct a mean hook.  The new compositions bob and weave like the old compositions, just in different places with slightly less distortion.  Slightly.  Opener "The Gospel According to Saint Me" is as mainstream as Ghost Notes gets, but at least the production is raw.  It doesn't sound 2015.  "Black and Blonde" is an archived neolith of a number that was dusted off for these sessions.  It's actually pretty fucking heavy, and it features those angelic harmonies that fans missed so much.  FACTOID: A discrepant version appears as a Japanese bonus track on Nina's 2000 solo LP.

My favorite cut, you implore?  Lead single "Laughing in the Sugar Bowl" hits me in the right spot.  It oozes 1994, and I'm not talking about that goddamn country song.  The chorus swells with melody, the lyrics are sassy and it ends with a headbanger riff that may have cracked my occipital bone.  "Empty Bottle" is another winner.  It thrives on a soft/loud dynamic (another 90's trick) that pervades Ghost Notes.  "Triage" has the meatiest chorus here.  I'm telling you, the guitars sound like meat.  That's good, though.  Vegans are advised to cup their ears and munch on celery to calm their nerves.  "Alternica" is the "Earthcrosser" of this set, a long, noisy way to wrap things up.  I approve.

Obviously (maybe it's not obvious), Ghost Notes is the worst of the "Nina" trilogy.  Yeah, it's pop-encrusted, but that's not the only discomfiture.  For starters, there are hardly any guitar solos.  I concede that Louise is not a thrash icon, but I've come to enjoy her freeform wailing (see "Get Back" or "Shutterbug").  All we hear is the neutered lead on "The Sound of Leaving," an otherwise powerful song.  "The Prince of Wales" has equally powerful lyrics, but musically, it's monotonous.  "Eyes on You" and "Love You Less" are instantly forgettable.  Ugh, I feel shitty shitting on this shit, but if it's shitty, should I not shit on it?  Wait, what?

Ghost Notes is worth placing in your shopping cart.  I wanted more vintage "buzz clip" epics, but overall, I'm cool with the reunited Veruca Salt.  Louise, if you're reading, will you marry me???

7/19/15

Album Cover of the Week


Spanish grindcore.  Hey, I only work here.

7/18/15

Stuff I'm Listening To


I thought about making this a regular column, but I have too many to begin with, some of which I don't even update.  So fuck that noize.  Anyway, these are a few bands/records I'm currently jamming.  Does not include review material for next week.

Code Orange - Originally called Code Orange Kids (because they were in high school at the time of their inception), this hardcore unit sounds singular.  Musically, they just do...whatever.  "Dreams in Inertia" is a virtual grunge tune with muddled clean vocals courtesy of Requisite Badass Chick (trademark) Reba Meyers.  They pull from a dilatant orbit of influences ranging from Converge to Alice in Chains.  You should take my recommendation seriously, as I'm not a big hardcore kind of guy.  Check THIS out.

Turnstile - It's the 90's again!  I'm totally enjoying this trend of 90's nostalgia.  One of the few perks of growing old is seeing your childhood favorites vault back into vogue.  These guys play a beautiful blend of Helmet, Rage Against the Machine and a nosh of Deftones.  Throughout this year's Nonstop Feeling, you pick up traces of groove metal and early 90's hardcore.  Again, I'm not into hardcore, but Turnstile has a fuck-bunch of energy.  They're happy without being annoying.  Check THIS out.

September Murder - How 'bout some death metal?  When I first heard of this German collective, I shied away from actually listening to their product.  That name!  September Murder?  Egads, it reeks of deathcore hooey-jive.  Alas, I was bored one day and gave 2013's He Who Invokes Decadence a fighting chance.  I discovered that these deceptively dubbed lads shred out melodic, technical death metal.  And it's good stuff!  Strangely, there is a famine, a disregard for guitar solos.  Stranger still, this album doesn't need solos.  The opening riff of "Among Vultures" is strong enough to buttress any solo-less song.  He Who Invokes Decadence is brimming with those kinds of riffs.  Check THIS out.

PS-Thanks to J.J. for bringing Code Orange to my attention.

7/17/15

Geek Out #117



Like, are you ready to geek out major?  As if!  For sure!  I stumbled upon this Amoeba "What's in My Bag?"' segment with Elvira, Mistress of the fucking dark.  It's tubular.  She only buys horror-themed stuff, so it's extra tubular.

7/16/15

Promotion


I have a doctor's appointment today (a different doctor) and a sleep appointment (that's right, motherfuckers; I'm serious about my sleep), so I'm not going to fuck around on here much.  I got to thinking...of all those links at the top, why not promote my Puppet Master series review?  That's what I'm going to do.  If you haven't read any of it, read that shit.  If you did read it, well, read that shit again!  I'm proud of it, and it wasn't fucking easy to swallow some of the later sequels.

