Album Cover of the Whatever

Let me get something out of the way.  The Haxans suck.  It's a side project of some douchetwizzler (he could be a swell fellow; I'm trying to be judgmental, so back off) and Ash Costello from New Years Day (sic).  In my opinion, they sound messy and unfocused.  Imagine a hazy Rob Zombie, and no, I'm not a fan of Zombie's solo work.  I don't like anything!

Having secreted all of that negativity, The Haxans clearly have their hearts in the right place.  I mean, look at that cover!  It is Halloween crystallized.  My favorite mask might be the mummy (second row, fourth column, turquoise square), only because you don't see many mummy masks, unless they're makeshift toilet paper creations. What's your favorite?  Hmm?


Killer Campout

A disclaimer is in order.  One of the blokes who wrote 2016's Killer Campout is Matt Hill, a good buddy of mine.  I've been in these situations before as a "critic," but as I've said in the past, I remain unbiased.  I am equitable to a fault and I would harbor zero compunction about ripping this flick a new puckered starfish.  Even if you doubt my journalistic integrity, you don't know the nature of my relationship with Mr. Hill.  I could hate the motherfucker.  Sure, I said we were buddies, but you are not privy to my TRUE feelings.  Oh, if he only knew how much I wanted to scalp him and gnaw on his ribcage.  Eat him!  Yeah, I want to eat his intestines!  Nah.  Just joshing.  But that's the kind of stuff that goads his villain's gonads. This is one sick slasher.

Sick slashers are cool.  I'd usually save my recommendation for the end of a review, but I'm sticking it here.  Rent Killer Campout if you're in the mood for mindless debauchery, but don't watch the trailer.  It gives away the most rewarding death sequences.  The budget was obviously paltry, but the effects technicians turned out top-drawer gore.  Seriously, the kills are emphatic.  My favorite bit of top-drawer gore (I need to trademark that shit) sees a hapless dude being chopped in half.  "Chopped in Half" is a sweet Obituary jam. We should discuss Obituary sometime, you and me.  I digress!  So I have established that the blood flows like spirits, but what of nudity?

Fuck, there is nudity all over the place!  Honorable mentions go to Nadia White and Lindsey Day.  White has slammin' (also suitable: bitchin') knockers (also suitable: bazooms), while Day is a goddess across the board.  I blushed when she was on-screen.  In any event, Killer Campout knows what is important.  It knows what schlocksuckers look for in a slasher.  Moreover, the pacing is vivacious.  This is a quick...er, quickie.  Not all is savory on these cruor-sodden campgrounds.  To be honest, the film's biggest flaw is the looping.  I don't think I've ever said that about a genre dish that wasn't foreign.  The dubbing is absolutely atrocious, which threw me for a major loop (pun intended).

Of course, 60% of the acting is dreadful, and that's being somewhat generous.  My future ex-girlfriend - y'know, Lindsey Day - actually gives one of the more believable performances, as does Julio Bana Fernandez and Luba Hansen.  The rest of the cast gets a failing grade.  Also, the mechanics of the plot don't strike me as wholly fresh.  It's an incredibly simple tale of "teenagers" dying amongst timber at the hands of a maniacal backwoods nutter.  Through a singular coincidence, I've viewed a high number of movies in the span of a month that bear the same basic storyline.  That's not Killer Campout's fault.  It's definitely my fault.  I am shamed.

Still, I endorse this infectious insanity.  It delivers on its promises, and I appreciate that.  I've seen too many damn slashers that can't seem to leave the gates on the right foot.  Killer Campout puts its best foot forward and proceeds to sever it.  That's a compliment.


Matches That Time Forgot #67

Abby isn't just a blaxploitation title.  No, no, no...Abdullah the Butcher (his chums call him Abby) is a hardcore wrestling legend. I'm talking to you like you're a wrestling novice when I would normally write as though I were preaching to the choir.  The reason? I'm an Abby novice.  The man debuted in the 50's (!), so I didn't see his formative bouts.  I'm more than familiar with his gimmick (his own creation, as I understand it).  Permanent scarring paves his scalp from decades of, shall we say, enthusiastic blading.  By late 1991, he was nearing the end of a fabled career and decided to splash his blood around WCW.

In today's match that time forgot, The Butcher is scheduled to face "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton.  Naturally, the match doesn't get started. Eaton is attacked just outside of the ring, and as luck would have it, Cactus Jack joins in on the fun.  Rick Steiner tries to make the save, but he's easily overpowered by the two weapon-wielding maniacs. Charming!  And excessive for pre-Hogan WCW.  You can't hear me, but I'm chanting something about how this is awesome.


Seeding of a Ghost

We're back in Hong Kong for 1983's Seeding of a Ghost, an otherworldly Shaw Brothers production that is just as sleazy as it is baleful.  In fact, the sleaze detracts from the intended effect.  Well, maybe.  It's very possible that the intent was to exploit its (female) cast members, but that's where Seeding takes its eyes off the ball. I'm zooming ahead of myself.  Square one says that this is Asian Zombie Pumpkinhead.  A cab driver's wife is raped and murdered, so the cab driver enlists the ministration of a necromancer to redress those responsible.  Unfortunately, it's the same voodoo daddy that he nearly struck with his car in the opening scene.  Fuck, I'll have to look up names for this shit.

Chau?  I'm pretty sure that the cab driver is named Chau.  Apart from the policemen, he is the only redeemable character on display.  His slain wife is an adulterer and her oh-so-discreet lover is married. And then you've got the rapist, his co-conspirator and the creepy black magic fuck.  We have no compass.  It could be me, but I feel that this stripe of horror needs an emotional anchor.  An emotional purlieu, if you will (no one will).  Director Chaun Yang is too preoccupied with bush and getting to know the disreputable scoundrels.  Ever called a rapist a SCOUNDREL?  That would be weird.  Normally, the plentiful nudity wouldn't bother me, but context is key.  Seeding is oppressively misogynistic, which distracted the hell of me.  And I hate women!  They're all fuckin' whores.

