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?


Geek Out #130

What's that?  You're an impossibly obsessive fan of Ghoulies?  You want to know if it was originally shot in 3D?  You have an adamantine cenotaph of an erection for Charles Band interviews?  Goddamn, today is your lucky day!


Now you're down on the upside...

I wanted to write an entry of remembrance for Chris Cornell.  I don't talk about it much, but he was a huge inspiration from a creative standpoint.  Even as a child, reading his lyrics (especially on Superunknown) reaffirmed my hopes of becoming a writer, and striking a deeper nerve, made it easier to compartmentalize my darkness.  I didn't begin to joust with depression until I was a teenager, but I think on a subconscious level, listening to Soundgarden (and bands of their ilk, of course) bestowed me with the ability to perform a mental biopsy on my anxiety and self-doubt.

Oh, and Chris had a great fucking voice.  I can sing his low-to-mid-range stuff, but those high notes?  My false chords (or vestibular folds...you're welcome) have never been strong enough to belt out "Birth Ritual" or "Jesus Christ Pose."  Fellow vocalists know exactly what I'm talking about.  Aside from his vocal dexterity, he had a fantastic ear for melodies that would drive a spear through your ribs. Huh, I must have Jesus on the brain.  And what a songwriter!  Chris, that is.  Not Jesus.  He penned some of Soundgarden's most memorable tunes, not to mention Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.

Law enforcement's official ruling of suicide is hard to reconcile.  His family wants a toxicology report, and I don't blame them.  This doesn't make sense.  I would never claim to know the man intimately, but the general impression is that drugs and demons were in his past.  Granted, chronic depression isn't curable (yet).  This tragedy is still a head-scratcher.  Scott Weiland's passing, while no less tragic, was nowhere near as shocking.

"Why doesn't anyone believe in loneliness?
Stand up
And everyone will see your holiness"



This week's NXT round-up has been rained out.  Apologies have been withheld by the cream of society.

Today has been a bummer.  I woke up to my mom telling me that Chris Cornell, an artistic inspiration to many (myself included), had passed away unexpectedly.  What the fuck?  This whole day has been marked with a murky haze, and then I remember that I have to review 2012's Cosmopolis, the last leg of my Cronenberg relay.  It wouldn't be so bad if this film was approachable.  I think I fucked up by ending with heady, highbrow stuff.  Of course, Croney's entire resume is heady and highbrow, but sheesh!  Crash and Cosmopolis take "aloof" to another level.  If you thought Dead Ringers was cold, this antifreeze will bind hoarfrost to your snow tires.  Or something.

The trailers were deceptive in that they hoodwinked you into believing that Cosmopolis had an actual storyline.  It does have a plot.  All movies have a plot, be they cadaverous or sophisticated.  Here, Eric (Robert Pattinson) has a series of serpentine conversations - with his employees, mainly - in a limousine.  Blammo, monkey puck!  There is your plot.  Please note that this differs from a storyline, as the term "storyline" suggests movement and things happening.  At least Crash disported some level of progression.  Lamentably, both pieces are about low stakes.  I don't have a dog in the fight.  Eric stands to lose a colossal fortune, but guess how many fucks I give.

Cosmopolis is a study, a visual essay.  It covers greed, impersonal relationships, the temporality of sex, the fine points of industrialism and symbolic rats.  What do the rats symbolize?  Goddamn everything.  On the topic of "killer rat" flicks, I recommend 1982's Deadly Eyes.  On the topic of Chris Cornell's solo works, I recommend 1999's Euphoria Morning.  It's gorgeous.  You know how certain celebrity deaths affect you more than others?  Man, this one is jumbling my wires.  He left behind a wife and three children.  I'll never judge him; I just have a tidy sum of questions that I won't be able to answer.  If it bothers me, imagine the consternation of his kids.

I didn't like Cosmopolis.  I don't mind admitting that it might be too smart for me.  It's fucking Cronenberg.  In my world, he's the jock who rides to school on his black motorcycle.  He's beyond badass, but every once in awhile, his pacing is apocryphally strangled and his characters are nondescript.  Look, if ice water is too cold, it can hurt your throat.  Cosmopolis shoved...wow, I stopped myself from diving into an obscene joke.  Has that ever happened before?  It concerned gagging.  Here is a better query.  Do I have anything positive to say in regards to Cosmokramer?  Yeah, the acting is incredible.

