Depression, am I right? Here lately, I haven't had any interest in activities I would normally be interested in. No energy. No real desire to go outside or even get out of bed. That's fucking depression. But hey, I've been dealing with it for over a decade now, and it pirouettes in crests. Of course, the crest is the highest point of a wave. I'm currently in a trough (that's the lowest point, for all you middle-schoolers out there). Misery intensifies during the winter months, as it does for most folks who suffer from chronic depression.
What am I going on about? Oh! Don't expect the site to renew its strength until 2017 is mushrooming. I've been sitting on an episode of Insomnia Theatre, and I have plenty of movies to critique. I just watched 1976's Bloodsucking Freaks. Probably should have reviewed it, but MEH. See, that's the depression talking. I did like it. It's supposed to be an uproarious comedy, right?
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:53 PM
Um, I have a new wheelchair? It was delivered yesterday, and while I'm certainly grateful for my insurance picking up the tab, I haven't used it THAT much yet. With every new chair comes a grace period. I have to learn how to drive it (it's usually not that difficult...usually) and some kinks have to be worked out. Now, about that driving thing. It's usually not so difficult, except for this time. This is my fourth or fifth wheelchair as a human being, and for the most part, they have all driven the same way. They were four-wheelers. This one is a six-wheeler.
I have a deeper understanding of it than you do, but not even I can describe why it's difficult to steer. Plus, it doesn't fit comfortably under my bedroom desk. And the right leg rest needs to be extended. I blame Jesus Christ. His birthday is coming up, and I always get crabby/irritated around this time of the year. Obviously, none of this concerns you. I'm just letting you know why the fuck.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 8:10 PM
Mortification is a Christian band (!). You can't tell by listening to them, so check them out. It's funny in a way. Doesn't the fact that you can't discern their religious values from listening to their music put the kibosh on starting a Christian band in the first place? I thought that "spreading the word" was the whole point. Whatever, man. I haven't listened to Erasing the Goblin, in particular, but their early stuff is killer death metal. Death! Gore! Yeah!
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 4:39 AM
If I was pressed to describe 2016's The Greasy Strangler, I would remove my pants and shout arbitrary words. Repeatedly. That wouldn't tell you the plot, but you would feel like you had just watched the film. I try to pay attention to tone and texture. The tone here is slapdash sadism. The texture? Flabby, pendulous sheathing. Ugh, I'm trying to keep it classy here. We see a lot - A LOT - of naked flesh, and none of the actors are trim. Again, I'm trying to use hospitable language, as the bare-skinned cast members are male and female. Elizabeth De Razzo plays Janet, the picture's love interest. She's right cute, but her frame isn't exactly...trim? Yeah, I'll stick with "trim" since I've used it once already.
I want to make something clear, not that I'm under any social obligation to explain myself. Personally, I prefer curves. I draw the line at morbid obesity (for reasons predicated on health), but I don't consider Janet to be morbidly obese. Some might, I'm sure. Father-and-son contingent Big Ronnie and Big Brayden impel The Greasy Strangler forward. Obviously, they are the main characters; the anchor, the embryo, the seed, the nub, the heart, the nucleus...they don't look great naked. Ronnie, the Big daddy, looks particularly rough, and I couldn't count the seconds of screen time allotted to his prosthetic member. Floppy fake dicks are all over the place. Ronnie is packing a massive third leg, while Brayden sports a micropenis because comedy.
Technically, the genre tag is "horror/comedy," but the horror is expatriated to laconic kill sequences. I'll give director Jim Hosking one thing; his effects crew devised a handful of amusing gore twinklings. So there's that. I still haven't said much with regards to the storyline because the synopsis will tell you everything you need to know about The Greasy Strangler. It's an experiment in drollery and travesty. Imagine a collaboration between John Waters and Tim Heidecker. I'm a fan of both gentlemen, but most of this lark's quirks coasted past me without registering so much as a simper. It should be noted that I don't do gross-out humor (with very few exceptions). If an old man farting in the general direction of his son sounds funny to you, then by all means, have at it.
The title is a reference to some creep squelching lives around town. The only problem is that it's not a whodunit. We know precisely who done it, and as a matter of fact, he/she admits to doing it in the first scene of The Greasy Strangler. With ten percent more effort, the script could have been somewhat clever. Y'know, it's strange; this is the kind of oddball fuckery I'd normally favor. I dig aspects of it. Sky Elobar and Michael St. Michaels are fucking committed as Brayden and Ronnie, respectively. I questioned their sanity. The score is memorable, if not...well, it's memorable. I'll leave it at that. To be (im)perfectly honest, I'm grappling with how many Z'Dars I should assign such a grody, disruptive undertaking. I almost want to create a different rating scale. Almost.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 8:41 PM
I love "fly on the wall" music documentaries where you're in the studio with the band, watching them actuate during the creative process. It's just me living vicariously through cool people. See, I've always wanted to be in a band. A real band, not Dark Fuck or whatever the hell it was called (I was in a shitty "band" a decade ago; the three of us never met in the flesh and the "leader" found Jesus after one month and quit). "Quotation marks." So yeah, I geeked out watching the above clip. Metallica has...eh, I need a new paragraph.
