Between NXT and the Mae Young Classic, my head has been full of women's wrestling.  There are men on NXT, but Wednesday's episode opened with a hellacious bout between Ruby Riot and Peyton Royce.  It was so good that the crowd is starting to get behind Royce, an abiding heel.  But I don't want to harp on pro-wrestling.  My holiday is approaching!

I want to do something "special" for Halloween since I normally don't do anything for Halloween.  I'm kicking a few ideas around.  You will be kept in the loop.  As for the pressing times, my next review should be an interesting slog.  I can't believe I haven't reviewed it yet. Anyway, will you go trick-or-treating with me?


Atomic Chainsaw

Guess the kaiju!  Wrong!  Sorry, I'm assuming that you didn't guess Agon of Agon: Atomic Dragon fame.  I just discovered the squamate schoolboy myself among the mysterious tides of YouTube. What a strange, fantastic place.  Anyway, Agon is the most blatant Godzilla ripoff that I've ever encountered.  Begat by nuclear testing? Check.  Given to fire-breathing?  Check.  Demolishes Japanese cities and walks them dry?  Check.  Incapacitated by cocaine?  Che--hold up, son.  The lead character in Agon, a professional goofball, suggests a plan to feed a suitcase full of illicit drugs to the monster. I'll be a monkey's cum slave, it works!  Mostly.  Not really.

If Agon feels like a serial at times, that's because it was shot as a four-part television miniseries scheduled to air in 1964.  Toho blocked it from being released until 1968 for...well, obvious reasons.  It's not bad.  I've certainly imbibed worse "giant monster" movies.  This is going to be inappropriately abrupt, but I have to say something about Tobe Hooper.  The idea was to discuss Agon: Atomic Dragon and the sudden loss of an accomplished filmmaker, but I have no clue how to do both.

I've mentioned before that the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my favorite flick-a-dee of all time.  I don't care what kind of missteps you take as an auteur (ahem, I'm Dangerous Tonight); if you direct a film as impactful as Chainsaw, I have no beef with you.  You afforded yourself the right to do whatever you want.  We've lost Marilyn Burns and Gunnar Hansen in recent years.  I can only hope that they have already reconvened with Tobe and are shooting an exploitation classic for afterlife audiences.

Please rest in peace, Mr. Hooper.  Here is an inappropriate picture.


Blood Capsule #76


I held off on viewing this London-lensed vampire romp for years.  It didn't seem like my goblet of blood.  In my head, I had it pegged as frigid, formal "designer horror," and I don't think that's even a real thing.  Where on Neptune do I get my ideas?  The Hunger is great! Damn it, I should have watched it sooner.  The late Tony Scott directs with erudite style, an acute savoir-faire that also permeates the script.  This is a thinking man's picture.  Every aspect from the editing to the lighting is willfully premeditated.  Even the performances are deliberate, and the cast is docked by one hell of a ternion of thespians.  "Ternion of Thespians."  That's a book title right there. You're welcome.

David (motherfucking) Bowie and Catherine Deneuve play fanged lovers.  Their love was supposed to be immortal, but it isn't.  When John (Bowie) withers away, Miriam (Catherine) decides that she wants to scissor Susan Sarandon.  Who doesn't?  This presents conflict, but I don't want to dwell on the plot.  The Hunger is a cult classic, yes, but maybe you haven't seen it.  Maybe you're like me, you poor schmuck.  I recommend it with all four chambers of my heart, especially the first and second half.  Heh, I made a funny.  The tragic climax is a direct hit - a clean sweep, if you please - and the ghouls...oh, the ghouls!  Sweet effects.  Fantastic; now I'm hungry.


NXT Round-Up

NXT's taping schedule can be maddening.  Coming off the hottest Takeover event yet, last night's show featured matches taped ahead of said event.  There was a camel train of clips from Saturday's centerpiece, but we won't see the real follow-up until next week. Could you imagine if Wrestlemania was treated the same way?  You must iron the frilly nightclothes while they're hot, and no, you don't get to correct me.  That's almost certainly the right precept (something about iron, right?), just as Sarah Logan is almost certainly my girlfriend.

LARS DESTROYS ALL ~ Lars Sullivan is a mammoth motherfucker. He dismantles No Way Jose before the bell rings and the decision is thrown out.  So creative still doesn't know what to do with Jose, unless he has found a rather unfortunate role.  Meanwhile, Lars seems sculpted for success.

PEYTON ROYCE VS. SARAH LOGAN ~ Logan was plucked from the Mae Young Classic, though she has appeared on NXT in the past as an "enhancement talent."  I am a fan.  I don't know the end game for Royce (likewise for her partner, Billie Kay), but she's clearly talented.  This was a solid match wherein Royce reigned victorious with a Perfect Plex.  Odd choice for a finisher.  I question everything, don't I?

THE UK DIVISION ~ Our main event was a tag team match that saw Wolfgang and UK Champion Pete Dunne (holy shit, this kid's pop) battle Trent Seven and former champ Tyler Bate, collectively known as Moustache Mountain.  First off, the latter team already has matching tights and a history as a duo, so why not add them to the tag division?  NXT does need fresh teams, after all.  I'm picturing Moustache Mountain wrestling ReDragon and I'm ejaculating.  You're welcome for the visual.

Obviously, these four cats can work.  They truly maximized their minutes.  Dunne is the star of the bunch, but they all have distinct characteristics.  And...that's all I have to say on the matter.  The two legit matches are worth watching, but again, the taping schedule needs revision.  If there is any promotion that doesn't require filler, it's fucking NXT.  I can't wait to see what Adam Cole does next week, BAY BAY!



NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III, Summerslam, Raw, Smackdown Live and tomorrow, NXT.  That's a lot of wrestles!  I think I've made it clear that I find NXT to be astonishingly more consistent than WWE. They're almost different companies.  Brooklyn III was the best Takeover event yet, in my humble opinion.  Summerslam was Summerslam.  Bloated, lustrous, bogged down with cold matches...in other words, half of the card was meaningless.  Sitting here right now, I can't even remember who John Cena beat.  Oh, Corbin.  Why did they wrestle again?  Why did Orton essentially squash Rusev? I'm being honest when I say that I can't fucking remember half of Summerslam.  SUMMERSLAM!  Isn't it supposed to be, like, memorable?

And yet, it wasn't outright substandard.  Smackdown is finishing up as I type, and it seems as though they have filled the Cena void.  I won't spoil anything here, but I'm optimistic going forward.  Apologies to those who don't follow wrestling; the next post will be an NXT Round-Up, which has (inadvertently) become a bi-weekly column. Argh, what do you care?


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.