Robert Z'Dar says, "The part with the tits was okay."



I'm listening to obscure death metal and masticating Orange Cream Pop Twizzlers.  Yeah, they're new.  They're filled with cream (don't look at me), and in my opinion, they're delicious!  So I have written my Twizzler review for the day.  In a couple of days, I'll post my final Cronenberg review.  It was a long weekend, man.


NXT Round-Up

ALEISTER BLACK VS. CEZAR BONONI ~ If this were 1991, Black would be The Undertaker and this show would be Superstars.  Here we see another squash where The...um, he doesn't have a nickname yet, does he?  Anyway, Black makes quick work of Bononi, but we continue to see new snippets of offense from The...goddamn it, he needs a nickname.

NIKKI CROSS FREAKS US OUT ~ This was a refreshing segment. Ruby Riot had her intro interview, and it was the typical "I've always wanted to wrestle" sales pitch we've heard a thousand times before. That's why I heart Cross.  She's batshit deranged.  Her intro interview consisted of playing with the boom mic, screaking at the reporter and stalking the camera until she was enveloped by her own shadow.  It ends with Cross whispering provocation in complete darkness.  Creepy?  Yep.  Badass?  You bet.

D.I.Y. VS. RIDDICK MOSS/TINO SABBATELLI ~ An established duo takes on an untrodden, high-reaching team in a strong debut. Moss and Sabbatelli are generic heels for right now, but they were afforded the opportunity to showcase some of their unique abuse. The tag division is booming.

HIDEO ITAMI VS. RODERICK STRONG ~ This bout determined the number one contender for Bobby Roode's NXT Championship. Should I spoil it?  I mean, it's been a little while (this round-up is gently, tenderly late), so caution must be fucked to the wind.  Itami scores the pinfall!  I dig the booking.  After being injured twice and missing a rift of ring time, winning a significant match is the best way to keep him relevant.  I'm looking forward to seeing how his style meshes with that of The Glorious One.  Man alive, the match itself was epic.  Charged back-and-forth action, stinging chops and finisher teases helped tear the house down.  Note that neither Strong nor Itami kicked out of a signature move.  Right.  On.


Album Cover of the Whatever

Stoner sludge.  The music is sketchy (by no means substandard), but I dig the cover.

POST-PUBLISH ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention the band's damn name!  It's Badr Vogu.  The album is Wroth.


Blood Capsule #72

CRASH (1996)

A female ass!  Don't report me to the authorities, whatever you do. Well, I have to say that I don't know how to gauge Crash.  Clearly, it's not meant to be a realistic film, and I get that, but how am I supposed to relate to these characters?  There is no touchstone of commonality, no intersection with verisimilitude.  I grasp why the movie goldbricks plausibility, but that doesn't help its case.  It needs an emotional anchor.  I use that term in a relative sense, as I know full well who installed this cylinder.  Car reference!  Sorry, I'm clueless when it comes to automobiles.  In other words, Crash is fucking aloof, even for a David Cronenberg picture.

If you're not up on the plot, James Spader develops a fetish for car crashes and car crash victims.  That's...it.  At certain junctures, he "makes love" to an open wound and Elias Koteas's anus.  Would you call those plot twists?  Croney is trying to say several things about our compulsion to feel and experience intense sensations, but in my opinion, most of those apothegms are lost under tiers of hazy metaphors.  Crash isn't necessarily bad.  It's certainly well-acted. I'm kind of glad that this is a blood capsule because I couldn't even begin to assess a Z'Dar rating.  There is plenty of sex to keep the dummies awake.  Calm down; I didn't claim that I wasn't a dummy.  A naked, panting Deborah Kara Unger will slacken anyone's IQ.


Geek Out #129

Yeah, I still do these.  Remember Saban's Masked Rider?  It was inspired by Kamen Rider, a television show that debuted in the early 70's.  Naturally, it had a squillion spin-offs, and to be perfectly honest, I don't know which derivative this clip is from.  Totally not the point! It's a superhero fucking with kids and being an all-around asshole. It's hysterical!