That was a joke.  Everyone, please.  Calm down.  Putting my critic hat back on (a white Phrygian cap, conical headgear associated in antiquity with freed Smurf slaves), I found Seeding to be more digestible once the supernatural stuff started up.  Luckily, the pace never brakes.  This is a concise flick that doesn't stay in one place too long.  The special effects are commendable.  You can tell that the budget was limited, but the gore is purty.  The main gag, I suppose, would be Irene's desiccated corpse coming to life and floating above a bed.  Yeah, wires are visible.  It is what it is.  The most impressive effects arrive in the last ten minutes and have drawn comparisons to John Carpenter's The Thing.

I wouldn't go that far.  However, the "devil fetus" creature IS awesome.  The climax is a plasma-soaked spectacle, but I don't want to make the mistake of overhyping it.  Because when it comes to Seeding of a Ghost, that's what everyone else does.  My goal with any review is to let you know what you're in for and to share my bogus opinion.  This isn't Dead Alive or Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, but it's an entertaining spookshow stamped with an unmistakable 80's vibe.  The flaws are heavy. They won't ruin the film for the majority of genre fans, but they do exist.  I take all of it into account and I ask Robert Z'Dar what he thinks.  He offers, "I had to have more bush."


NXT Round-Up

SANITY CALLS OUT AUTHORS ~ AOP is fucked with.  They have never been dominated in a feud like this, but that could mean that they're going over at Takeover: Brooklyn III.  That's usually how it goes.  Then again, Vinnie Mac isn't pulling the strings.  Who knows?

NEW TEAMS ~ Street Profits finally debut against...The Metro Brothers?  They look like Deuce 'n' Domino-style greasers.  In other words, they didn't resemble metrosexuals.  It matters none, as they were trotted out to be stomped by Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. If you follow NXT somewhat religiously (fucking oxymoron), you'll recognize those names.  They have been haunting developmental for a few years, but it would seem that they have found the right gimmick, the right cranny in which to be ensconced.  Like velvet!  At any rate, the crowd loved them.  Ford is one athletic dude.

STIPS ~ So next week, Drew McIntyre will face Roderick Strong.  If Roddy wins, he will face Bobby Roode after Brooklyn, regardless of who is holding the title.  It's personal.  I dig it.  Man, I can't express how well-booked NXT is, from top to bottom.  Every competitor has an angle.  Doesn't that remind you of a certain era in pro-wrestling? An attitudinal era?  That's right; the New Generation!  Guffaw!

ONEY LORCAN VS. DANNY BURCH ~ Another solid match between these two brawlers.  In all likelihood, there will be a rubber match.  I'm cool with it, but here's my idea.  Maybe the third bout ends in a double disqualification.  A double count-out, let's say. Maybe Lorcan and Birch realize they are each other's in-ring equal. Maybe they decide to forge a tag team.  Maybe I should be hired to write for WWE!?

NO WAY JOSE VS. ANDRADE "CIEN" ALMAS ~ This was supposed to be kind of a rivalry, but it rolls over and dies post-match when Zelina Vega challenges Johnny Gargano on behalf of her associate.  Anticlimactic.  I do like that Vega has assumed the role of manager, as opposed to being a valet.  Unfortunately, NXT brass has no idea what to do with No Way Jose.  It's their own fault for hatching a goddamn dancing gimmick.  And here I just praised the booking team!  The praise stands.  There are no perfect wrestling promotions, but NXT comes awfully close.


Album Cover of the Whatever

Necrolord (a.k.a. Kristian Wahlin) is an amazing artist who just so happens to create album covers for metal bands.  He is responsible for dozens of covers, some of which you're probably familiar with. For instance, he drafted my favorite album cover of all time, Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse.  But for the purposes of today's column, I selected Stortregn's Evocation of Light.  I love those colors!  The record itself is bulging out with melodic death/black metal.  Loads of leads.  Anyway, google Necrolord.  Do it.


Blood Capsule #75


I had zero expectations flying into this cost-effective b-pastry.  Well, that's only partially true.  The film looks better than I had predicted, which would put the budget somewhere in the three-digit range.  It's not fucking Blade Runner, but I was able to surmise that the crew had a telltale inkling of crafty knowledge.  Revenge is palatable to the eye, especially its use of cool (as in "not warm") blues and sci-fi greens.  It doesn't say much for the script that I'm beginning my dinky review by highlighting the color scheme.  The plot is just silly.  An incredulous journalist probes into the practices of a seedy sludge factory.  As far as I can tell, it's a literal sludge factory.  Like the Alice in Chains song!  Anybody?  Milk carton size?  Bueller?

So the reporter congregates with the board of directors and threatens to go public with his findings.  The CEO (or something) takes the soon-to-be radioactive malformation on a tour of the plant to prove that it meets all of the necessary health guidelines.  It doesn't.  The repor...er, Mike is pushed into a vat of chemical gunk.  No, he doesn't turn into The Joker.  He does become gnarled (see above), and by God, Durant is going to pay!  Die, Durant, die!  Okay, Revenge of the Radioactive Reporter isn't 100% original, but it's harmless fun. Relatively speaking, the special effects are modest and presentable. Those are the best adjectives for this flick-a-dee.  It is modest, presentable "rainy afternoon" gaiety.


Be the Worst You Can Be

Trying something a bit different tonight.  This little experiment was catalyzed by an impromptu horror marathon made possible by Roku, YouTube and wired restlessness.  No matter how I settled my bones, I couldn't fucking sleep.  Thank Satan for movies!  Movies, movies, movies.  It's rare that I watch two movies in succession, so surveying three seems herculean in retrospect.  You know what else seems herculean?  My strength!  I am rugged and tenacious.  Why, I have the goddamn strength of ten full-grown carcasses.  The steroids help (the trick is taking more than you're prescribed), sure, but there will NOT be an asterisk next to my anonym in the Horror Blogger Hall of Fame, unless I have to piss in a cup.

