4/27/17

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).


-NIKKI CROSS VS. RUBY ROSE-

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.


-DREW MCINTYRE VS. ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS-

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.


-ALEISTER BLACK VS. KONA REEVES-

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.


-TYLER BATE VS. JACK GALLAGHER-

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.

4/24/17

Patience


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

4/19/17

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!

4/15/17

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?

4/13/17

Blood Capsule #71

SCANNERS (1981)

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!

4/11/17

Coccaroberg

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.

4/9/17

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!

4/8/17

Demonicus


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.

4/6/17

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.

4/5/17

REST...IN...PEEEEEEACE


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.

4/2/17

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."

3/30/17

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?


3/28/17

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!

3/26/17

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.

3/23/17

TREES OF ETERNITY - Hour of...


Sometime last year, I discovered this gem of an album.  Where?  I don't recall, but it's not important to the story.  Stop interrupting. Trees of Eternity seemed to be presented as a new band (because they were) and Hour of the Nightingale was their full-length debut. I listened to it, dug it and read more about these melodic doomsters. I found that their astral, lulling female vocalist passed away before this collection of songs could be released.  Goddamn cancer.  It was recorded in 2014, so we have no way of knowing if the material was compiled with the knowledge of Aleah Stanbridge's infirmity. Unquestionably, the lyrics feel oracular, but again, that is mere conjecture.

Death's The Sound of Perseverance was written and recorded before Chuck knew anything about a brain tumor, which I was shocked to learn.  The point is, there is no point.  To life (or death). Things can look a certain way after a person decamps from this mortal coil, but truth be told, the reaper is not poetic.  Rhyme and reason do not factor into the selection process.  No cadence, no harmony, no doggerel.  Of course, that's my personal belief.  Yours may differ, but there is one empyrean fact(oid) - I need to get to the music already.  While this is hermetic doom, it wouldn't scare off your mother.  There are no growls or Satanic samples.  It's actually quite relaxing, if I may say so myself.  I have fallen asleep to it, and yes, I have fucked your mother.

I want to be careful not to scare off the tr00-est of metalheads (or your stepmother...okay, that's enough).  At the end of the day, it's still heavy.  Guitarist and main songwriter Juha Raivio plays with Swallow the Sun, a doom band that dabbles in both beauty and brutality. Plus, he's Swedish.  There you go.  The production is warm and the music blankets your ears.  Aleah's angelic voice has been superposed over a bed of sullen frequency.  She never wails, yet she always skims the top of the riffs.  It's not an operatic style, so you don't have to worry about Trees of Eternity adding to the interminable list of Epica-lite acts.  Or Nightwish-lite.  Substitute your own band.

As for points of comparison, I'd lean closer to Swallow the Sun (natch) and My Dying Bride.  Nightingale doesn't concern itself with anthems or tawdry instrument posturing.  Lush opener "My Requiem" sets the pace, and the album stays at that crawling, leaden tempo throughout, "The Passage" being the sole track that dares to double its signature.  Even then, it's only for the chorus.  Somehow, each composition remains distinct, despite the aggregate of Hour of the Nightingale amounting to "snail jams."  At no time does it become boring, unless you're new to doom.  If you're new to doom, stick it out.  Lose yourself in Sabbath.

3/21/17

Geek Out #129



Give the assist to Dinosaur Dracula for mentioning this beautiful video on his Purple Stuff podcast.  What is the video in question, you may ask?  It's a retail spot that appeared on screener copies of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.  The idea was to convince store owners to stock their shelves with a lot of Freddy Krueger, though one would presume they would have anyway.

This wasn't your usual screener bullshit.  Media Home Entertainment spent time and money on this thing.  Robert Englund actually stars as Freddy and camps it up like a glib drag queen.  Eh, not my finest simile, but it will do.  It's definitely worth watching.  A few times.

3/19/17

Blood Capsule #70

31 (2016)

"Thumbs down." - Dom Coccaro, The Random Revue.  It wouldn't surprise me if this was Rob Zombie's last film for a long while. Remember when he wanted to make a hockey movie?  Well, he couldn't.  I don't know the whole story, but its production was riddled with disputes.  He knew what investors wanted; they simply wanted a safe, county fair fright flick.  And so he developed 31, which meets the standard "Rob Zombie movie" criteria.  It's clear that he's done with the horror genre.  This is a scrawny, wizened hash of House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.  In fact, it's nearly indistinguishable from those cult classics, only it doesn't have heart. Aww...