NXT Round-Up

New format!  Because!  A few days after last week's NXT write-up, I realized that the Roderick Strong retrospective had completely slipped my mind.  Thankfully, there was a second part this week.  I don't know why WWE doesn't cut more of these pieces together for embryonic hayseeds (Strong isn't new to the game, but he's new to The Game), especially talents who struggle to get over.  I'll be honest; before viewing both halves of Strong's segment, I felt as if he needed something.  He doesn't exactly excrete personality, y'know? Turns out, this is what he needed, as it makes him a sympathetic figure with a reason to flourish.

KILLIAN DAIN VS. DANNY BURCH ~ Squash.  I dig both gentleman, but David/Goliath matches fatigue me.

HEAVY MACHINERY VS. JOBBERS ~ Another squash.  I concede that this particular team needs the exposure.  Future contenders, I reckon.

HIDEO ITAMI VS. KONA REEVES ~ Integrating Itami back into the title picture is a swell idea, and it was smart to feature the champ backstage.  I don't have much of an opinion about Kona, though we've seen him several times now.  The jury is still out.

WOMEN'S BATTLE ROYAL ~ I.  Loved.  This.  The stars of the division were counted for, but we also got a look at wrasslers on the climb, including a debut (the repackaged Rosie Lottalove...her name escapes me) or two (Candice!).  The finish was logical and in keeping with Asuka's hubristic character.  I love (there is that word again) the fact that she's essentially a full-blown heel and gets more cheers than most of the ladies on the main roster.  With almost anyone else, it would bother me, but it's Asuka.  That's my justification.  It's Asuka!


Eastern Promises

We have a rarity here, folks.  This is a review of a non-horror film (*gasp*).  Fret not; I won't make a habit out of dissecting dramas, but obviously, an exception has been made for David Cronenberg.  If you're just joining us, I'm in the middle of a tract where I take a look at, let's say, five of the catawampus Canadian's films.  2007's Eastern Promises couldn't be any further from my wheelhouse. Naomi Watts plays Anna, a nurse who comes into the possession of a diary.  The journal belonged to a pregnant teenager who had been admitted because of blood between her legs.  Get your vagina out of the gutter.  She went into labor, you petulant debauchee.

The baby survived.  The teenager died.  Christ everlasting, I better expedite this plot summary.  I'll write a novel if I'm not careful.  In any event, through a tragic set of circumstances, Anna becomes embroiled with the Russian mafia.  Despite being one-fourth Italian, I've never been interested in mobster movies.  You know me.  I'm all about monster movies, son!  Yeah!  Most nights, I cry myself to sleep!  Sarcasm?!?!?  Dom cleared his throat and stared at the wall for thirteen muted minutes.  "I have to finish this goddamn review," he muttered.  After a quaff of Vanilla Coke, he returned to typing. Alone.

First thing's first.  The cast is authentic and infallible.  Viggo Mortensen (the handsome bastard) gives a cool, reserved performance as a "driver."  At one point, we see his schmeckel. Y'know, his bald-headed yogurt slinger.  "Move on," he pressured himself.  It goes without saying that Naomi Watts is tone-attentive. She's just excellent in, like, everything.  Vincent Cassel is convincing as an unfeeling prig, not that I'm implying he's a jerk in real life.  His character, Kirill, does have layers and turns into a three-dimensional person as Promises progresses.  Steven Knight's script is brilliant in the way it dilates each player's role in the grand scheme of shit.

The narrative is rather complex, but it's easy to follow.  Again, the script...it's so well-structured, that at times, you don't realize how much is happening (it's worth noting that A LOT is happening). Eastern Promises would certainly appeal to genre fans on the power of its violence, which is grisly and bestial.  There is no gore in the traditional sense.  Well, I take that back.  You will notice a couple of slit throats as graphic as a user interface.  I haven't recounted the social commentary because that's typically not my style, but trust me, it exists.  This is a very weighty, emotional picture. He lost his nerve for a breath, not knowing how to bring the review to a close.

"C'mon, dumbass.  Just get out of there.  Get the hell out of there!"


Album Cover of the Whatever

If you're into traditional heavy metal and Accept's "Fast as a Shark," you'll be into Satan's Hallow.  Musically, it could have been recorded in the early 80's.  The cover?  Horror film poster.  The power lines are exquisite minutia, and they remind me of...well, "small town" horror films.