I pissed once.  Years ago.  Um, 1987's Blood Frenzy is a dull slasher set in the middle of a desert.  It gets the tiny things right.  A couple of characters are likable to the point where you don't want to slit their throats.  The final act is moderately atmospheric, as it takes place in a mine.  But jeepers Friday, if I wasn't wide-awake fidgety, I would have conked out at the 30-minute mark.  There's a reason why "desert slashers" aren't a subclass of the modern day exploitation film.  Deserts, much like blood frenzies, are bare.  A startlingly low gore quotient and no nudity. One of the supplementary parts is a blonde nymphomaniac, for fuck's sake! Next.

Oh, Lisa Loring plays a bitter cunt.  She was the original Wednesday Addams.  Interesting, yet entirely irrelevant.

1986's Hunter's Blood spends a paunchy, loose-lipped 45 minutes cramming nothing up the viewer's asshole.  It's well-acted, but the plot is far too simplistic for a 101-minute running time.  Speaking of which, we follow a covey of hunters (y'know, hunters) as they quail deep into a forest.  Uh-oh!  They have run aground of bully poachers. Oh, shit!  They're not poachers; they're cannibals!  Are our protagonists about to lose their blood (y'know, blood)?  I'm being flippant, but this might have been the best film that I viewed last night.  Actually, strike "might" from the record.  It was easily the most refined product.  The second half is a marshland of suspense, and fucking orange hell, the violence is brutal.

The cast speaks for itself.  Clu Gulager, Bruce Glover, Billy Drago (hell yes), Charles Cyphers, Kim Delaney...Hunter's Blood doesn't want for stellar acting.  I would describe it as The Hills Have Motel Hells After Taking Wrong Turns.  If you can weather a precarious exposition, you will be rewarded with a quality thriller.  Remain firm. Stand fast.  Win out.

Would you believe that Hunter's Blood was not the fright fare I enjoyed the most out of the motion pictures I fellated?  Execrable word choice, I realize.  I'm tired, okay?  While I recognize that it isn't top-shelf entertainment, I had a blast with 1986's Revenge (a.k.a. Blood Cult 2).  Patrick Wayne is unbelievably stilted as a guy who investigates the death of his brother in a classic small town.  He is aided by an old lady ninja who kicks 78% more ass than anyone else.  No joke, my friend.  Dis bitch is ryde or die!  Once Revenge arrives at the halfway stamp, all bets are off.  We get motorcycle chases, cheese-wadded demons (love the make-up effects) and John Carradine being awesome.

I was literally smiling as the end credits rolled across the screen. Me! Smiling a happy smile!  If this were an episode of Best of the Worst, Revenge would win.  Of course, I would destroy Blood Frenzy, despite it being somewhat tolerable.  "Tolerable" doesn't cut it around here.  Imagine the DVD being crushed under the weight of my wheelchair.  Or VHS tape.  You grasp the basic concept.


Dead Links #19

Holy shit, it's Dead Links!  I brought this column back to promote my current favorite podcast.  It has nothing to do with horror, metal or wrestling.  Can you believe that shit?  It has everything to do with Norm Macdonald, possibly the funniest man alive.  I can't describe why he's so goddamn funny.  It's the combination of his delivery and his material.  He has had a video podcast on YouTube for a few years now, and I've taken the initiative to post my favorite episode. Yes, there is a second part.  Leave it playing in the background and laugh your cock off.


Cripple of Honor

Me with The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels)!  The comic book?  Daniels wrote half of it and both members of The Addiction appear within its pages.

So last night, I attended my first Ring of Honor show.  It was a TV taping, and as ROH fans surely know, they record four episodes at one fell swoop.  My main goal was to see The Young Bucks wrassle. After their match (it was the main event of the third episode), Mom and I called it a night.  By the way, thanks to my mom for driving 90 minutes and sitting through well over three hours of professional wrestling, a leisure pursuit that she does not call a hobby.  That's love, folks.

I'm not going to circulate a blow-by-blow bulletin of the results.  You can find the full card on dirtsheet sites.  I will merely give my general impression of certain talents and the overall ambiance.  Hats off to the dudes who worked the triple-threat dark match.  I couldn't understand their names (something about a monkey?), but in roughly six minutes, they did every move they could do.  Ordinarily, I'd characterize that approach as short-sighted, if not witless, but this wasn't your average card.  Again, it was a TV taping.  Whomever was booking the proceedings ran the risk of draining the crowd, and yet, it didn't.  You have to book for TV.

The ring.  Pre-show.

I'm sounding too clinical.  I had a blast!  I'm just...y'know, writing, which is my biggest weakness.  Before the first episode got underway, we were treated to a Women of Honor match.  Karen Q defeated Stella Wade?  Wayne?  Waverly Place?  Seriously, I couldn't make out much of what the announcer said, and it's a shame.  Stella was sexy as shit.  Of course, her looks are irrelevant. Apparently, this was her first WOH (or ROH, for that matter) bout, and while I'm not up to speed on her credentials, I could tell she was a bit bosky around the fringes.  That's my oblique way of saying that she lacks experience.  Karen Q hasn't been in the game for long, but damn, she comes off as a seasoned veteran.  Legitimately surprised that she hasn't gained access to the NXT performance center.

As soon as the show(s) started, Kazarian cut a promo and turned heel!  Wooooah!  Honestly?  I thought The Addiction was already a villainous duo.  Yeah, this is where I state that I don't follow ROH terribly closely.  I wish I could, but we don't get Comet, the channel that airs their series on a weekly basis (it's The Fight Network for you Canadian marks).  Where was I?  Ah, The Addiction being awesome and worming their way into the main event of the third episode.  You read that correctly.  They interfered in the match that I was most hyped to see...the bastards!

Fortuitously, said match still delivered.  The Young Bucks (my favorite active tag team on Earth) took on The Motor City Machine Guns in a contest that reminded me of 2010.  That was the year I started watching TNA.  Actually, it was the year I started watching wrestling as an adult through "smart" eyes.  Both teams were signed to the TNA roster.  The Bucks were known as Generation Me, and although they weren't quite as polished as they are in 2017, I recall their double-team badassery spoiling my brain.  I would never view WWE's tag team division in the same light ever again.  Naturally, the Guns deserve plaudits for their part in Ye Olde TNA Tags.  Chris Sabin banged Velvet Sky, so they have my eternal respect.