The dialogue is dreadful.  Robert Bartleh Cummings (that's Mistah Z) can only write one kind of movie.  The confounding fuck of it all is that 31 is that kind of movie, but for Robert's style to razzle-dazzle the viewer, the characters need to be likable or memorable.  None of the people here fit that description.  The "heroes" are boring and the villains - Rob's supposed grubstaker - lack personality.  Can you imagine?  This son of a bitch created Otis Firefly and Captain Spaulding.  Okay, Doom Head is somewhat interesting, but that has more to do with Richard Brake's petrifying performance.  The gore is no more eye-popping than the gore in Rejects or 2007's Halloween. My advice to Cummings?  REFORM WHITE ZOMBIE!

3/17/17

Ersatz Inasmuch Heretofore


Tell me you wouldn't bang the cheesecake out of Teenaged Pebbles. I don't know why I decided to open with that concept, but I don't know anything.  Anything!  I don't know if I should review a movie or an album next.  You tell me.  I'd squirt my load onto the bone in her hair.

3/15/17

Album Cover of the Whatever


I mean, yeah.  This doesn't even need explaining.  Incidentally, Helion Prime's vocalist, one Kayla Dixon, took over the mic stand for Witch Mountain when leather-throated Uta Plotkin decided to depart.

3/14/17

Dang/Damn


It's currently fucking late.  I don't even feel like writing.  Dang/damn it, I knew I should have knocked out a review right after I finished "The Upside Down," the season finale of Netflix's Stranger Things.  I finally watched it!  This series debuted in July of 2016, and in the subsequent months, you probably haven't heard any negative puffery about it.  Well, I am here to tell you that...it's just as captivating as you've heard.  I am a wee bit surprised that I was as impacted by the show (I feel like I'm insulting it by calling it a "show") as I was.  Typically, I don't go for nostalgia pieces, at least not anymore.

What can I say, man?  The acting is peerless, the characters are three-dimensional and the fertile narrative is quite resourceful.  You buy into the friendship shared between four boys.  You root for them, but you also root for nearly everyone else.  The entire cast is written really well.  I could write a paragraph dedicated to each actor, but I lack both the time and the self-government.  If you still haven't seen Stranger Things, Jesus Christ, what are you waiting for?  It's a nerdgasm.  I could have done without the CGI creature effects (I mean, if any project called for a guy in a suit, it was this one), but that's literally the only fault I can find.  It's currently fucking later.

3/12/17

Kong: Skull Island


That's the Japanese poster for Kong: Skull Island.  It was designed as an homage, but it accurately...no, perfectly represents the film. 2014's Godzilla was denigrated for its dinkiness in the action department.  Perhaps "dinkiness" isn't the right word (ever).  Brutal set pieces were teased one too many times, and it wasn't until the destructive third act that we saw monsters battle.  Personally, I think the criticism is a smidgen unfair.  Then again, I'm a Godzilla guy. That doesn't stop me from getting the most out of Kong outings.  It is my correct opinion that 1933's King Kong should be in the running for Best Movie Ever, regardless of genre.  Wait, I brought up 2014's Godzilla to make a point.  Didn't I?  Yeah, I did.

Those who imputed Big G's day in the red sun for its admittedly questionable approach to action sequences will not - I repeat - will NOT take exception to the havoc and hostilities of Kong.  From the very first frame, this infant doesn't take a breath (wow, that sounded morbid).  I wondered if showing Kong immediately would vitiate the film's sense of awe, but it didn't.  For one thing, Kong isn't the only giant creature on the cell block.  If you want to go in completely fresh, stop reading here.  And if you're on the fence, go see Kong: Skull Island on the silver damn screen.  Don't wait for videocassette because you know as well as I do that you'll drive to Video Kingdom and they won't have any copies in stock.  Someday, they'll find a way around that.