The "freezer girl" is an odd image for posters and DVD covers of David Cronenberg's Rabid, as she only appears for one second, if that.  She isn't the girlfriend or the girlfriend's girlfriend (she looks like you).  In fact, we don't even get her name.  Eh, just something I thought was peculiar.  With this flick under my cummerbund, I've officially seen all of Croney's early feature-length titles.  It took way too long.  It's not as inviting as The Brood.  And that might be it as far as concrete opinions go.  Watching Rabid, my vitals didn't pendulate strongly toward either love or hate.  Can't say the same for my reproductive organs.  Girl, please!

If you didn't know, the girl in Rabid is porn starlet Marilyn Chambers. Surprisingly, she's the best thing about the film, at least in this ninnywit's opinion.  It's hard to fathom why she didn't have more luck going legit.  She had looks, charisma, looks, she could...remember lines.  I promise that I won't focus on her appearance, but I fancy a good 70's babe.  Chambers is the definition of a smokin' babe! Needless to say, she loses her top in an aggregation of scenes, although most of them are not provocative in a hibbity-bibbity way. Personally, I've never climaxed into an armpit vagina.  That's my cue to shed a few plot details.

Rose (Chambers) and her boyfriend (Frank Moore) are in a motorcycle accident, and while her main squeeze emerges with cracked ribs, she isn't quite as fortunate.  No, I'm afraid that Rose requires skin grafts.  Don't ask me how (and don't bother asking the movie), but the surgical procedure "infects" her with a rapacious form of rabies.  She is patient zero.  Oh, and this disease has turned her left armpit into a nasty monster with a needle tongue.  It drains blood from Rose's victims.  Is she a vampire?  A succubus?  A walking metaphor?  A combination of all three, it seems.  Shades of The Crazies, I Drink Your Blood, Dawn of the Dead, and a grain of Species.  Naked Marilyn Chambers is a dead ringer (Cronenberg reference, for the win!) for naked Natasha Henstridge.

Plot holes aside, Rabid is entertaining enough.  I intimated that I was on the fence earlier, but truth be written, I enjoyed it more than I didn't.  I've developed a taste for Croney's clinical dialogue.  The pace is hectic without feeling rushed and the characters resemble real people.  Did I mention that Chambers is hawt?  I hate to do it, but I must detract Z'Darrage for the porous script.  Do cops exist in this universe?  Rose is siphoning deadbeats in public, and I didn't spot a single goddamn member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  I'm trying so hard not to drop a WWF joke right now.  You have no idea.

On the Cronenberg scale of body horror, Rabid ranks above Despicable Me.


NXT Round-Up?

Dom, why the question mark?  Well, I'm not sure about the title, though I may keep it.  I was hoping that one of you obliging chaps could help devise something more clever.  Anyshit, this is the first of what I'd like to be many round-ups of NXT, airing weekly on the WWE Network.  I'm not an abettor, but I do subscribe (mainly because of NXT).


I feel like such a dicknose saying this, but I can't stand Ruby's face.  I won't use the "u" word.  It's just that she has the bone structure of a bird.  Birdman was awesome, but I wasn't crazy about The Bird People in China.  So yeah.  Thankfully, she can work, as evidenced by her indie exploits under the name Heidi Lovelace.  Nikki is badass, and her gimmick does harmonize with that of Ruby.  It may not be apparent at first (it took me a minute to decrypt), but the storyline here has a few layers.  I'm on board!  Let's see where this goes.


So Almas has found a groove as the aloof, happy-go-lucky heel. The interview segment where he blows off questions and hops into a limousine with a concourse of club chicks was a great touch. Meanwhile, McIntyre (an old favorite of mine) continues to build momentum with win after win.  He has a rugged look that suits him. I'll never understand why Vinnie Mac didn't push him to Neptune during his initial run with the company, especially after branding him "The Chosen One."  There is no excuse this time around.  Oh, and can he have a new finisher?  There are too many NXT/WWE superstars with kick-based signature moves.


Black is a cool character.  I dig how they're introducing him, but does the entrance need to be so leisurely, for lack of a better term?  He's not The Undertaker.


This match was exactly what I expected it to be, and that's an endorsement.  Technical, hard-hitting, knitted with "pretzel" submissions...that shit looked painful.  Best of all, it wasn't a clown match.  We got to see the Jack Gallagher from the Cruiserweight Classic, as opposed to the punchinello jester twerp we see on Raw. A sound way to end the show.



Patience, my sweets.  Patience.  Go back...to sleeeeeeep...


