Matches That Time Forgot #4

This match is from way back in 2009. Okay, so it's not a golden oldie, but time has already forgotten it. Most people have never heard of ROH (Ring of Honor), the third largest wrestling promotion in the United States. Smart marks cream over this company, and rightfully so. ROH delivers quality matches on a weekly basis in a no-frills fashion. It's the antithesis of "sports entertainment."

I could have chosen to spotlight any number of talented workers who have toiled away in ROH, but I'm keen on The Young Bucks. They are currently signed with TNA as Generation Me, and while I detest the Hogan/Bischoff regime, I can't deny that the Bucks have enjoyed some degree of success in Total Non-Action. This match is from their brief run in ROH. It's a fast-paced tag team clinic against The American Wolves (it takes a few seconds for part one to start up). God, why can't WWE have a badass tag division? Why???



I just realized something. Acid Bath was a tornado. Hear me out. As the recent twister outbreaks have shown, funnel clouds can cause monumental damage in a short amount of time. I should know; I was in one. Despite being a child when a tornado dismantled my great grandfather's house, I distinctly remember the way that time outwitted me during all of the blusterous bedlam. It only took a few seconds for nature to obliterate the brick and mortar that sheltered us, but it felt like hours. I never heard from that storm cell again. Has this analogy become painfully obvious yet?

Acid Bath released two albums in the 90's. They broke up when bassist Audie Pitre died in an auto accident, and aside from a posthumous demo compilation, they haven't made a peep since. Metalheads practically deify both recordings. To say that they have a cult following would be an understatement. But unlike every other band that has dissolved at one point or another, Acid Bath has never staged a reunion. This is only speculation on my part, but I don't believe that the remaining members have even entertained the thought of getting back together. 'Tis a shame.

What kind of music did these psychopathic Southerners play? They didn't confine themselves to one style. Paegan Terrorism Tactics is just as diverse as its predecessor. If you decide to sample this album online, you're going to hear clods of sludge, black metal, hard rock, punk-tinged crust (or crust-tinged punk) and a bated whiff of grunge. You'll also hear a couple of acoustic ballads. Vocalist Dax Riggs is up to the challenge of singing over a myriad of subgenres. He screams when he needs to, he croons when he needs to and he talks when he needs to. Yes, he talks. "Old Skin" is a spoken word piece that will give your nightmares nightmares. I wonder what dreams dream about...

Moving on! Most fans prefer 1994's When the Kite String Pops. I concede that it's a stunning debut, but it lacks the mature songwriting of Paegan Terrorism Tactics. There is more melody here. Still, we get heavy, demonic tracks in the form of "13 Fingers" and "New Corpse." "Diab Soule" makes me want to sodomize an orphan with a power drill. "Graveflower" is restrained, yet forcibly somber. It's probably my favorite Acid Bath song, which is ironic, seeing as how it was my introduction to the band. If you haven't been introduced to this Cajun outfit, now is your chance. Well, you can check them out later if you want, but why put it off? You have nothing better to do.


Parts Unknown #58: Smackdown

Meh. How is that for an intro?


~ The opening promos worked for one reason and one reason only: Sheamus. You get the sense that he knows his character inside and out. He looks comfortable. In less than two years, he has reached a level of confidence that Mark Henry hasn't been able to approach in over a decade. I'm stoked that he is the number one contender to The Viper's tainted championship belt. I have no doubt that I'm in the vast minority, but I can see Sheamus winning his third world title in the not-so-distant future.

~ The Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan match. If these two wrestlers square off at Capitol Punishment, they're going to steal the show.

~ The Great Khali's heel turn. First of all, I actually enjoyed his match against Kane. Somehow, The Punjabi Pisstake managed to keep from embarrassing himself (although most of the credit should go to Kane). Jinder Mahal has yet to strike out at the plate. I love it when a midcard program is expertly written.

~ I had reservations about Ezekiel Jackson's coquettish, wishy-washy run as a babyface. He has switched sides too many times. However, he seems to be making the best of a weak angle. You can't tell me that he isn't over with the crowd. What's more, he has made the body slam cool again. Now that takes talent.

~ A.J. Lee. I need more of her and less of the other chicks.


