Blood Capsule #169

ATRAGON (1963)

Mu is a mythical lost continent whose origin is tied in with the fabled island of Atlantis.  It's an interesting subject, and I'm sure that it could be the basis of a sparkling, imaginative fantasy film.  Atragon is not that film.  I'll level with you.  I only showed interest in this Ishiro Honda machination because it capers underneath the "kaiju" umbrella.  In truth, a disappointingly negligible percentage of the running time is devoted to creature carnage.  Let's see, the plot.  Tokyo is rendered immunocompromised by the startling discovery of the Mu kingdom, a subaqueous empire bent on global annihilation.  Forced to retaliate, world leaders look to the aid of Captain Jinguji, a reclusive naval commander credited with the conception of an advanced submarine called Atragon.

The storyline is far more complicated than it needs to be, and I have taken the liberty of truncating the synopsis by approximately five hundred words in an effort to protect the integrity of this review.  You're just going to have to trust me.  Anyway, Jinguji is reticent to help, but his daughter convinces him that the Mu empress means business.  Actually, this supposed "great race" is defeated rather easily.  That might be the point, as the Mu dynasty is an allegory for Nazi Germany.  Still, the climax could stand to gain from a lethal dose of conflict.  At the very least, Manda should have wrapped itself around more miniature sets like a reptilian Tesla coil.  Bet you weren't banking on a Tesla reference, were you?  I slay me.


Site Update

I did a Google image search for "melting brain," and this is what I got.  I don't know.  It doesn't look like it's melting, but the colors are pretty.  Yay?  I'm just trying to convey my current mental state.  I haven't written anything in several days, and honestly, that's kind of intentional.  I'm resting up, as December is going to be a busy month for the site.  The contest is ending soon, I'm prepping another "7 in 7" series for Christmas, and of course, there are always non-movie items to worry about.

I'm going to be making a mega-announcement in January.  Yes, another announcement.  It's the biggest one yet!  So there's a lot happening.  Check out these links...

I thought there was a third link!  Nevermind.  I'm telling you, my brain is literally melting.


Time is ticking...

If you're reading this, click HERE.  Enter my contest to win a $50 Amazon gift card!  No strings attached, unless you want to take our relationship to the next level.  There are only a few days left to get in on the action, so act now!


Geek Out #167

Here we have a full episode of 120 Minutes.  It's rare to see such a thing on YouTube, what with copyrights being violated left and right.  This particular episode is a lovely time capsule from 1998.  Please enjoy Creed videos (hey, the first album wasn't too shabby) and commercials for Mortal Kombat 4.  It's a trip, man.


Rassle Inn #47

By now, I imagine that most, if not all wrestling fans have seen the Texas Death Match between Swerve Strickland and "Hangman" Adam Page.  To say that it was divisive would be a crushing understatement.  There is no middle ground on this one.  I may come across as old and detached here, but I'm squarely in the negative camp.  If you dug this bloodbath, can I ask what you dug exactly?  The blood?  That's literally all you could have liked, as there was no cogent storytelling to speak of.  Yeah, I guess they...bled well?  I'm struggling to play the optimist.

I have many problems with this match, but there is one thing that cannot be argued away.  It did absolutely nothing for AEW's bottom line.  I can guarantee you that the ratings will continue to stagnate.  The same people are going to tune in on Wednesday nights as always, and as for Saturday nights, we know how and why that horse left the barn.  What did this chaos - I don't know what else to call it - do to get Page over as a babyface?  By the same token, is Swerve over as a heel?  The crowd seemed poised to chant for him, regardless of the direction taken by "booking."

What about the next blood feud?  The next major angle?  Are they going to bring guns to the ring?  Because they have nowhere to go from here.  Is it any wonder that the crowd was dead for the two matches that followed?  If I was MJF, I'd be royally pissed right now.  Last night, I chose to watch an episode of WWF Prime Time Wrestling from 1989 just to cleanse my palate.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed a bygone product that has no relevance in 2023.  I'm not sure what that says.  It was so refreshing to see a heel (in this instance, "Ravishing" Rick Rude) act like a heel.

That reminds me.  Boy, I'm revved up, so you'll have to oblige me for a moment.  Drew McIntyre recently turned heel.  He'll be fighting alongside The Judgment Day at this Saturday's Survivor Series.  The reaction online was puzzling, to be sure.  If it were 1989, the fans would have been livid.  In 2023, the fans register their approval of consistent booking.  "What a great heel turn."  "Well done, WWE."  I...I can only shake my head.  I know you can't unring a bell, and those same fans are not to blame for holding inside knowledge that they never should have gained in the first place.  But geez.  What would Bobby Heenan think?


Jeepers Creepers 3

Jeepers Creepers 3 and Jeepers Creepers: Reborn are sold together on DVD.  It was five bucks at Wal-Mart.  Don't look at me like that.  That's a fair price, considering my emotional investment in the series.  I kid because I hate.  No, I was genuinely curious about this one.  I can remember seeing the original in theaters and loving the fact that we got an old-fashioned monster movie at a time when horror's commercial viability was dubious at best.  Somehow, the film performed well enough at the box office to guarantee a sequel, with or without contentious director Victor Salva.  Would you like me to open that can of worms?  Eh, I'm not going there, as I'm choosing to focus on the meat of the matter.