Shit Happened

NXT is on tonight and I'd like to do a weekly recap/review of the show.  I would have knocked out another movie review by now, but fucking shit happened.  There's a bumper sticker in there somewhere.  I'll get to everything eventually.  Calm down!


I Voided

The Void started out as an Indiegogo campaign.  I remember seeing the "concept reel" (or "whatever the fuck") and being blown away. But that's the thing; images are easy.  I watched the final product last night, and visually, this cooter knocks it out of the park.  Huh, I've never referred to a movie as a cooter before.  Groundbreaking? MAYBE.

Right, so if you've heard rumblings about The Void, the practical effects are just as amazing as you might be prognosticating.  As a point of reference, go all the way back to Stuart Gordon's From Beyond.  Or John Carpenter's The Thing.  If it were released in the early-to-mid 80's, it would be prized as a cult classic today.  No question.  Unfortunately, the answers we are given for the gooey nightmare fuel don't actually answer many questions.  It's a moderately thin explanation.  Overall, I still had fun, as it's nice to see true-blue horror in 2017 that doesn't fall over itself winking at the audience.

I guess that's it.  I didn't have time to do a full, in-depth review (family is visiting).  Besides, I wouldn't want to stray from my David Cronenberg binge, now would I?


Blood Capsule #71


I saw this film as a teenager.  It didn't win me over, if I'm being honest.  I wanted to give it another chance to stroke my liverwurst. David Cronenberg is among my favorite directors, after all.  Sure enough, it took two viewings to finish Scanners, as I fell asleep at the mezzo point.  Even genre annalists have to admit that it's a dull sit.  I did enjoy it more this time around.  Michael Ironside is fucking phenomenal (and a teensy bit creepy) as the villainous scanner who goes rogue.  I loved Patrick McGoohan and Cronenberg regular Robert Silverman as a scientist who knows more than he lets on and one of Revok's converts, respectively.

Was that a hypozeuxis?  Click HERE to find out!  Sorry.  I'm so, so sorry.  Anyway, it never feels like Scanners is trying to entertain you. It doesn't care about the viewer.  Having said that, it's extremely interesting.  Note that that's not the same thing as being enthralling or engaging.  I held on and paid dear attention, but I was left with a sense of destitution.  Part of the problem is Stephen Lack's weak performance as Cameron, a character who isn't afforded much of a personality.  For me, this is a "whatever" flick.  But the head explosion is rad!



Small announcement!  The next four, maybe five movie reviews will all be (David) Cronenberg films.  One of them I have seen.  The others I have not.  Thank you.  You're welcome.


Album Cover of the Whatever

I'm not really into Raging Death.  They're a neo-thrash (or "nu-thrash") band with a thin sound.  But fuck that...check out the cover of their 2015 debut.  Killer, right?  The grim reaper, boobs, a full moon, vampire bats, boobs, a spookier-than-thou castle, boobs and other Dom-centric imagery.  I approve!



I don't know what possessed me to purchase 2001's Demonicus on VHS, but I did.  It's a Full Moon/Cult Video co-production.  That doesn't mean that any weighty, consequential amount of money was funneled into the assembly of this sewer de force.  It was shot on digital video, and as for the audio, yikes.  Let me try that again. Yikes!  There we go.  Was the boom microphone twined in gypsum wallboard?  Was there a draconian anti-looping policy instituted by the crew?  What I'm trying to say with these stupid words is that all of the dialogue is faint.  I could follow along, but I had to crank the volume up.

Even if this was a silent film, I doubt that I would be confused by the plot.  Hiking dumbasses (split into pairs, for dumbass reasons) stumble upon a corpse in a cave.  Lead dumbass James decides to wear the corpse's helmet (???).  This...um, "transforms" him into Demonicus, an ancient warrior who dabbled in black magic.  That's the nothing storyline.  God, this is such a nothing movie.  I'm embarrassed to be reviewing it.  I can't imagine how YOU feel, reading this nothing review.  It would be one thing if Demonicus turned out to be a pleasant surprise, an unlicked cub.  But nope. This isn't a diamond in the rough; it's spittle on an embankment of pebbles.  Or something to that effect.