Found one! Metallica has been posting "making of" videos for each track on Hardwired to Self-Destruct. They did the same deal for Death Magnetic, and I think it's awesome. There are only a handful so far, but it seems to be a weekly (or bi-weekly) upload. No, I won't be reviewing the album. I will say that it's their mightiest effort since 1991, and "Spit Out the Bone" is their best song since 1988. "Confusion" is my second favorite cut on the record. It's as catchy as tuberculosis as Hepatitis B combined, yo!
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:11 PM
Remember when I reviewed that Clive Barker novel? You should. It wasn't that long ago. Jesus. Maybe you found this page just now via Google. In which case, I apologize for the chutzpah and self-importance, even though I am REALLY important. Remember when I reviewed 1995's Lord of Illusions? Trick question! Antiemetics are never used to prevent post-partum hemorrhaging, you fucking idiot. Anyway, I have owned the director's cut of this flick on VHS for years. It was pretty easy to find in the latter stages of the video store era (somewhere in between the Pleistocene epoch and 2003). Yesterday, I decided that it would take too long to find the goddamn thing in my closet, so a friend and I watched the R-rated version instead. I like to point out that I have friends.
There are ten minutes missing from the oh-so-Restricted rendering we watched, but having seen the uncircumcised variant, I'm confident enough in my recall ability to say that this is a review of Barker's cut. And I can't stop thinking about cocks. Dicks. Members. 'Member? Berries. Twigs. Trunks. Packages. Purple-vein monster rods. Shit! Start the synopsis already. As I'm sure you could guess, Lord of Illusions centers around the cryptic world of magic(k). Private eye Harry D'Amour casually staggers into a horror movie already in progress. He winds up with a front row seat to the tragic accidental death of a popular magician (imagine an ostentatious Vegas act, only classier). Was it staged? If so, by whom? Is it connected to a ghastly cult? Where is my cock, and is it tied to the trigger of an airsoft gun?
This was Barker's third and final directorial outing, discounting shorts. In my estimation, it remains his best. I realize what I'm saying. Hellraiser is a modern classic, and I'm not suggesting that it's an easy call to make, but I favor Lord of Illusions by a mite of chicken feed. They are both flawed. As for Nightbreed, I was never much of a fan. Getting back to Monarch of Soothsaying, it has held up remarkably well. You might sneer, "Big deal. It's from the mid-90's." Firstly, fuck you. Secondly, you're forgetting that this is an effects-heavy genre film. It could have been riddled with deformed CGI, but that mess is contained to a single awkward scene. The rest? A proliferation of practical gore and a few instances of good (!) CGI. The make-up is fantastic throughout (love the part where Nix's proselytes sink into the floor).
By the way, Daniel von Bargen is seriously creepy as Nix, a cult leader "born to murder this world." I was saddened to learn that he passed away last year from complications following an apparent suicide attempt. Segue? When I read The Scarlet Gospels, I saw Scott Bakula in my mind's eye as D'Amour, so that should fill you in on the validity of his performance. Famke Janssen is hot. I don't mean to objectify her, but Dorothea (her character) isn't explored in a meaningful way. That brings me to a problem I have with the script. The love angle between Harry and Dorothea is so perfunctory, it feels like a studio note. In that same vein, the ending doesn't want to end. I can picture an executive stonewalling his case that the villain needs to come back several times. "It will be scary!"
You can bet that the best chunks of Lord of Illusions reek of Clive Barker. It may not be quite as Barker-y as Hellraiser, but again, I prefer it by a cunt hair (I tried not to use that apophthegm* earlier, but hey, Steve Austin uses it). Even in 2016, it tells a fresh story. How many other fright flicks operate within the shrouded realm of professional magic? Plus, it's paced well. I'm a stickler for pacing. I always bring it up, even at dinner. Even in 2016, I bring up pacing. How many other crippled writers operate within the shrouded realm of cock-and-ball torture? Damn it! Cocks! They're everywhere! Ahem. I enjoy Lord of Illusions, and if I were propositioned with a rating scale of five Z'Dars, I would award it with...cocks. Fuck!
*I doubt that I used that term correctly.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:22 PM