So!  We get a colossal spider, a Brobdingnagian bison, an octomammoth, a mountainous walking stick (surprisingly adorable) and reptiles with shitty attitudes.  No, Godzilla is not among the reptiles.  Suffice to spritz, there is a healthy number of opponents for Kong to tussle with.  I dug the way that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts captured the insanity.  You can see everything you would want to see, except for Brie Larson's bare skin.  The rumors you heard are true; there are human actors in this flick.  In general, I liked all of them.  Sure, there are tiny scrapes here and there.  Tom Hiddleston's character is introduced as an uber-badass, but for the bulk of the running time, he's an average protagonist.  Larson is introduced as a loose slut (no, she isn't), but she doesn't have sex with any of the natives.  I have fallen for her.  Also, I have reason to believe that I'm a moron.

John Goodman rules, Samuel L. Jackson rules and John C. Reilly rules.  The latter, in particular, brought vital, well-placed levity to the table ("I'm gonna stab you tonight.").  Without him, Kong would be disproportionately solemn.  There is a part of me that wishes he was playing Dr. Brule.  Can you fucking imagine?  Reilly serves as the second brightest spot on the human roster, behind Larson.  Chiefly, the CGI is outstanding.  I mean, the whole lot of effects is remarkable, although there are a couple (maybe less) shots that look cybernated.  But that's understandable.  Kong: Skull Island's massive budget was in front of my eyes.  I don't know if it will make its budget back before it hits DV...videocassette, but I sincerely hope it does.  It's a blast, gang.

3/9/17

Oreo Big Crunch "Contest"


I need this fucking shit.  Haven't seen it in stores yet, but I know it exists!  Help a brutha out.  Mail a couple of Oreo bars to me, and I'll review whatever you want.  Seriously.  If interested, send me a note (a.k.a. "e-mail"), and I'll hand over my mailing address.  The only review request guidelines...

- Can be a film, album, book or comic book.
- Must be something that I would normally review, genre-wise.
- Please include nudes.  That is a JOKE!

Again, a joke!  The third hyphen is a joke.  I ain't tryna get into trouble.

3/8/17

Album Cover of the Whatever


Remember Vehemence?  Remember this cover?  This is 2004's Helping the World to See, and at the time, it was a buzz-worthy album, partly because of the artwork.  Admit it; that's a stunning piece.  I'm sure there are themes/metaphors and shit, but mostly, it just looks cool.  I never paid Vehemence much attention.  Musically, they dabbled in generic melodic death metal.  They actually broke up right after Helping and didn't release anything else until 2015's Forward Without Motion.  The end.

3/6/17

Scalps


I'd been curious about 1983's Scalps for years.  Literally years! Some day, scientists will find the chromosome within our genetic code that causes us to unconsciously postpone a film's viewing for no real reason.  It's a bitch, isn't it?  I cracked my genetic code to finally sit down with Scalps, a Fred Olen Ray joint.  Fred is seriously good at devising b-movies with no money.  To date, he has produced and/or directed 245 shares of skeeze.  That's an inflated number, as many of those credits overlap, but still...that's a lot of flicks!  This one follows a group of student archaeologists as they roam to the deserts of California.  They are specifically told by the university (and by the moonstruck locals) NOT to dig up Native American relics.

They dig up Native American relics.  As you can guess, this galls Indian spirits, and it isn't long before someone with a tomahawk does a spot-on impression of Old Chief Wood'nhead.  Actually, it's an undead warrior named Black Claw.  Dude looks gnarly.  He should have been the main villain, but due to editing blunders, a main villain isn't clearly defined until the hour mark.  Scalps is sternly impaired by scissors, changes imposed by the distributor (according to IMDb). Fred wasn't happy with the bizarre cuts, and I don't blame him. They're dumb.  I would normally employ literate language, but the cuts are just fucking dumb.  "Hey, here is what happens later in the movie!"  My God, the prologue is an excerpt from the ending.

My other gripe has to do with pacing.  For 60 minutes, I was begging Scalps to make a move.  Aside from said prologue (a fun scene that is unbelievably frustrating in retrospect), none of the characters are deprived of their blood until the third act.  I realize that I'm only talking about gore, but that's the selling point here.  The cast is whatever, their problems are whatever, the nudity is...well, chalk it up as a missed opportunity.  We do see bare boobs (or bald commuters, as I never call them), but it's during a simulation of rape.  I probably didn't have to say "simulation."  I mean, it's implied, right?  No, the cameras caught Forrest J. Ackerman raping the script supervisor. Oh, Forry cameos as a professor.  He doesn't rape anyone.