Judging from the conclusion of the third episode, it seems as if The Bucks will defend their ROH Tag Team Championships at War of the Worlds against - wait for it - The Motor City Machine Guns and The Addiction.  Yes, please!  Okay.  The rest of this piece will consist of a bulleted list (stuff I noticed, stuff I enjoyed, stuff that happened in my vicinity) and another photograph.

  • I know Flip Gordon from Being the Elite, but as it turns out, he's exciting to watch in the ring.  One of the best solo high-flyers in the promotion.
  • Sweet heavens, War Machine is a brutal monstrosity of a tag team.  It's no wonder that they lay claim to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.  Scary viking sumbitches.
  • Jay White is one hell of a cruiserweight.  The New Zealand import was unlucky enough to face War Machine.  Yes, he had a partner, but he suffered the brunt of the bumps. Maybe it just felt that way.  Ouch.
  • Brandi Rhodes made her ROH debut, competing in a tag match.  I'm in love with her and I might be a stalker if she learned how to wrestle.  Harsh, I'm aware, but it's clear that she doesn't have it.
  • Speaking of the Rhodes family, Cody grappled during the fourth episode, and if you've been paying attention thus far, you know that I missed him.  Sad emoji.
  • I bought a copy of the comic book pictured above.  I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it looks righteous.
  • I finally...FINALLY own a Bullet Club t-shirt.  That means I'm in the Bullet Club, right?  Right???
You'll have to excuse the quality, but those are The Young Bucks!  Loudest pop of the night.


Ring of Firmer

I was going to review 1999's Terror Firmer, but a couple of factors prevented this from happening.  HASHTAG ONE: I could only find the R-rated version online.  I wasn't going to plunk down a glob of chicken feed for the DVD when I barely have enough pocket money to put food in my kids' mouths.  Sure, my kids died decades ago, but that's beside the point.  HASHTAG TWO: I'll be busy this weekend, babe!  Tomorrow night, I will attend a Ring of Honor TV taping.  I'm making a concerted effort not to use a daffy amount of exclamation points, but trust me; I'm super stoked.  Who is seeing his favorite tag team - The Young Bucks - in action?  This motherfucker right here!  I mean, this motherfucker right here.  You can expect a write-up.

For those curious, I liked Terror Firmer, but I didn't love it.  I'm sure that the added gore/insanity of the unrated cut would garner an extra half-Z'Dar.  That would bring it up to three Z'Dars, by the way.  I was genuinely swayed by Will Keenan's pledged performance, and Alyce LaTourelle was just as charismatic as Jenny, the torn heroine. However, the lion's share of the comedy didn't click with me.  I'm not a "fart joke" kind of guy.  Pretty sure I've covered this before, but I dig a handful of Troma films, including the Toxic Avenger series.  I'm not anti-Troma.  In fact, I've been wanting to plant my eyes on Poultrygeist.  Is that foreshadowing???  No.


NXT Round-Up

Honestly, to be honest, if I’m being honest, in all candor and in all actuality, there isn’t much to discuss this week. God, I can’t wait! Hey, here’s a tidbit; I’m writing this part without power. Due to inclement weather, our whole neighborhood suffered a literal power outage (I’m running on plenty of emotional power, don’t worry). And I was so close to finishing my uber-battery, a Copernican, world-shaking invention that will supply electricity to an entire country! Oh, well. Might as well scrap it.

EMBER MOON VS. LEI'D TAPA ~ Tapa is a former TNA Knockout as well as a former MMA competitor.  I'm familiar with her, and I'm curious as to why she isn't involved in the Mae Young Classic.  For an athlete with such a palpable size advantage (she's a tanker), Tapa can move.  This was a compact match, but it was executed perfectly. Heat, shine, finish.  Boom.  After her win, Ember got on the horn and challenged Asuka to a championship bout at Takeover: Brooklyn.  I'm in love.

BABYFACE SANITY ~ Well, that was unexpected.  This is an instance of talents "switching sides" on account of their targets (in this case, Authors of Pain).  AOP was scheduled to squash a pair of jobbers, but hold up, playa.  Nikki Cross comes out while Dain and Wolfe eliminate the jobbers.  Fine by me.  We're still waiting on TM-61 to hop off of the disabled list, and Heavy Machinery already lost a title match.  Could Sanity be the ones to finally oust Paul Ellering's Authors?  Will Hemoglobin the Kangaroo stand up to the bullies at Vainglory Central High?  Can this paragraph be saved???

SELINA VEGA ~ My spelling may be off, but that's the name given to Andrade Cien Almas's lady friend.  Our power is back!

DREW MCINTYRE ~ McIntyre cuts one hell of a promo, referencing his erstwhile handle of The Chosen One.  Dude is on a hot streak, and I'm picking him to take the title off of Bobby Roode.  I'm totally on board.  Not only has he figured out how to work a microphone, he looks badass.  Barrel-chested, grizzled, at least 6-foot-5...I'm in lo--wait, what?

THE MAIN EVENT ~ Kassius Ohno versus Hideo Itami ends in a disqualification.  I dug how it started as a technical contest and became more impassioned as it went on.  Itami completes his heel turn, delivering three GTS's to an enfeebled Ohno.  Oh, no!  Yes, I've been sitting on that awful, awful joke since he re-debuted.  I have no shame.


Geek Out #132

Gotta love screener promos, baby!  The clips of moviegoers giving their two cents on Dead Alive after having just exited the theater are rich.  It doesn't say which version of the film they watched, but you would think that Vidmark had enough sense to project the unrated cut in front of their innocent little faces.  Great, now I have a nostalgia boner.  Any zombie babes willing to take care of it?

PS-I need that candy dispenser!