Just spittle.  Yeah, it's just fuckin' spittle.  And not from a cute, sweet baby!  No, it's spittle from an asshole baby who slacks off at work and insults Mexicans.  I can make two statements in the film's favor. 1) The gore is damp.  I mean, they may only be severed limbs, but I was willing to play ball, considering the circumstances.  2) Most of the cast is competent.  I felt pity - actual pity - for the ones giving the least painful performances.  Bless their hearts.  I'll give Demonicus an extra plaudit, which I wouldn't do for most menial b-movies.  I was able to finish it, not unlike a flavorless, objectionable meal you have to plow through without thinking or breathing too much.

I've written enough about this foeticide.  Fuck Demonicus.


Geek Out #129

I'm mainly posting this because Pennywise concept art is cool. Basically, anything related to Pennywise is cool.  I'm of the mind that the upcoming theatrical adaptation of It looks rather promising, but this video concerns Tim Curry's take on the character.  Apologies for the weird, possibly German narrator.  Nothing I can do about it.



Well, that was a lot of wrestling.  From Saturday night to last night, WWE yielded over fifteen hours of content.  Fifteen fucking hours! I'm not going to review all of it, but I do have a couple of notes. Maybe a few.

How does one put into words The Undertaker's funereal retirement? Or his career, for that matter?  He has been my favorite "predetermined grappler" for a long time now.  The reason he commands so much respect is because he respects the business and never fails to put it first.  Even on Sunday night, he adhered to tradition by doing the honors, so to speak.  Look, I'm no Roman Reigns apologist, but marks and smarks alike don't seem to understand the causal nexus (no pun intended) of what went down. Any real fan of 'Taker - that's right; I'm pulling the "real" card - would know that this is how he wanted to decamp.  The final match had to be a loss.

I can understand wanting the victor to be a different person.  But hey, someone had to do it.  It might as well be someone who the crowd detests.  This sets up Roman for a heel run, and hopefully, he'll become more charismatic along the way.  I'll be honest...it was hard to type that with a straight face.  Speaking of honesty, I honestly thought that Wrestlemania 33 was a success.  My only real complaint?  Too many goddamn matches!  The TV product is so bloated.  Lose a few of those pre-match video packages.  You have commentators to tell the stories, not to mention the workers themselves.

Fuck Mojo Rawley.  I'm sure he's a nice guy or whatever, but FUCK him.  The annoying douche-jock character isn't getting over, dude. You and Gronk are two plebs in a pod.


The Wraith

I saw 1986's The Wraith as a teenager.  It was featured on TNT's MonsterVision, and I had a feeling that it was substantially annotated with a blue pencil.  In other words (you simple layman, you), I knew it had to be edited.  Well, I was kinda-sorta right.  The other night, I watched it again for the first time since the late 90's, and I was lucky enough to see Sherilyn Fenn's boobs.  And boy howdy, the gore.  The gore was...non-existent.  There was plenty of death; it's just that the fatalities croaked in explosions that would give Don Coscarelli a headstone.  Y'know, a pillar.  A ledger!  A HARD COCK.  Right, so that's that.

As we all know, drag racing was huge in the 80's.  If you judge by movies and music videos, you were not with the cool kids if you didn't participate in at least fourteen drag races.  Packard knows the deal. He's a high-handed bully who forces dudes to scuttle with him, and if he wins, he gets your wheels.  Don't like it?  Tough.  Packard is the fucking man - until, that is, his crew is picked off in succession.  By whom?  A black-clad mystery man who drives a black mystery car.  I mean, it's supposed to be a mystery, but it's not.  I'll tell you what, kid.  I dig the cut of your jibber-jabber, so I won't spoil it for you. Charlie Sheen.  It's Charlie Sheen.  Or is it???

This was one of Sheen's first lead roles.  His character's age is never made clear, but his "girlfriend" (the girl he decides to fuck) can usually be seen wearing a backpack.  Packard is in his mid-goddamn-30's, and that's an underestimation.  They're all decent actors, but the best and most endearing of the cast?  Look no further than Clint Howard.  God, he's splendid.  He plays Rughead, a bespectacled genius with eraser hair.  I'm not being facetious when I say he's the most endearing chap brought to light.  Rughead actually has more than one layer.  Should I be so bold as to call it a character arc?  Fuck it, it's my review.  He has a character arc!