Believe it or not, I didn't hate Scalps.  I've caterwauled a considerable amount, but once the liver hits the palm leaf, this is a respectable slasher.  The final 30 minutes act like they know what they're doing.  Not to belabor the point, but the climax would be more effective if we didn't see chunks of it dispersed throughout the rest of the picture.  I dug the gore.  There is a sweet decapitation and a slit throat that deserves a handful of standing ovations.  Again, Black Claw is a cool fucker.  At the end of the exploitative day, Scalps isn't quite what it could be, but it's fine as a time-passer.  I always say this, but when it comes to Native American horror, your best bet is Johnny Firecloud.  And it's not even a true horror film.  Robert Z'Dar says, "My scalp itches."

3/4/17

Insomnia Theatre #6



Yes, I'm back.  I've been in an undercroft of depression for the past month, but as the weather evolves, so my mind clears.  As above, so below.  As, so.  I'm already back to using convoluted grammar.  Man, it's like I never left!  "Get to the point, fuckhead."  I bring you a new episode of Insomnia Theatre.  The film?  1940's The Devil Bat, a lesser Lugosi lump.  I like it just fine, but I don't think Tyler agrees. SLIGHT DISCLAIMER: There are minor audio issues in the beginning (I drop out a few times).  Deal with it.

2/7/17

Buddha's Balls?

I swear to Buddha's balls.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  I've been sick for several days, though I seem to be trending upwards.  At least Smackdown will be on in eighteen minutes.  I'll keep you posted...with posts.

2/3/17

Shoulder Breaker


Papa Shango's finisher was a shoulder breaker?  I don't remember him even having a finisher.  I'm already off-topic.  I wanted to wait until now to comment on this week's wrestling because that seemed like the thing to do.  Did I enjoy the Royal Rumble?  On the whole, yes.  Did I enjoy Raw?  On the whole, no, but the final segment redeemed it.  Samoa Joe debuted and injured Seth Rollins.  Ugh. Did I enjoy Smackdown?  Yes.  Did I enjoy NXT?  On the whole, it depends.  I read the spoilers, but I forgot to fucking watch it.  And I still haven't watched it, but I've shilly-shallied long enough.

Randy Orton would not be my first choice to carry the day, as it were. It could have been worse, Larry.  Roman Reigns didn't win; Goldberg didn't win; The New Day didn't win (I dig the act, but that wouldn't have worked).  I really, really wanted my Undertaker to win. Really.  It just wasn't meant to be, I'm afraid.  Here is how I see the next couple of months playing out.  Roman slowly, methodically turns heel and feuds with The Undertaker.  Consider this.  'Taker is still pissed about being joggled over the top rope.  I recall Roman proclaiming, "This is my yard now!"  Feud.  There it is.

Raw was mostly forgettable.  The tag team division is worthless (with the exception of the champs), and the cruiserweights need to be developed properly.  That's a rant for another diurnal course.  But Samoa Joe!  The Destroyer!  I'm felicitous and tickled goddamn pink that he has belly-flopped onto the main roster with two caveats.  1) I was hoping for Smackdown.  2) Seth is apparently crippled. Personally, I'm holding out hope that his boo-boo is a work.  "But they said it was real."  Of course they said it was real.  What better way to build up a Wrestlemania main event?  Now, I don't know for a fact that it's a work.  I'm merely postulating.  I have the same amount of information as you do.  Or Larry.

As per usual, Smackdown was wall-to-wall awesome.  Folks, we are on the precipice of a full-bloom Luke Harper face turn.  John Cena may be champion, but let's be honest with ourselves.  Doesn't he deserve it?  It's not as if he won it out of a vacuum.  Styles and Cena have tight chemistry, the latter pulling out moves I've never seen him execute.  If any modern day WWE superstar merits eclipsing Ric Flair's record number of title reigns, it's John Cena.  The fucker made me a fan.  Speaking of Smackdown, did you know...should I start a new paragraph?