Obviously, my NXT Round-Up was on vacation this past week.  It will return Thursday, but I wanted to pop in to say that the match between Ember Moon and Ruby Riot was a house toppler.  Is that even a term?  I don't think so.  My point is that the match was fucking AWESOME!  It was so gratifying, that the main event played to a quiet, spent crowd.  Both ladies deserve credit, but dude, I'm turning into an unapologetic mark for Ember Moon.  Outside of the Mae Young Classic (and aside from Asuka), she might be the best female wrestler in the company.  If you didn't catch NXT on Wednesday night, go back and check it out!


Centipede Horror

First thing's first.  The above image is the poster for 1982's Human Lanterns.  I'm not reviewing Human Lanterns.  That may not seem very professional, and it's not, but hear me out!  The only one-sheets (and even DVD covers) for 1982's Centipede Horror that I could locate were either watermarked or faded to shit.  Both films are weirdo tales of the supernatural from Asia.  In addition, they were both disseminated to the public in the same year, so...yeah, I'm not a professional.  I never claimed to be a citizen above suspicion, though.  If you scroll down a bit, you'll see that I did include a screengrab, the likeness of which will turn your intestines sideways.

C'mon, what did you expect?  It's called Centipede Horror, and yes, that poor actress hawked up live centipedes.  She works hard for the money.  Anyway, said actress is Tien-Lang Li (a.k.a. a million pseudonyms, more than David DeCoteau), and I can't knock her commitment.  Honestly, it's hard to gauge the performances.  The version I watched was subtitled and dubbed. Translation-wise, the dialogue is stilted, so when you consider all of those factors, the human element of Centipede Horror feels distant. Certain scenes are rendered unintentionally hilarious.  "I am the king of the centipedes!"  That line is uttered out of goddamn nowhere, man.

Fans familiar with this title know that it's a Category III exploit, a hard-edged extremity tailor-made for a select few in our niche.  I've dabbled.  I'm a masochist in that I like to pulverize my senses at wolfish intervals (???).  Centipede Horror isn't exactly bloody, but as you can imagine, it's a grody fucker.  An iniquitous sorcerer curses a man's lineage after a consumptive village fire.  He calls it the "centipede spell."  Lawdy, they have a spell for everything nowadays, don't they?  It causes the victim to become deliriously ill, and at the moment of death, they retch.  Centipedes (there is also an instance with scorpions) are hurled from the mouth.  It's fucking gross.

As off-putting as the film can be, I have to wonder if it was censored. I've eyeballed disparate running times stretching from 80 minutes to 102 hours.  I mean, minutes.  The cut we viewed (I was joined by a friend) lapsed at the 93-minute mark.  Who the hell knows?  Director Keith Li (no relation to Dee Snider) has a flair for the melodramatic. The evil wizard's lair is boss, what with its imposing spiderweb and its haunted backdrop drenched in geranium lighting.  Villain Guy - sorry, I can't find any character names - is a creepy badass.  For what it's worth, I wanted the protagonists to win out.  And yet, I'm unsure of how much I relished Centipede Horror.

I have a feeling that my pal dug it more than I did.  It wasn't quite as SHOCKING as I was expecting, although it was nauseating.  Still, I'd recommend it to exponents of Hong Kong madness such as Dr. Lamb, The Untold Story and Black Magic.  Robert Z'Dar says, "When we were scouting locations for Maniac Cop 2, Bill Lustig mentioned that he had always wanted to shoot in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, he had unresolved issues with triad members.  I did, too.  I fucked all of their women."



I felt like shit yesterday, so I did less than nothing.  I still don't have much energy.  Maybe just enough to send my condolences to the loved ones of George Romero.  I met him over a decade ago.  He was one of the first horror celebrities I had ever encountered, so I was awestruck.  I wish I had said something approaching intellectual, but as I recall, I could only muster up a hello.  Now I must say goodbye.

Thanks for the movies, George.  Especially Creepshow.



Blood Capsule #74


Stop talking, you guys.  I need to focus.  I'm tackling another Hammer heavyweight (well, it's akin to a middleweight, if I'm being honest), and my editor will have my anus flesh if I don't personally deliver this capsule to his escritoire by tomorrow morning.  The fact that I am my own editor is beside the point, and quite frankly, it's none of your business.  It's none of MY business.  So let's get down to business!  The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is one of three Hammer adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella.  I haven't seen the other two, but whether I visit them or not, there are entirely too many variations on the Jekyll/Hyde theme.  Wasn't it fundamentally perfected before World War II?

Paul Massie is tasked with carrying the dual role.  He gives a strong performance, but he doesn't hold a gas lantern to John Barrymore or even Fredric March.  The plot is detail-oriented.  The viewer hears a great deal of dialogue that, while admittedly well-written, is prioritized at the deprivation of atmosphere.  This is going to sound idiotic, but I wanted more fun stuff.  Faces barely feels like a horror film.  I couldn't tell that it was directed by Terence Fisher, a Hammer padlock who may have been spread thin around this time.  Maybe he wasn't.  I'm just trying to think of a reason why The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is visually barren.  It's not a total loss, however.  Christopher Lee is clearly enjoying himself as a randy dog.  Sans fangs.


NXT Round-Up

ALEISTER BLACK VS. BOBBY FISH ~ This is interesting.  Fish does the job in his debut, and without spoiling too much, Black beats another debuting superstar next week, one who...argh, I'm spoiling too much!  I'm not sure where this is going, which is nice.  The bout itself was fantastic.  Black is quietly smooth, and while I've only seen Fish's tag team exploits in ReDragon, it's clear that he has a future as a singles wrestler if he wants it.

MAE YOUNG QUALIFYING ~ The green-tinted Vanessa Borne (I'm not referring to her attire) takes on the brawny, bruising Jayme Hachey.  Borne isn't bad or distracting, but I'm curious as to why she went over.  And why the lone televised qualifying match?  Questions, questions, questions...

DAIN ALL OVER ~ Killian Dain is booked to face Drew McIntyre in a numero uno contender's match in seven days, but this episode concludes with them ("them" lolz) teasing a feud between Sanity (specifically, Dain and Wolfe) and The Authors of Pain.  I'm assuming that Eric Young will step in at some point.  He was absent at the taping because of a death in the family.