Profanity!  Yay!

7/15/15

Witchery


1988's Witchery is an Italian film with a mainly American cast.  It feels more Italian than American, but not because it's twined in a Bava-esque shawl of romantic colors.  No, no, no.  It's less of a Bava Italian and more of a Fulci Italian.  Late 80's Fulci.  So it's not even prime Fulci, but I'll take what I can get.  To be clear, Fabrizio Laurenti is the man behind the camera.  He apportioned such classic Italian horror fare as...The Crawlers.  That ellipsis was meant to deliver an ironic thud of arrant disappointment.  Did it work?  It should have.  The Crawlers fucking sucked (never have evil tree roots been so boring).  Witchery doesn't suck, but it doesn't always seem to know what it wants to do.

Atmospheric in spots, brutal in spots, maudlin in spots...that ellipsis was pointless.  Won't happen again.  This picture's partisans point straight to the cast.  I'll admit, I would see just about any flick that stars both Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff.  Blair was nearing the end of her b-trash tour.  Hasselhoff was in between television successes.  I find it hard to believe that either actor had to do this project.  The Hoff's performance is divorced and perfunctory, though he is given bags of bullshit to work with.  His character - Gary - is preposterous.  His virgin girlfriend won't spread for him, so he spends an embarrassing amount of time trying to abolish her cherry.

Blair does better.  Barely.  Her character is pregnant, which ties into the drunken plot.  Gary's girlfriend is investigating "witch lights" off the coast.  Eventually, our ensemble gathers at the island locale.  It's a pretty standard creepy house, unless you factor in the elderly woman walking down the hallways at odd intervals.  Then it becomes super creepy!  Witchery is weird like that.  It waggles back and forth from cheesy to uncomfortable.  One minute, you're clucking at surfer accents and the next, SATAN RAPE.  Seriously.  A woman is violated in a dream (well, nightmare) sequence by Satan.

Here, Satan is represented by a dude with a mangled mouth.  I'm aware that doesn't sound wholly off-putting, but trust me.  It's wholly off-putting.  When someone is killed by the witch, we see them "falling" in a tourbillion of 80's effects.  That's followed with an upside-down crucifixion or a swordfish impalement.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to.  If Witchery was a person, I wouldn't trust it with money.  But do I like it?  Hell, I don't know.  I was entertained for 90 minutes, I suppose.  Escapism is underprized.  My heart has been in different pieces and places as of late, so I did need a jolt of supernatural revelry.  And Satan rape?

7/13/15

Offffffffffff

Today is an off-day, and tomorrow, we drive an hour away to get my cast taken off.  So nothing until Wednesday.  Sorry!

7/12/15

Album Cover of the Week


7/11/15

The top of the charts!


Hopefully, I'll be receiving new music in the mail next week.  And yes, that includes the new Veruca Salt album.  Did you know that I worship Louise Post?  She's the hottie up front, and as much as I love her, the band was out of alignment without Nina Gordon.  In 2013, they officially reconvened.  Balance was restored to the universe.  So I'll be reviewing dat shit as well as other new releases in the coming weeks.  It will be good.  We'll have a good time.  Bring punch.

7/10/15

Matches That Time Forgot #64

I'm not even going to say anything.  Just watch this nuttiness.



7/9/15

GOBLIN - Four of a Kind

Part-time Random Reviews contributor Bob Ignizio isn't just a comic book slog.  Actually, I wouldn't call him a slog at all.  For a refresher course, visit his movie site HERE.  He was nice enough to review the latest Goblin jams, so check this shiznit out.



What’s the deal with Goblin? Fans of the Italian progressive rock band and horror soundtrack specialists might very well be wondering just that with the recent release of two new albums by two different versions of the band: Goblin and Goblin Rebirth. Former Goblin keyboard player Claudio Simonetti also has a version of the band, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, which released an album last year consisting of new recordings of classic Goblin soundtrack cues, but that’s kind of lazy, if you ask me, so we won’t be dealing with it here.

Goblin Rebirth was recorded in 2012, and for whatever reason, sat in the can until Relapse Records picked it up for release in June of this year. This version of the band features the classic Goblin rhythm section of Agostino Marangolo on drums and Fabio Pignatelli on bass, with Giacomo Anselmi on guitars and Aidan Zammit and Danilo Cherni on keyboards. While the new players bring their own styles to the mix, Goblin Rebirth shows just how important Pignatelli and Marangolo are to the Goblin sound, their beats and basslines laying down a foundation that is unmistakable.