~ This wasn't an easy decision to come by, but I have to list the Sin Cara/Chavo Guerrero match as a con. There were just too many botches, and none of the kicks connected with enough oomph. Sin Cara whipped out his finisher in the corner of the ring, so he had to go for the cover instead of using his patented submission hold. Was that meant to happen? It's doubtful. He should have went for his sick flip off of the top rope. Don't get me wrong; I'm still in the Sin Cara fan club. And I still need to order that snazzy shirt.

~ Booker T calling out Michael Cole. Was that really necessary?

~ Kaitlyn is fucking awful. She was born to be a valet. Get her out of the goddamn ring.

~ I thought that Tamina was a face. Why is she tagging with Alicia Fox? Is she still fucking Santino? Has she buried the hatchet with The Uso's? What's going on?

I've typed up 58 of these things? Geez.



Sorry for the slight delay. Our power went out last night as I was writing this review.

Fight movies. We've all seen them. And really, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. I mean, is Kickboxer any different from Bloodsport? No. Are they both entertaining? Yes. Arena takes the "fight movie" theorem and shoots it into outer space. The plot follows Steve Armstrong, a man so plain, he could moonlight as a vanilla wafer. Why didn't they just stamp "American Hero" onto his forehead? Anyway, he reluctantly signs a contract with a fight promoter to compete on the arena circuit. These are the big leagues, and an earthling hasn't won the championship belt in fifty years. Most of the sluggers are either aliens or robots.

The fighting involves kicks, punches and wrestling moves. Basically, anything goes. We're introduced to the current champion within the first ten minutes. He's the cyber mutant on the right side of the poster. In relative terms, he is the Brock Lesnar of arena fighting. The arena itself looks rather impressive. I'm not sure how much money the producers had to blow, but it couldn't have been a hefty amount. Director Peter Manoogian ensured that the bulk of his slender resources went to the special effects department. He made great use of miniatures, matte paintings and old-fashioned animatronics. This isn't Star Wars, but it's more epic than one might think.

What else would you expect from the man who brought us Demonic Toys? I kid because I love. Arena is fun. It doesn't stray too far from the Rocky formula, but I wasn't bothered by the customary script. Horror critics use the term "mindless" to describe films like this, and while I hate to take the easy route, it's true that you need to leave your brain at the door to get as much out of the viewing experience as possible. There were only a couple of furrows in the storyline that pecked at my nerves. I couldn't make heads or tails out of the handicapping system that safeguards against foul play. Thus, the ending confused the piss out of me.

Speaking of the ending (I'll do my best to sidestep spoilers, but you can probably figure out what happens), it would have been more meaningful if Steve was the first human to win the championship. We already know that it can be done, so the victory doesn't carry as much weight as it could have. Those are frivolous invectives, though. The bottom line is that Arena is a merry, mild-mannered block of sci-fi cheese. It's a piece of cake. It's...cheesecake! I just came up with that. Honest! Am I too clever for the room or what?


A geek's work is never done...

Tomorrow, a movie review. The day after that, the world!

If my plans to conquer Earth fall through, then I'll post more reviews instead. Actually, I'm pretty excited about the stuff you'll be seeing on the site in the next couple of weeks. I might be debuting yet another new column in an effort to broaden the scope of Random Reviews. But that won't happen until next week. As for the rest of this week, I've got a movie review, a music review, a Smackdown review and a match that time forgot coming to a browser near you. Why am I not getting paid for this shit?

Album Cover of the Week


Parts Unknown #57: Raw

Save for the final 30 minutes, this was one of the worst episodes of Raw that I've seen since I rediscovered wrestling in early 2010. Let's get this over with...


~ It was nice seeing Bret Hart back in a WWF/E ring, even though he was only called upon to salvage a withering feud. You have to laugh at the writers for glossing over the fact that The Excellence of Execution and Jerry "The King" Lawler were supposed to be arch enemies in the mid-90's.

~ Ah, the old "hit by a car" storyline. I'll roll with it for the time being. The Big Show sold his injuries well.

~ The Jack Swagger/Evan Bourne match. I'm glad that Swagger used a gutwrench powerbomb as his finisher. Maybe Kurt Angle will stop bitching and moaning about a young talent utilizing a submission hold that he didn't invent.

~ Alex Riley's face turn. Look, I'm still not sure about this kid, but he gave a heartfelt performance last night. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

~ The tribute to "Macho Man" Randy Savage. It was goddamn beautiful.