JOHNNY WRESTLING ~ Gargano returns!  He cuts a generic, yet perfectly acceptable babyface promo.  Honestly, I'm more excited about his main squeeze - critically-acclaimed cutie patootie Candice LeRae - entering the Mae Young Classic.  Abbey Laith (the former Kimber Lee) is my winner pick, but it wouldn't surprise me to see LeRae carry the torch.

STREET PROFITS ~ A vignette for an upcoming tag team!  Shades of Cryme Tyme in that the gimmick seems to be identical.  Whatever. I'm on board.

HEAVY MACHINERY VS. AUTHORS OF PAIN ~ Satisfying main event.  No one expected Otis and Tucker to win the tag straps, but they had a strong showing.  Being the first team to truly bearhandle the Authors is a significant achievement, win or loss.  More talent with a bright future.


My Wheels Are Worse

I couldn't decide what to post, so I'm posting the latest episode of Best of the Worst.  I'm hoping to round up NXT tomorrow, but I might be too busy.  Hopefully, that won't be the case.


Fender Bender

Remember Mark Pavia?  Probably not.  I do because he directed 1997's The Night Flier, one of my favorite films of all time.  That was twenty years ago.  Once I fell in love with said picture, I waited and waited (and waited) to see what Pavia would do next.  Whispers of a sequel surfaced (or sloped skyward, if you will) only to dematerialize straightaway.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I kept waiting like a good cripple.  I waited until last year.  Italicized for emphasis.  Look, I don't want to blame Pavia.  The filmmaking industry is cruel and loony like a perambulating zeppelin punching small children for antelope treason.  KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

So Fender Bender.  It's no The Night Flier, but I didn't go in with a "compare/contrast" mentality.  This is a different animal.  In fact, it's a different subgenre.  It's a slasher!  I wish it were a little more original, I must say.  A serial killer rams into the back of vehicles driven by pretty goils (sexist!).  Eventually, he stalks his way to their house and knifes their caboodles.  That sounded filthier than I intended.  He just stabs chicks.  No particular body part.  Any-fucking-way (get me out of this paragraph), it reads as a milquetoast, heavy-handed reshuffling of Joy Ride and The Hitcher.  And Jeepers Creepers. And Duel.  "Road rage" horror, basically.

But that's just how it reads.  In actuality, it's a well-shot, well-primped platter of suspense that recalls John Carpenter without plagiarizing him.  There are plenty of steadicam shots that establish mood, and while Fender Bender could have been set during any season, it did feel awfully autumnal.  The lighting is on-point.  That's the one thing this movie has in common with The Night Flier; both productions look fabulous, taking lithe budgets into consideration.  Ah, I misspoke...they have two things in common.  I forgot about the excellent leads!  Makenzie Vega gives a warm, rounded performance as the vulnerable heroine.  Also, kudos to the intimidating Bill Sage. Fucking creep.

If you hop over to IMDb (don't), you'll see a lot of the same complaints spring up.  They're not wrong.  Fender Bender is discernibly flawed, from the leaden pace (the second act dies) to the boorish dolt characters (make sure the fucker's dead).  The bitch of it is that Vega's Hilary never comes across as a boorish dolt until the climax.  She deserved better writing, damn it.  All in all, I'm torn on Mark Pavia's second feature-length chiller, but I'm going to go ahead and recommend it.  It's a solid Saturday night rental.  If I may be candid for a flash, I merely need Fender Bender to do satisfactory business so that Pavia can bankroll another project.  Maybe The Night Flier 2???


Album Cover of the Whatever

Cool shit, right?  There is one reason why I picked this album cover instead of something else.  Can you guess?  You got it!  It reminded me of Spookies, the best film of all time!  The band is Vesaeleth, if that's of any consequence to you.  They play middling death metal. You know what ISN'T middling?  Fucking Spookies!


NXT Round-Up

Oh, shit.  It's time for the round-up.  Oh, man.  Oh, shit.  OH, MAN.

SANITY VS. OHNO/ITAMI ~ After introductory packages (more on packages later), we dive right into a tag team match book-ended with storytelling.  Last week, I told you that Itami was on the verge of heeling up the place.  This week, we're closer to that eventuality, but the fight ended with a vague, doubtful disquiet.  They're postponing the former KENTA's badass explosion.  Again, I like it.  Am I the only one giddy about Itami snapping and ripping heads from their hosts?

FUCKING FILLER ~ This episode was contaminated by "earlier today" bullshit and WWE-style video packages that didn't need to be there.  I can live with the interviews with Ember Moon and The Iconic Duo on account of them being fresh footage.  I can not live with the 2,000-minute recap of the feud between Bobby Roode and Roderick Strong.  Which...yeah.  I guess that means I'm dead.

STRONG VS. ROODE ~ Thankfully (and as to be expected), the main event was extraordinary.  It was a competitive row, and I dug how each man focused on a specific part of the human anatomy. Panning over to Roddy's fiancee (just imagine an accent mark) was a nice touch.  It allowed Roode to be extra prickly.

ONLY TWO MATCHES  ~ I realize that both matches were lengthy, but if you excise the (fucking) filler, that's plenty of time for, say, a Sonya Deville squash.


The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

Are you down for mummy schlock?  Even for Hammer in 1964, this was treated as schlock.  The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb wasn't imparted the posh, ritzy budget of 1959's The Mummy, and it shows.  This is less of a sequel and more of "another Mummy movie."  Hell, it's almost a remake, save for teensy-weensy ripples in the plot.  Don't worry, comrades; I won't spoil twists.  But like, would anyone care if I did?  I could post a facsimile of the script, and I doubt many people would give (or take) a fuck.  My mom says I use too much profanity on here.