Did you know that Mickie James is back?  Yeah, that Mickie James. She has befriended Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, which I deem as a smart call.  Smackdown is not NXT.  The crowd isn't packed with fanboys/fangirls who can list off the roster from, say, 2008 and prepare a chant for any wres--sports entertainer who walks that aisle.  For the time being, Mickie is better suited for a villainous role.

If you'll excuse me, I gotta go watch NXT.

2/1/17

My Grain


Migraine.  Goddamn.  I'll be back tomorrow.

1/30/17

Sixteen Body Snatchers From Hell


I'm not 100% healed up (I'd say I'm at 88%), but I'm well enough to resume my duties as a bullshit blogger.  Didn't feel like writing a bona fide review, so I'll just...y'know, blog.  I've consumed quite a bit of pop culture in the last eighteen days.  As of right now, I wanted to discuss Sweet Sixteen, a disregarded slasher hatched in 1983.  I don't know why, but I was expecting to be fatigued by this flick.  Maybe it's because I haven't heard much cheering from the gore groupies I know with regards to Sweet Sixteen ever since it landed on DVD. Chances are, you haven't scoped it either.  You're missing out, big fella!

My apologies if you happen to be a female.  What I'm trying to intimate is that this stabradoodle (you have my permission to use "stabradoodle" in casual conversation) is totally worth subletting.  I wish that sentence made more sense.  Fuck it!  The death sequences are banal, but everything else is put together with surprising discernment.  The acting is natural, the pace is even and the identity of the killer caught this dullard off guard.  Look, we all know I'm a slack-jawed plonker.  You don't have to rub it in, despite some no-name on IMDb claiming that the twist was predictable.

Oh, the screen grab?  That's a man approaching an alien ship in 1968's Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell.  It's a little stylish and a lot wonky.  Would you believe that it's a Criterion release?  The film was included in a box set called When Horror Came to Shochiku right alongside such benders as The X From Outer Space, The Living Skeleton and Genocide.  It's not bad, but if I'm being honest, I drifted off to sleep toward the end.  I can recommend what I saw, though.  Does the phrase "forehead vagina" mean anything to you? No, Goke wasn't directed by David Cronenberg.

I just might check in tomorrow or the next day to give my impressions of the Royal Rumble.  And Raw.  And Smackdown.

1/10/17

Bad Day

Sabbatical.  Accident today.  Thought I broke my leg, but I didn't. Hurts, though.  Hand still hurts.  Long story.

1/8/17

Blood Capsule #69

SLEEPWALKERS (1992)

"Cop kabob!"  Fuck, don't you just love cheesy one-liners in cheesy horror films of yesteryear?  Even the bad ones (I'm talking suicidally bad) put a doltish grin on my face.  That's how I would describe my impression of 1992's Sleepwalkers.  It's stupid...God, it's stupid, but it made me forget the world for 91 minutes.  I appreciate that because I'm currently nursing a (possibly) broken hand, and I'll take any frowzy, frou-frou entertainment I can find.  Going in, I didn't realize that Stephen King adapted the screenplay from his own unpublished story.  What is it with him and icky subject matter?  If I had only read It and watched Sleepwalkers, I would wonder about his preoccupation with prepubescent gangbanging and incestuous pussy monsters.

Mick Garris directs it all with a cool, imperturbable stasis (you'd never guess that it was a scrambled shoot).  I dug the steady pans and the rich lighting.  The occasional hiccup editing?  Well, I blame the studio, although a heft of juicy gore did escape their imposed scissors.  The acting is better than I was expecting.  Madchen Amick is a peach as the virginal, lily-white Tanya.  I actually wanted her to live, which I'm told is a good thing.  And I'd give King credit for crafting down-to-earth characters, but unfortunately, I'd also have to give him credit for plot holes and haphazard dialogue.  Seriously, what the fuck was up with the black policeman (oops, I mean African-American; I wouldn't want to offend white people)?  There comes Johnny with his pecker in his hand?  He's off to the rodeo?  What???

Sleepwalkers is fun.  Not as fun as, say, playing board games with anthropomorphized soft pretzels, but still.