~ If they're going to drop the tag titles to The Nexus, then why didn't they do it at a PPV? You have to give us a reason to shell out $50 for a second-tier PPV. There is literally no reason to order Capitol Punishment (or at least that's the message that I took away from Raw). In truth, a PPV is just a glorified live event. But Vince is reaping a profit, which means that nothing is going to change.

~ Oh my fucking shit. Kharma...crying? What are they thinking? They have just ruined one of the most exciting characters in the past decade, and we haven't even seen her in a sanctioned match yet! All of the hype, all of the momentum and all of the intimidation that Kharma built for herself was squandered in the blink of an eye. This is common sense, people! Can you imagine The Undertaker crying one month after his debut in 1990? He didn't act like a human being until five years later! Christ!

~ So Michael Cole is back to normal again? Of course. They only wasted hours upon hours of television time on this putrid angle.

I could bite the head off of a toddler right now.


The Legend of Hell House

I make it a point to write spoiler-free reviews. In most cases, I can delineate my thoughts without revealing critical plot details, even if my opinion of a film is tied directly to a curveball in the script. Try as I might, I can't review The Legend of Hell House without spoiling the twist ending. Sorry, but there is no way around it. For those who haven't seen this haunted hayride, here is my truncated, yet spoiler-free assessment of Hell House. Ready? It's...okay. The atmosphere is swollen with dread, but I was put off by the unlikeable characters and the abortive third act. If you don't want to know how this flick resolves itself, now would be a good time to stop reading.

An affluent quack hires four paranormal investigators to spend a week in "the Mount Everest of haunted houses" to find out if there is life after death. My friends told me that I would enjoy Hell House, and on some level, they were right. I dig quiet, foggy spine-chillers. This film offers plenty of fog and several instances of uncomfortable silence. As slow as this candle burns, I can't say that I was ever tempted to check my watch. The cast is auspicious. Roddy McDowall seems to relish the opportunity to play with the nuances that his role affords him. He gives a focused performance as Ben, a medium who knows more about the titular homestead than any of his colleagues.

So where does Hell House falter? I'm glad you asked. The first hour builds to a dampening payoff. The twist isn't very twisty. This is where spoilers come in handy. Eventually, we find out that our malevolent spirit is pissed off because...he is short. No, really. The "twist" is that the antagonist resents his victims for being over five feet tall. I wish that I was fabricating this whole thing, but sadly, I am speaking the truth. How does Roddy McDowall vanquish the pint-sized ghost? He yells at him. He fucking yells at him. Oh, and he activates a machine that reverses the polarity of ectoplasm. Or something.

Honestly, I am shocked that the screenplay was penned by Richard Matheson. He adapted his own source material, which I understand is superior to this film. To each his own, but I wince when I see people refer to The Legend of Hell House as a horror landmark. Hypothetically, a better ending wouldn't change my mind. I would still be left with grating characters. The male lead is an arrogant prick, the two hotties are absolute flakes and McDowall doesn't garner much sympathy (compared to his co-stars, however, he comes across as a sweetheart). I've seen worse. That's a compliment, I guess. Rent Poltergeist or The Changeling instead.


Parts Unknown #56: Smackdown

Thinking about Randy Savage made me realize just how much the product has suffered in recent years. I'm disillusioned by the WWE. We're in the doldrums right now, and yes, some of it has to do with the fact that the champions from each brand are incomparably dull. Smackdown is still my favorite show, but I'll be honest; it was hard to get enthused about last night's festivities.


~ Woah...did I just see Sheamus talking in a box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen? Interesting. His match with Christian was decent, if not overly telegraphed. I would enjoy it more if I knew that Christian stood a chance at Over the Limit.

~ Natalya wrested a tolerable match out of a Bella twin. However, I'm deducting points since we were deprived of Kharma.

~ The "beat the clock" match between Daniel Bryan and Chavo Guerrero was effortlessly smooth. I appreciate the way they are handling The American Dragon. He has yet to score a meaningful victory, sure, but he hasn't looked weak either. Note to self: buy one of those snazzy Sin Cara shirts.

~ I'm really digging Jinder Mahal. I don't think that I've ever been this intrigued by a Great Khali program.


~ I want to accept Ezekiel Jackson as a legitimate midcarder, but dear God, that was an awful promo. This is the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship? Where have all of the charismatic wrestlers gone?

~ Cody Rhodes is a badass, but I don't understand why they have paired him up with the lifeless Ted DiBiase Jr. They were in Legacy...so what? DiBiase will never get over as a babyface. And what was the point of the "Corpus Christi" skit? What the fuck? Was that supposed to make me laugh?