The motherfucking plot is by-the-numbers stuff when it comes to sand, sarcophagi and the bandaged undead.  There is an archaeological dig in Egypt, Montana. HOLD THE FORT.  I've just been informed that Egypt is a country in the Middle East and not an American city.  Huh.  So they excavate the remains of Ra, a prince whose assassination was ordered by his twin brother.  An American swindler wants to put the prince and his treasure on display in London.  Y'know, make a roadshow out of it.  The locals warn that this might provoke the curse of the mummy's tomb.  Hey, whaddya know?  That's the title!

As automated as the narrative feels, the viewer has time to warm up to the main characters.  That doesn't mean that everyone is well-developed (that's certainly not the case), nor does it mean that the acting is stout across the board.  Terence Morgan is frankly disinterested as the vanilla protagonist.  But the exposition puts us in the room/cave with these prehistorians and we pick up on their gimmicks, if I may use a wrestling term.  For a film of this nature, that's good enough.  I enjoyed the build-up.  Of course, I popped (wrestling term numero dos...my insincere apologies) for the mummy horror, and I dug Ra's aesthetic.  He is presented as a lumbering Fulci fragment, as opposed to Christopher Lee's wiry performance in the original.

Kudos to the prologue.  It features wet gore in the guise of a severed hand.  Caught me off guard, but that's the sole instance of on-screen violence made manifest.  Despite the subjacent funding, writer/director Michael Carreras managed to cobble a sleek picture together.  The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb is easy on the stomach.  Now, was the "big reveal" predictable?  Yes.  Is Jeanne Roland about as annoying as she is alluring?  Yes, and she's extremely alluring.  Apparently, she was dubbed, but I couldn't tell. I'm merely including the factoid as bonus material.  That's right; my reviews contain bonus material.  In addition to factoids, this sleigh ride is enriched with a full frame transfer.  I should be charging you!


Geek Out #131

This is so cool.  When I found it, I geeked out hardcore.  It was messy.  Did you know that Soundgarden appeared on Bill Nye the Science Guy in 1993?  I don't know how you responded (and if you did respond, you don't understand rhetorical questions very well), but I didn't.  It's a short clip of the band recording "Kickstand," the speedy jam on Superunknown.  Apparently, the episode focused on explaining how sound waves work.  If I had seen this as a kid, that part (y'know, the education) would have flown over my stupid scalp.


NXT Round-Up

I really just want to talk about the main event, but I guess I can talk about the other matches.  I GUESS.  And I'm not accidentally deleting this post either.  You hear me, world???

MAURO IS BACK ~ Yay!  Suffice to say, I doubt that we'll be hearing his top-echelon commentary on Raw or Smackdown (the shows that desperately need him), but at least he's on the show that rules the roost.  From what I understand, he will also be announcing at Takeover events.  Another boastful, commemorative "yay" is in order.

THE PATRICK CLARK EXPERIENCE ~ Mr. Velveteen washed his hands of Ho Ho Lun in less than three minutes.  I pray to Joshua Crickets that the double entendre was intentional.  You see, when Clark went for the final cover, his junk landed on Lun's face.  It was described as cocky.  I was reminded of vintage Goldust and the way that Jerry Lawler would suggest homoerotic absurdities whenever The Golden One appeared in the ring.  Not that homoeroticism is absurd; even a gay man would view old Goldust matches as absurd. I wonder if Clark sought out Goldie's advice on how to access his mean streak.  He transitions from flamboyant to vicious remarkably well.

BACKSTAGE SIDENOTE ~ Heavy Machinery are now the number one contenders for the NXT Tag Team Titles.  What does this mean? It means we're fresh out of tag teams!  Replenish the stock.  Or rush TM-61 back into action.  Don't get me wrong, mates; I dig Heavy Machinery, but it seems a bit early, does it not?

HIDEO ITAMI VS. ONEY LORCAN ~ Looked like Itami's nose was legit broken.  These two work stiff as fuck.  They keep teasing a full-blown heel turn for Itami, but I hope it comes sooner than later. That's just me being selfish.

LAST WOMAN STANDING ~ Twenty minutes of no-holds-barred wrestling, pitting Asuka against Nikki Cross...dandy!  I loved this shit. Unlike the women's Money in the Bank matches, this fight didn't leave me wanting more.  They took advantage of weapons in logical ways, and as silly as it sounds, the violence had a sinuous flow to it, capping off with a serious "fuck yeah" moment.  Fuck yeah, ladies!


Black Past

FUCKSHIT!  Motherfucker.  I'm fucking pissed off.  I have just written a full review of 1989's Black Past, an Olaf Ittenbach joint.  And OUT OF NOWHERE, it deleted itself.  I didn't fucking do it!  Get this; it was supposedly "saving" itself the whole time.  I even clicked "Save" myself.  This is literally impossible.  My writing process is pretty rigorous, so I'm not going to try to write it again from memory.  FUCK that.

Fucking goddamn it.  For those interested, I gave Black Past 3.5 Z'Dars.  I dug it, but I prefer The Burning Moon.  I'm DEFINITELY changing the way I review movies in the future.  Fuck.



I'm rolling downhill.  Maybe it's just the fact that I've spent a lot of time in a hospice facility lately, but I'm dealing with a depression rut. I don't give a fuck about anything.  I did watch a movie to review, but I don't see that happening.  In a little over a week, my dementia-ridden grandmother will be staying with us for awhile, so I'm not looking forward to that.  I don't know why I'm going into details.  I don't owe explanations.  Just know that Random Reviews won't be updated for a spell.


Album Cover of the Whatever

"Evil Elvis" just released Black Laden Crown, his first studio album of all-new material since 2010's Deth Red Sabaoth.  Real quick, I just wanted to say that his new jams aren't that bad.  Crown is being drubbed online, but aside from the mostly dilatory vocals, it sounds like classic Danzig to me.  As a matter of fact, "Pull the Sun" sports good singing.  GOOD!  As for Deth, that's a badass cover.  It's inarguable, dude.


Next Few

I'm taking the next few days off.  Probably not even a full week, but I wanted to let my adoring fans know.  A relative was moved to hospice and the prognosis isn't incredibly uplifting.  I don't want the site hanging in the back of my mind.