Lead-off track “Requiem for X” very much has Goblin’s classic horror soundtrack vibe, as does “Back in ‘74.” From there, however, things take a turn into more of a modern prog/fusion direction. Anselmi tends to play a bit more frenetically than original Goblin axeman Massimo Morante, and some of the keyboards have a more modern sound as well. Still, Goblin Rebirth never strays too far from the sound Goblin is known for. The cheesy, processed vocals (reminiscent of the title track of Goblin’s soundtrack for Tenebre) on “Evil in the Machine” didn’t work for me, but otherwise, this is a fine disc of instrumental prog that shows a Goblin proud of its past and looking to the future.

Goblin’s Four of a Kind represents the current, more or less unified version of Goblin, but despite being a more recent recording, it was actually released about a month before Goblin Rebirth. Since the Rebirth album, both Marangolo and Pignatelli have rejoined original Goblin guitarist Massimo Morante and keyboard player Maurizio Guarini, who played on most of the band’s best known seventies and eighties works. Goblin Rebirth keyboard player Aidan Zammit was in the band when I caught them live last year, but has evidently departed since then and not been replaced. For what it’s worth, Simonetti had been playing with Morante and Guarini under the Goblin name in 2013, but left before the rhythm section returned, quashing any hopes fans might have had for a full reunion.

If you were looking for a new Goblin album that completely nails the band’s classic sound with few (if any) concessions to what’s happened in the world musically since, Four of a Kind is it. The horror vibe is much stronger throughout than on Rebirth, and just as that album helped shine a spotlight on Marangolo and Pignatelli, this album reveals how important Morante’s guitar playing was to the classic Goblin sound. He has a much bluesier style than Goblin Rebirth’s Anselmi and doesn’t tend to shred as much. In fact, he’s often quite content to just lay down chords. Make no mistake, though; the guy is no slouch on the six string, and when he delivers a lead, he does so with feeling.

So what about Goblin’s keyboard wizard Claudio Simonetti? How badly is he missed? I will say his absence is felt, but not nearly as much as one might expect. Both Guarini and Zammit do a fair job of taking his place. In a perfect world, Four of a Kind might have been Five of a Kind. Such is life. While it may not be perfect, Four of a Kind is still worth four of an Abbath (for those curious, I'd give Rebirth three and a half screaming Norwegian men).

7/8/15

Blood Capsule #51

GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA (1994)

I have a volatile relationship with Big G's Heisei era.  For years, I maintained that its most unbendingly heinous offense was Godzilla 1985.  But now?  I'm not so sure.  It's true; I'm just seeing SpaceGodzilla for the first time.  I'm not proud.  I am, however, beholden to the fact that I was able to parry and bridle this flick until 2015.  It's certainly not Godzilla's fault.  He holds up his end of the ophidian (???) bargain.  I blame humans.  Stupid fucking humans with their stupid, kaiju-sized plot holes.  I can put up with a bundle of bullshit, especially as it relates to "giant monster" movies, but SpaceGodzilla's script is blockheaded.  It was held back in the second grade.

And that's a breach of integrity because Space-G is a fantastic villain.  He's evil as piss, and he gives Gojira a protracted, vehement fight.  Granted, the creature battles are mere laser exchanges (which is a bone I recurrently pick with the Heisei era), but the climax is meteoric.  Other footnotes...Little Godzilla is cuter than your baby, telepathy is disadvantageous, Mogera is shit (if you've seen the film, you understand) and Yuki is the worst "hero" in the entire franchise.  Reasons?  You want reasons?  Well, you're not getting them.  Seriously, though.  Fuck Yuki.

7/7/15

Eiji Tsuburaya


Look at that beautiful insanity.  Those are just some - an infinitesimal fraction - of the monsters on Ultraman, the legendary tokusatsu series from Japan.  I could write a book about tokusatsu alone (I can hear you scurrying to Wikipedia already).  I was moved to say something on the topic because of today's piss-poor, yet well-meaning Google Doodle.  It commemorated the 114th birthday of Eiji Tsuburaya.  I mean, he's dead.  I don't want to send the wrong...nevermind, I'm fucking this up.  Anyway, the guy created Ultraman and helped create motherfucking Godzilla.  More importantly, he innovated the special effects techniques used in a squillion kaiju/tokusatsu features and TV serials.

Basically, he was a badass.  I was shocked that Google would bother recognizing him, but they did, albeit with an impossibly shitty game.  I'll be reviewing a Godzilla flick soon.  You just keep staring at that image and know that it's from a much larger image.  I'm talking monsters up the asshole.