~ Poor Trent Baretta. If you're going to push someone, make it this guy. Or Yoshi Tatsu.

~ The main event. It was slower than a traffic jam.

Is Randy Orton possessed by David Lee Roth?


Matches That Time Forgot #3

I'm still in shock over the news that I received earlier today. Obviously, I'm referring to the death of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. What do I say? Like most wrestling fans, I was hoping that I would see Savage on WWE programming one more time before it was too late. Well, it's too late.

Savage represented an era of wrestling where the boys looked and acted different from one another. Each person had a distinct character. Unfortunately, those days are over. Will there ever be another Macho Man? It's doubtful. While he was denied the top spot in the company, he was unique enough to give Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior a run for their money. The match that I've selected is hardly a classic, but it's just as entertaining as any other match that Randy was involved with. Here, he battles Giant Gonzalez in one of his last appearances in the World Wrestling Federation.

This clip is noteworthy, for it contains Jorge's face turn. Watch as he wipes his hands clean of Harvey Wippleman.



I'm late to the game on this one. I haven't seen the Hatchet films in their entirety, but I've seen enough of them to know that Adam Green has a general idea of what horror fans want to see from knavish, unprincipled slashers. It's hard to fuck up a wall-to-wall splatter circus (or at least it should be). But how would he approach survival horror? Would he be able to generate suspense? Would he know how to flesh out his characters without using a pick-axe? After viewing Frozen, I'm of the mind that Green can maneuver around any genre, though I hope he decides to stick to his bloody roots.

Frozen follows three friends who spend a weekend at a ski resort. They convince a lift operator to let them have one more run down the slope before the lodge closes for the week. Long story short, a spell of miscommunication impels the staff to cut the power while our leads are suspended fifty feet in the air. Oh, snap! Did you like Open Water? If not, don't rent this movie. If so, Frozen could be up your alley. Just replace "water" with "snow" and "sharks" with "wolves." I don't mean to suggest that this is a tripe duplicate. I enjoyed both films myself. However, you will squirm a little waiting for the plot to unfurl.

Of course, the methodical exposition allows us to acclimate with the cast. Emma Bell and Shawn Ashmore anchor the script as Parker and Lynch, respectively. I actually got attached to them, and I'm the guy who wants everyone in every movie to die. Literally. Kevin Zegers was irritating as Dan, but his performance was believable. Somewhere along the way, I got the impression that he was supposed to be foolhardy, so I can't yammer about his character flaws. Inevitably, the pace is torpid and deliberate. Others may disagree, but I never found Frozen to be boring. Once the foundation was set, I was hooked until the ending credits began to roll.

Drawbacks? I must admit, I was troubled by the logistics of it all. How could this ever happen in modern day America? They didn't tell anyone where they were going? Really? And they didn't bring a single cell phone? The homicidal wolves were sketchy as well. Those who know me know that I rarely get caught up in the plausibility (or lack thereof) of a storyline, especially if we're talking about a horror film. But Frozen struck me as unrealistic. Nonetheless, I recommend it to fans of austere, atmospheric experiments in tension. Keep tabs on this Adam Green fellow. He has serious potential, assuming that he doesn't shackle himself to a slasher franchise. Quit while you're ahead, dude!


Album Cover of the Week

This one is for some guy named Nick.

Geek Out #18

Not movie-related, but it does make me geek out.


The blogging gods are plotting against me...

Hey, guess what? I fell asleep during Raw (imagine that), and Netflix is pissing me off. I'm going to go ahead and skip the Raw review. I could watch it online, but I don't have the time or patience for that right now. Tomorrow, I'll be reviewing...something. Stay tuned!


Update From Another World

I'm still waiting on a Netflix rental, so the next movie review will more than likely be posted on Wednesday. And...I guess that's all I wanted to say. Laters!


Matches That Time Forgot #2

This is already my favorite feature on the site. I live for random wrestling matches. Today, I bring you the debut of The New Skyscrapers. Back in the late 80's, the team of Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey was the only tandem that stood a chance against The Road Warriors. Hawk and Animal dominated WCW's tag division just like they dominated every other promotion that they worked for. When Sid was kicked out of The Skyscrapers, a Phenom-enal replacement was called up by the name of "Mean" Mark Callous.