This is Marsha May.  Be nice to her.


Blood Capsule #73


I was dreading popping this puppy into my VCR (that's what I call my Blu-ray player).  I've been burned by many lightweight horror/comedy hybrids, but My Mom's a Werewolf - rated PG, no less - is a winsome grab bag of quirks and references to other b-movies.  The "best friend" character is a teenybopper obsessed with classic horror and issues of Famous Monsters magazine.  An early scene takes place at a sci-fi/horror convention, but Jennifer (the daughter) couldn't care less about that "crap."  Why are these two best friends again?  Anyway, the film centers around the nominal child-bearer.  John Saxon bites Leslie's toe, and unbeknownst to her, John Saxon is a werewolf.  Yes, in my mind, John Saxon is playing John Saxon.  At all times.

I had fun with this loaf of lycantainment.  It doesn't take itself seriously and it doesn't twiddle with a "girl cried wolf"' scenario where no one believes the protagonist.  That shit pisses me off.  The make-up effects are competent, although there is no transformation sequence.  My Mom's a Bitch moves within the framework of a parody through certain jokes.  Those are the most painful jokes. Thankfully, they are the exception.  Plenty doesn't add up (what's up with the dentist's office?), but on the whole, this flick is easy on the brain.  BTW, I don't remember fortune tellers defrauding fans at the conventions I attended (?).


NXT Round-Up

This is kind of a loose rehash of the episode, as I'll also be discussing the most recent Takeover event.  It took place in Chicago this time around.  I braced myself for pesky, insufferable "CM Punk" chants, but for the most part, the crowd was deferential.  You could tell that they didn't want to piss on anyone's popsicle.  'Twas a typical NXT crowd, but in my opinion, that isn't always a great thing.  The second match of the night, a show-stealing UK Championship bout, was nearly maladministered by oh-so-smart marks.  The fucking crowd was in love with itself.  I guarantee you that "fight forever" will be shouted during every main event until the end of mankind, whether the sentiment is genuine or not.

ALEISTER BLACK VS. CURT HAWKINS ~ Good squash.  Probably Black's best match yet, discounting his scrap with Neville at the UK tournament.  I'd say it's high time to insert the former Tommy End into significant programs.  His squash phase has more than served its purpose.

THE VELVETEEN DREAM DEBUTS...AGAIN ~ WWE has this weird habit of booking fresh acts and then "debuting" them a few weeks later.  They might even get vignettes, as was the case with Patrick Clark.  I'm still not clear on what his official moniker will be going forward.  At any rate, this was a decent jobber entombment. Clark has obviously tweaked the less conspicuous details of his gimmick.  But is he supposed to be a heel?  I don't know why, but I got the distinct impression that Mr. Velveteen was a fan favorite of sorts.  Pretty sure I'm wrong.

THE MAJOR TURN ~ Dipping back into Takeover: Chicago for a minute.  How about that tag team ladder match?  Ciampa's post-loss beatdown of his partner was certainly unexpected, but it didn't make much sense.  Why go through the tumult of feuding with The Authors of Pain and signing on for a dangerous encounter if you're just going to pummel the dude in your corner?  Eh, it's pro-wrestling.  At least we'll enjoy sweet matches between Gargano and The Psycho Killer.

DREW MCINTYRE VS. WESLEY BLAKE ~ Last night's main event. No complaints, although I'd like to see a heavier dose of Blake in the coming weeks.  The guy is polished in the ring.  And another thing; Drew needs a different finisher.  I've said this before, but NXT has a feeble assortment of finishers.  McIntyre has a kick.  Black has a kick.  The glistening, hot-off-the-press Patrick Clark has...an elbow drop.  An elbow drop!  Someone piledrive me.


Pulse ('88)

I felt it was necessary to include the year of release in the title.  As a quick trip down IMDb lane will substantiate, there are way too many scare flicks entitled Pulse.  Make no mistake; I'm reviewing the first one (at least I think it's the first).  This shocker (!) initiated a surge (!!) of appliance-based horror that continued well into the 90's.  Okay, maybe Maximum Overdrive is the malefactor to blame.  Pulse came before Shocker and Ghost in the Machine, so there.  I vividly remember seeing its box art on video shelves, but I never mustered up the nerve to rent it.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. My "quality radar" must be kerflooey (highly technical term).  Pulse rocks!

Now, it may not rock in the way most 80's genre films tend to rock. It's rated PG-13, so don't hold your breath for designs of gore, sex and matter-of-course lechery.  This is a movie that works far better than it should.  I was ready to despise David, our prepubescent main character.  He is played by none other than Joey Lawrence.  You could call that a curveball, but what really waylaid me was his grounded, authentic performance.  Little dude was a capable actor! His kid brother, Matthew, also appears in Pulse as a neighborhood sk8er boi.  Even the younger Lawrence is entertaining ("Isn't that baaaaad?").  What planet is this?

The rest of the cast is serviceable.  An honorable mention goes out to Roxanne Hart.  Her performance as the sentimental stepmom is delightfully warm.  I want to say seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit, but I might be amiss a pinch.  Anyway, it could have easily been a throwaway role that blended into the background, but Hart gives it a bent of personality.  Pulse was the last film directed by Paul Golding. I can't figure out why, and no, he doesn't seem to be dead. Assuming it was his call, kudos on the snaky close-ups of gremlin-infested circuit boards and melting wires.  The whole shebang features fluid camera movements.  Indiana Jones is cool.

As I mentioned earlier, I was caught off guard by the sturdy acting.  I couldn't predict it, nor was I able to predict the tizzy-rigid suspense. The low-scale action is well-staged.  I'm telling you, Pulse is a good time at the multiplex.  I'm not claiming that it's flawless.  Ellen (the sentimental stepmom) is awfully quick to buy into David's story of evil electricity.  Oh, that's what Pulse is about, by the way.  So yeah. This is fun stuff, and it should be panegyrized alongside The Goonies, The Monster Squad, Fright Night...y'know, child-centric geek pictures.  Harrison Ford is awesome, right?