It has to be said that Salva is one of the most talented pedophiles in the game.  Too soon?  Too early???  His talent can be frustrating at times.  It can be argued that he shouldn't be allowed within fifty feet of a camera, but I said I wasn't going there.  As for Jeepers Creepers 3, it retains some of the hallmarks that bankrolled its production.  Salva knows how to use silence, and there are several creepy shots peppered throughout.  Apparently, this flick is set in between parts one and two.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter.  Nothing is resolved, and I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know where The Creeper is concerned.  Well, I take that back.  I learned that The Demon in a Duster (trademarked) is a master mechanic.  I wonder what he would charge to rotate the tires of my wheelchair.

There's a joke in here about Victor Salva and wiper fluid.  If I find it, I'll let you know.  Yeah, I'm not taking this review very seriously.  Um, the characters.  There are too many of them.  You've got the pugnacious police force, the bratty teenagers, a stoic Meg Foster (per sources, she had a clause in her contract that gave her a "peeper bonus;" she was awarded a thousand dollars for every day she reported to set with her eyes open), and birds.  A lot of birds.  The expendable youths don't die quick enough for my liking.  On the acting front, the cast is serviceable, but any earnest performances here are wasted because this is Jeepers Creepers 3.

Seriously, why couldn't the exposition reveal a single thing that sets The Creeper apart from vanilla villains?  Other than "he eats for 23 days on the 23rd moon for 23 seconds and his favorite Jim Carrey movie is The Number 23."  I don't know, gang.  I can usually B.S. my way through four full paragraphs, but this is a lost cause.  The Z'Dar rating is for poor Gina Philips.  Ask me if I'm going to review Jeepers Creepers: Reborn.  Oh, I dare you.



I found the coolest thing...

Every so often, I chance upon something on the web (does anyone call it "the web" anymore?) that blows my mind.  I can usually be heard saying that this or that is the coolest thing in the universe, but obviously, that's an exercise in bleeping, grandiloquent hyperbole.  Until today, that is.  I think I may have actually found the coolest thing in the universe.  For wrestling fans, The Great Muta is already endlessly cool.  Did you know that in the wild, wonderful decade that is the 1990's, New Japan Pro-Wrestling released a short film that served as Muta's origin story?  Because I didn't, and Jesus corduroy Christ, it's all kinds of awesome.

Of course, it's on YouTube.  Did NJPW release it onto physical media?  I have no earthly idea.  In fact, I'm having a hard time finding any information on this deal.  All I know is that the gooey monster effects are credited to Steve Wang, the guy who worked on both The Guyver and The Guyver 2 alongside Screaming Mad George.  Apparently, he has a busy history in tokusatsu, a genre that includes kaiju.  It's worth noting that NJPW spent money on this mother.  It runs for roughly 15 minutes, and every frame is delectable.

The film is split into three chapters.  First, we see the birth of The Great Muta.  Then we see Muta wrestle a cave-dwelling beast that faintly resembles Lord Zedd.  And when I say "wrestle," I mean they lock up and exchange clotheslines!  Finally, Muta gathers himself after a tough loss and mutates into...um, Uber-Muta.  Words are failing me, so you really need to watch this film for yourself.  I think you'll agree that it's the coolest thing in the universe, at least as of November 2023.  Give it a whirl, girl!


Dead Review Collection #17 - CHAOS!

Well, the time has finally come.  I can't put it off any longer.  I need to review Chaos Horrific, the new(est) album by Cannibal Corpse.  I haven't been looking forward to writing this invective for various reasons.  For starters, I don't have many positive things to say about this batch of songs.  I mean, I do, but I don't.  Hmm...I feel like the best qualities that make up Chaos Horrific are things that can be said about the band as a collective whole, as opposed to traits that are unique to these specific compositions.  The fact that they are still brutal at their advanced age is commendable.  I suppose I should be thankful that they haven't pulled a Morbid Angel with their latest release, taking a brusque left turn into alternative waters.

But is that enough?  Shouldn't the new Cannibal Corpse record grab me by the throat and violate me in unspeakably egregious ways?  2021's Violence Unimagined did just that.  This line-up has had time to congeal, so you'd think that uniformity would show in the songwriting department.  Let me cut right to the chase.  The only aspect of Chaos Horrific that surpassed my expectations would be the lead guitar work.  To be plainspoken, the fiendish tandem of Rob Barrett and Erik Rutan deserves all the (dead) flowers in the universe.  The guitar solos kill!  I love the crooked harmonies, the sophisticated note choices, and just the overall "vibe" of what these guys are laying down.

There are other things I dig.  The demented circus melody of "Vengeful Invasion."  The manic drum fills on "Fracture and Refracture."  George's vocal patterns on...well, the whole album.  So what's my issue?  Setting the lead breaks aside, there is a prevailing sense of sameness across the ten tracks on display.  Honestly, the riffs sound tired.  I would never accuse these fine gentleman of mailing it in or going through the motions, but you could hardly blame them for simply running out of ideas.  This is their seventeenth full-length offering, after all.  And of course, this is only my puny opinion.  Before I backtalk too much, I can't apologize for not absolutely loving everything that my favorite extreme metal band does.

I will say, I'm a fan of "Summoned for Sacrifice" and "Pestilential Rictus."  "Blood Blind" wouldn't be my pick for the lead single, but it does carry a badass groove.  Kudos to Paul Mazurkiewicz for knowing when to pull back and when to launch into a malicious blasting section.  For that matter, everyone knows how to play their role.  While I may not be overly enthused with Chaos Horrific, I can vouch for the new material in a live setting.  That's just my way of bragging that I've seen Cannibal Corpse three times now.  Touch me!