Of course, in a year or so, Callous would become The Undertaker. I love this match because you can see the origin of Taker's signature moves. At one point, he does a balancing act on the top rope (listen to the way that Jim Ross sells the young man's athleticism...that's what commentary is supposed to sound like). He also executes a flying clothesline that nearly beheads Randy Harris. Kudos to the jobbers for knowing how to be annihilated.

The post-match promo is priceless. Teddy Long does his job (he has since forgotten how to talk). Spivey acts like a serial killer, while Mark draws a blank. "Sid Vicious...I'm Mean Mark Callous!"


Parts Unknown #55: Smackdown

I'm pleased with the direction that Smackdown is going in. Last night's episode had an "old school" feel to it. Almost everyone on the roster is involved with a feud. I noticed an emphasis on the midcard, which is rare for the WWE these days. Let the games begin...


~ Well, at least Christian addressed the controversy in his promo (it would have been hard to shrug off). We're finally seeing new faces in the main event. That's always a good thing, even if one of those faces belongs to a fading Mark Henry. I'm sorry, but the guy wasn't exceptionally serviceable in the Attitude Era. He is so far past his prime, I'm willing to bet that he could be outwrestled by Pat Patterson.

~ The Sin Cara/Daniel Bryan match. Wow. Match of the year candidate? We got aerial stunts, submission holds, stiff kicks and a well-booked finish. I can't wait for this angle to heat up.

~ Layla's tight shirt. Kharma as a tweener? Eh, I'll give it a chance.

~ The Kane/Wade Barrett match. This was a traditional wrestling exhibition, so I ate it up. I don't think I've seen Kane pull off a suplex since...um, the last time he pulled off a suplex (it's been awhile).

~ Jinder Mahal crashing the Khali Kiss Cam. Again, I like where this is heading.

~ I didn't really care about the main event, but it was a solid ten minutes of action. I'm glad that Christian scored the pinfall.


~ Heath Slater needs to be sent back to FCW.

All in all, I had a blast with this edition of Smackdown. I pray (to Joe Pesci) that Raw doesn't quash the momentum generated by the blue brand.


Obscura - OMNIVIUM

I love progressive death metal. I love the intricate drum work, I love the often-causeless guitar gymnastics and I love the angular melodies that are associated with this quixotic subgenre. In my eyes, Obscura is the best progressive death metal band on the planet. 2009's Cosmogenesis was my pick for Album of the Year. It didn't just blow me away; it courted me, paid for my dinner and spackled the walls of my vagina. It's that good. Needless to say, I waited for the follow-up with eager anticipation. Well, it's here in the form of Omnivium, a 9-track discursion of instrumental trigonometry. Does it deliver the goods?

Mostly. To be honest with you, this album never could have surpassed my expectations. Cosmogenesis floored me with such conviction, that I approached Omnivium like a born-again Christian would approach The Holy Ghost. In fact, I thought I heard a choir of angels in the background when it arrived in the mail. I can safely say that if you dug the first two Obscura records, then you'll dig this one. It's not as immediate as Cosmogenesis, but you could argue that it's more epic. And that might be where this long player skids off course. It tries to be the Master of Puppets of progressive death metal. I mean, it's so fucking huge, that it asphyxiates under its own astronomical weight.

But of course, there are several songs that will turn your head and mollify your ears. "Vortex Omnivium" is a blast-ridden squall that speeds past your skull with the force of a cataclysmic cyclone. That sentence doesn't do the riffs justice. Trust me. Attempting to describe these passages with mere words is almost insulting to the band members, especially when you consider that I'm a dunderhead when it comes to musical jargon. Take this next statement, for example. "Ocean Gateways" is badass. It's heavier than Kevin Smith's gallbladder. To put it in more literate terms, this tune is worth noting for its slothful tempo. It's categorically doomy, which is something that you can't say about the rest of Obscura's catalogue.

The guitar solo in "Velocity" - a guest spot credited to Dark Fortress frontman Morean - is inhuman. I refuse to believe that it was played by a human being. Hell, I refuse to believe that everything on Omnivium was played by human beings. The second half of the album does lose steam. I keep hoping to hear a vocal line or a drum fill that grabs me with each successive spin, but at some point, I'll have to admit to myself that I simply prefer the opening bombardment of symphonic intensity. It's not that I dislike the last couple of songs; they just don't...spackle the walls of my vagina. If you're new to Obscura, start with Cosmogenesis. In time, you'll probably find a home in your record collection for Omnivium as well. These men would make Chuck Schuldiner proud.