Writer/director Mike Marvin gives The Wraith a polished veneer. The prolific car chases are shot extremely well, and I'd be lying if I said they didn't give me any thrills or spills.  You could argue that there were too many spills.  A cameraman died on set while filming an action sequence.  What is this, a John Landis production?  Sorry, I tend to jest in poor taste.  This b-picture is buttressed by a sprightly soundtrack.  I heard Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue and shitty dance-pop.  Hey, it kept the energy burbling.  So let's recap!  In the next block of text!

The pace is kinetic and the cast is acceptable.  At the shallow end of the pool, the plot is full of noticeable holes (where are the parents?) and the only villain is an annoying human.  No bloodshed, to boot! However, you could do worse on a drizzly afternoon.  My recommendation is to Netflix it.  Robert Z'Dar says, "I wouldn't trust John Landis with my chin.  Put him under the jailhouse.  That's my fucking recommendation."


I miss mid-90's Fox...

Just trying some "stream of consciousness" writing, as I have nothing else to write about at press time.  Doesn't the above image give you a sweet surge of nostalgia?  Well, I guess you would have to be my age (32) or near it.  I watched a lot of TV in the 90's.  I fucking remember what it was like to see new episodes of The X-Files and Are You Afraid of the Dark?  Okay, there were new episodes of The X-Files last season, but you know what I mean.  Asshole.

I've been drinking down beakers of X-Files nourishment via Netflix. There has been an added layer of pressure to my recreation. Apparently, all seasons of the show are leaving Netflix as of April 1st. My question is, why?  Not enough bandwidth?  Look, I'm not going to start a petition, but seriously, what is the reasoning here? Are they trying to drum up subscribers for their "disc-only" plans? That's a laugh.  I treasure physical media, but everyone and their indentured servant knows that Netflix is in the process of forsaking actual DVD's.

Y'know, the best way to augment Instant Streaming would be to leave titles on Instant Streaming.  And maybe beef up the selection. Am I done gabbling yet?


Album Cover of the Whatever

I don't really listen to Impaled Nazarene, but I must admit, this record sounds like Hell.  Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz, the band's 1992 debut, brings to mind the image of a lost soul carrying a tape recorder while shuffling through Gehenna.  As for the cover, it sports a cool demon.  And boobs!


Horror and Metal and Holy Shit

That's me with Philip H. Anselmo.  You may know him as the former vocalist of Pantera.  He's also the current vocalist of Down, Superjoint and Scour.  He has been in a million other bands, but I don't feel like listing them.  Most importantly, Phil is one of my idols, and I realize that opens me to a world of judgment from bored, blasé metalheads.  I don't care.  In my eyes, he is one cool motherfucker. There is an unspoken bond between folks who deal (or have dealt with) chronic pain and back surgeries.  Speaking of which, Phil and I have both had intrusive back surgeries.  Recovery isn't fun, and if you've been where I've been, you understand.

So where did I meet Phil(ip)?  On Friday evening, I attended the Mad Monster Party convention in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  Devout readers will remember past write-ups.  I have gone to almost every event each year since its inception.  Usually, I focus on the well-stocked dealer room, unless there is a guest/celebrity that I MUST meet.  2017 was no different, albeit in a different city (MMP normally invades Charlotte, NC).  They had a small, yet operational carnival rocking outdoors, ferris wheel included.  Brilliant idea!  Carnivals and the horror genre interlink in explosive - dare I say, orgasmic - ways. It can be hard to explain, but when I'm at a good carnival, I imagine that I'm in a slasher.  The food and the atmosphere are top-notch.

I'll post pictures in a minute.  First, I wanted to go over my haul.  I picked up two t-shirts (a garish, lemon yellow Killer Klowns From Outer Space design and a cool Trick or Treat print on black...if only Sammi Curr was at the convention!), a DVD (gotta support VHSPS) and three actual VHS tapes (to be reviewed).  I found a boss Texas Chainsaw Massacre lunchbox and I was lucky enough to get a Godzilla autograph.  To be specific, Tsutomo Kitagawa signed a photo for me.  He played Big G in the Millennium series.  There were other shenanigans, but let's get on with it, shall we?

Caught in mid-badass.

Tsutomu!  One of his assistants gave me a bottle of Japanese hot sauce.  My stomach is going to hate me.

My ride.

Kane Hodder was doing photo-ops in his New Blood gear.  This wasn't him, but the costume looked great.

Mad Monster's "mascot," if you will.