7/6/15

Dead Links #16


Monster High?  What's going on here?  I'm using that image because Marcey Papandrea is a fan of the...show?  I don't even know what it is.  I'm pretty sure it started as a toy line and snowballed from there (reminds me of toys from the 80's).  But that's not the point.  Marcey is an online pen pal of mine hailing from Australia.  She has a movie fansite that employs other pals of mine.  All Australian, if I'm not mistaken.  The focus is on all genres, though I know Marcey to be a gorehound at heart.

We are kindred spirits in a way.  She deals with physical ailments that drag her down, not to mention depression and all that jazzy shit.  And yet she manages to maintain a groovy site in spite of her infirmity.  Oh, and she has big knockers!  Woo-hoo!

7/5/15

Album Cover of the Week


Advent of Bedlam is a cool melodic semi-technical death metal band.  I know about them because godly vocalist Tim Aymar (he of Pharaoh/Control Denied fame) guests on one of their tracks.  Of course, that's a creepy, detailed cover, which is why they're featured here.  Now you know.

7/4/15

Flicka



Have you seen this?  I saw it on Facebook, and it's bound to viral its way to a million views within the week.  It's Freddy Krueger rapping about wrists.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  Freddy is already an established rapper who has spit rhymes with the best of 'em (well, with The Fat Boys).  He goes hard.  BUT this is a solid joint.  It may not be Robert Englund underneath the make-up, but The Crispy One looks pretty good, I must say.

7/3/15

Tyranno's Claw


Every movie blog on planet Earth has reviewed Jurassic World.  I suppose I should at least attempt to stay topical.  Right, so let's talk about 1994's Tyranno's Claw.  What, you haven't heard of it?  I checked, and this cotton-pickin' picture doesn't even have an IMDb page.  Makes no sense to me.  I know it's on DVD, so if you actually want to own a piece of South Korean cheeseball history, you're in luck.  If.  It's not that Tyranno's Claw is a chastening watch, but honestly, it's pretty fucking depressing.  And it really shouldn't be, not with the cloddish, lubberly cavemen and the herd of tactile dinosaurs scampering all over creation.

A scintilla of background information before I go into why it's so depressing: there is no dialogue, as all of the characters lack - eh, how you say - the English language.  They might as well be primates.  In the film's favor, they do look sufficiently troglodytic.  Grubby hair, splotches of dirt, bullhide garments...I would use the term "realistic," but y'know, dinosaurs.  The Rex dude on the poster munches on Cro-Magnon offerings prepared by Cro-Magnon assholes.  This asshole tribe is led by one guy, the chief executive asshole.  Everyone is afraid of him, so they quail and genuflect to him, even though they could easily overpower him.  It's not like he has a gun.

Anyway, a couple escapes during a sacrificial ritual and Tyranno's Claw becomes a chase sequence.  But Dominic Jay Coccaro, why is it depressing?  First of all, don't interrupt me.  Secondly, don't use my full name proper.  You're really pissing me off.  While it's never true animal cruelty (or at least I hope it isn't), there are several scenes in which regular beasties who have NO IDEA what is happening are either pursued by idiots or gobbled up by a mechanical carnivore.  You don't see a goat being shredded (as metal as that would have been), so I'm assuming it was okay.  This stuff is hard to watch for me, especially the Triceratops death.  That poor Triceratops!

Enough bitching.  The effects are genuinely impressive.  If you dig creature suits, by God, Tyranno's Claw is the cult entrĂ©e for you.  We even get a biped rodent monster.  Bipedal?  Anthropoid?  Hominid?  Humina, humina?  Hubba, hubba?  Hubba Bubba?  Nevermind.  Technically, this counts as kaiju, though it's not Japanese.  It's well-executed for a low-budget foreign film.  The pacing is locomotive and the action is relatively imaginative.  Character-wise, there isn't much to sink your incisors into.  In fact, the humans suck.  I made reference to an asshole tribe earlier, but in candor, they're all assholes.  At one point, the main boor slings arrows through baby Pterodactyls!  What a dick, right?

Tyranno's Claw toyed with my emotions.  It's entertaining, but it's also a bummer.  An entertaining bummer.  Use your own judgment.

7/2/15

Stumbling Blocks


Since revivifying the site last week, I'm still getting into a groove.  Currently working on the next review.  I don't want to blurt out the title, but it may have something to do with prehistoric creatures.  Remember Batista's blown-up performance at this past year's Royal Rumble?  That's where I'm at right now.  I'll get back into peak writing shape, though.  PUSH IT!  YEEEAH!