Is Blogger ran by Charles Band?

Ack! I would have something up today, but Blogger was down for awhile. Review forthcoming!


Album Cover of the Week

This one is for Christian!


Parts Unknown #54: Raw

Last week was rough. Raw sucked, and while the majority of Smackdown was decent, the ending was blasphemous. I'm happy to report that the WWE has rebounded quite nicely from those indiscretions. Peaks and valleys are to be expected. Let's find out what Raw's new roster had in store for us...


~ The opening segment dragged a bit, but it was necessary. Fresh contenders need to be established. I like how R-Truth's heel turn has progressed. It's unfortunate that his feud with John Morrison was disrupted by an injury, but The Prince of Parkour might benefit from a break. On a sidenote, Ricardo Rodriguez is the fucking man!

~ Kharma destroying Eve Torres. I prefer it when she attacks heels, but I understand that Vince wants to see how the crowd will react to Miss Kong as a potential baddie. If it were up to me, I'd keep her as a face. Those pops are undeniable.

~ The Kane/Mason Ryan match. I'm totally into Kane and The Big Show as a tag team. All they need is a cool name (I suggest The Distant Cousins of Destruction) and matching singlets.

~ Zack Ryder sighting! When are they going to push this guy? I've been spotting more and more "Broski of the Week" signs in the audience. On Smackdown, I saw a sign that simply read "Push Zack Ryder." Take the hint, Vinnie Mac!

~ The Jack Swagger/Kofi Kingston match for the United States Championship. It had a solid back-and-forth, clever counters and a gratifying finish. I can't believe that this belt gets more TV time than the Intercontinental Championship.

~ The spectacular main event. It was almost PPV-worthy.


~ It's hard for me to watch Dolph Ziggler now that he is a pedestrian, customary Heely Heelington.

~ I still don't see whatever the creative team sees in Alex Riley. He doesn't have charisma or a wellspring of inventive moves. He doesn't have...anything. The guy is a low-rent Miz.

~ The Cole/Lawler bit. No one gives a shit.

What happened to A.P.P.L.E.? No, really. What was that all about?

Matches That Time Forgot #1

New feature alert! I'll be posting my Raw review soon, but first, I want to unveil the debut edition of Matches That Time Forgot. In keeping with the theme of this website, the matches I pick will be random (although they won't be randomly picked). I'm going to focus on silly gimmicks, unsung talents and men/women who were known to occupy the bottom half of a match card.

This particular bout took place in the WWF, but I'm not going to limit this column to one promotion. Here, we have a short match between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Who (Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart in a yellow mask). The year was 1996. It was Jake's final run under Vince McMahon, and despite his tubby physique, he was still capable of working an entertaining match. I believe that his well-documented struggle with alcoholism was used in an angle around this time period. As for Who, I can't think of a more pointless character. What was Vince smoking when he conjured this gimmick up?



So you think that you've heard of every film called It, huh? I thought so, too. Until, that is, I smoked out a cheeky British import from 1967 with the same title. It! (you can't forget the exclamation point) concerns a killer statue. This isn't just any statue, though; it's a golem, a decoction of Jewish folklore. Am I ringing any bells? The term should be familiar to horror buffs. 1920's Der Golem, a silent classic of the "German Expressionism" variety, centers around such a figure. At first, I thought that It! was a remake, but aside from the obvious, it has nothing in common with said classic. No, this is a different beast altogether.

An enthusiastically hammy Roddy McDowall plays Pimm, an eager upstart who oversees a museum exhibit displaying a peculiar statue. His boss - the curator - died a mysterious death in the vicinity of the statue, and Pimm doesn't rule out the possibility that the titular object had something to do with it. That's just the tip of the iceberg. It! is the kind of film that you want to see without prior knowledge of every plot detail, so I'll shut my trap. McDowall's performance is delightfully over-the-top. Pimm is a petulant brat, and I like the fact that he alternates between "unfeeling bedlamite" and "sophomoric boob." Regrettably, he is the only layered character in attendance.

The golem itself is rad. A monster movie needs a cool monster, and this monster happens to be really, really cool. Luckily, we don't have to wait until the climax to see it in action. Don't let the release date fool you; It! feels like it was forged in the mid-50's. Writer/director Herbert J. Leder mirrored this creature feature after the Hammer hits of the day. It definitely shows. I can't say that It! is structurally sound in all areas of interest. There are quite a few plot holes, and the ending doesn't make a lick of sense (the golem was parched, I guess). In conclusion, It! rates higher than the Stephen King mini-series while falling short of The Terror From Beyond Space.

I don't have much else to say about It! I do enjoy typing It! Okay, that's It! I'm done.


Parts Unknown #53: Smackdown

Fuck Randy Orton. Fuck him up the ass with a harpoon. Oh, hello. I didn't see you standing there. I'm not going to review this show. I'm boycotting Smackdown...until next week anyway. Obviously, I'm pissed off because Christian was forced to drop the World Heavyweight Championship to Randy fucking Orton. They couldn't let him hold onto the belt for one measly month? Jesus.

I'll be back tomorrow with a review of some sort (I haven't decided on the subject yet). An apology is in order for anyone who was hoping to read a full edition of Parts Unknown this evening, but I couldn't care less about this bullshit. I'll get over it, though. Laters!



I don't usually plug anything for friends (because I don't care about other people), but goddamn it, I know a guy named Ike who deserves a pat on the back every now and then. He looks like Tom Green, he owns Full Moon apparel, he writes for DVD Verdict, he smells like apricots and his girlfriend is an Argento groupie. Need I say more?

Click HERE to view his blog and click HERE to read his DVD reviews.


Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

It doesn't get much more random than this. Children of the Corn is generally considered to be one of the better Stephen King adaptations. Personally, I didn't think that it was much to write home about. An intriguing premise was ensnared by dull characters and shiftless pacing. The fact that it spawned six sequels and a remake is mind-boggling. No, I haven't seen the remake, and no, I don't intend on adding it to my Netflix rental queue. I am, however, curious about some of the sequels. Ever since watching Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II, I've been eager to explore the horror franchises that failed to set the world ablaze.

I can't imagine why this series didn't shatter records at the box office. I had always assumed that Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice was sent straight to video shelves, but as it turns out, it received a humble theatrical release. Eight years after the original. Whatever. It's funny; there are seven of these damn movies, and the first sequel is "final." We should be so lucky. Sacrifice takes place immediately after the events of the first film. The children (y'know, of the corn) are dumped into foster families. Naturally, they all live in the same town, and it isn't long before they are taking orders from He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

There is just enough plot here for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, Sacrifice insists on kicking and screaming for 90 minutes. On second thought, those aren't the right verbs. This flick doesn't kick or scream; it whimpers. It's a button-down slasher that never colors outside the lines. The hilarious death sequences keep this crapduster from being unwatchable (I was torn between "crapduster" and "sharecrapper"). He Who Sucks Behind the Rows must have something against elderly women because two blue-haired matriarchs meet their maker. The first fossil is crushed beneath a house.

The second fossil deserves its own paragraph. Micah, the leader of the evil brats, uses an RC car controller to steer a woman's scooter (how he gains access to the wheelchair's circuit board is anyone's best guess). He drives her into the middle of the road where she is hit by a truck. The old lady - still attached to the fucking scooter - crashes through the window of a bingo hall. This scene must be seen to be believed. The film itself? You don't need to see it to believe how mediocre it is. I may check out Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. The rest of this saga can go shuck itself.


Geek Out #17

This show scared the piss out of me when I was a kid.

Album Cover of the Week

Amazing record. HEY! I'm taking requests for the Album Cover of the Week. Is there a certain album cover that you've always loved? Maybe you appreciate how the imagery ties into the lyrical content. Maybe you just dig the color scheme. Whatever the case may be, shoot an e-mail my way telling me which album cover you'd like to see featured on Random Reviews (please provide a name if you want to be credited for your exquisite selection). Try to stay within the rock/metal realm.

Cool? Cool.


Parts Unknown #52: Raw

You wouldn't think that The Rock's birthday celebration would be boring, but it was. I'll cut to the chase...


~ Lillian Garcia's rendition of "The National Anthem" and Rocky's recital of The Pledge of Allegiance were both maudlin displays of patriotism, but they didn't bother me. It was a feelgood way to start the show.

~ R-Truth's new finisher. Really, I liked everything about his drubbing of John Morrison. I can see Truth being one of Vince's top heels in the near future.

~ Kharma! Kelly Kelly did a great job of selling fright and Maryse did a great job of selling a particularly brutal Implant Buster (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if one of her implants busted).

~ The match between Rey Mysterio/Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger/Drew McIntyre. Match of the night, which is pretty fucking pathetic.

~ I dig how Kane and The Big Show are putting Mason Ryan over. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was expecting a standard squash. This kid might have a future.

~ Vinnie Mac...he didn't do much, but what can I say? I missed him.


~ A birthday party on WWE television needs conflict to be entertaining. Initially, I thought that maybe John Cena or The Miz would crash the festivities, but no, it was close to an hour of figurative fellatio (that's if you count the unfunny backstage bits). Was this Monday Night Raw or a Hall of Fame induction ceremony? Okay, I smiled when Michael Cole choked on a Rock Bottom and The People's Elbow. That's all I smiled at. Oh, and stop calling yourself Dwayne Johnson. When you're in a wrestling ring, you are The (fucking) Rock.

~ The Miz/Cena match. It was painfully predictable. Any other time, the heel would get away with cheating behind the referee's back. Does this mean that Cena will be champion until Wrestlemania 28? Ugh, I hope not.

Goodnight, dear readers!



Sweet Jesus. Imagine if Robocop had a straight-to-video sequel. And it was directed by Charles Band. I could repeat those two sentences using either Maniac Cop or The Terminator as the operative title, and it wouldn't be an off-base illustration of the film that I watched a few hours ago. R.O.T.O.R. can't decide which action-packed genre jewel it wants to rip off. The plot follows Coldyron (pronounced "cold iron"), a scientist who spearheads a project to engineer a robotic army of law enforcers. The official name of his department is Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research, hence the acronym. Can you guess what happens next?

Of course you can! Coldyron doesn't take kindly to unreasonable deadlines, so he resigns from his position. In his absence, a faulty prototype absconds with a gun and a motorcycle thanks to bumbling half-wits who were left in charge (more on these goons later). A messy, improvident killing spree ensues. Now, in order to fully appreciate R.O.T.O.R., you need to meet some of the characters. We have the rough-hewn Coldyron, a manly man who grunts every single line through his teeth. You won't be able to count all of his one-liners. This is one epic motherfucker. How epic? Chuck Norris checks his closet for Coldyron before he goes to bed, and if he sees a monster, he tells it to keep an eye out for Coldyron.

Then there is Dr. Steel. She's supposed to be a woman, but her face and her physique say otherwise. Like every other player involved, she knows karate, and in certain situations (like when she is pistol-whipped by T-Cordell Murphy), she isn't afraid to use it. I could mention the Native American whorehound ("Once you go red, you stay in bed" is my new favorite quote), but I'd rather talk about the goons that I alluded to earlier. The first goon is a human. He isn't terribly interesting. The second goon is a robot named Willard that brings Wall-E and Short Circuit to mind. All joshing aside, Willard is genuinely likeable. He is given the best dialogue, and I actually gave a shit about him. That should speak volumes about his warm, flesh-colored co-stars.

The script is driven by all of these quirky characters. I doubt that this was director Cullen Blaine's intention, but R.O.T.O.R. works as a comedy. It falls flat as a sci-fi/horror hybrid, though. The body count is shockingly low, the badass cop droid on the poster is a no-show and there are hardly any special effects. Budgetary restrictions are no excuse. If the makers of Octaman could put a charming creature suit together in 1976, then the makers of R.O.T.O.R. could have figured something out in 1988. The bottom line is that this isn't the most enjoyable b-movie on the planet, but it's still worth a rental. I think I might dress up as Willard for Halloween.


Fuck yeah!

I never use this blog to comment on social or political issues, but Osama Bin Laden is dead. So I just wanted to say FUCK YEAH!

Yet Another Quick Update

Tomorrow, I'll be posting a movie review. I've noticed that I've settled into a comfortable clip of writing one movie review per week. I'm okay with that since I write plenty of other things for the site, but this week, I'd like to focus on films. I'll still cover Raw and Smackdown. Also, I have a music review planned for the weekend. So it should be business as usual, only there will be an extra helping of horror-centric content.

PS-I'll say this again on Wednesday, but I'm open to requests for the Album Cover of the Week. I'll even mention you by name! That's right; you can tell your parents that you have finally lived up to their expectations. Imagine how proud they will be to know that their offspring has rubbed shoulders with world-renowned "nerdy stuff critic" Dom Coccaro, C.E.O. of Random Reviews Incorporated. NOTE: Try to stay within the rock/metal realm.