Matches That Time Forgot #8

Today, I bring you one of the most scientifically sound wrestling matches of all time...The Ultimate Warrior vs. Brian Knobbs! This stiff contest took place shortly after Warrior's first "return." He was locked in a feud with Papa Shango, an unsung monster heel who would later become The Godfather. After the match, Shango places a curse on Warrior. Gasp in horror as a closet homosexual (those are the rumors anyway) with a Sammy Hagar haircut writhes in agony next to a paint-smeared ring apron.

In the weeks ahead, Warrior would be stricken with vomiting spells while in the grip of Shango's voodoo hex. And you mean to tell me that this program was a failure?


Panels From Beyond the Grave #1

Yes, this will be a comic book column. I may only update it once a month, but I'll play it by ear. So, here is how Panels From Beyond the Grave works. I select a horror/sci-fi comic from my personal collection (I own around 300 of them, give or take), and I write about it. What makes this different from any other comic review? Simply put, I don't know much about comics. I offer an outsider's perspective, the opinion of a casual reader. By no means do I consider myself to be an expert. This is more of a side hobby.

Without further ado, I bring you the first issue of Panels From Beyond the Grave...

SPECIES (1 of 4, June 1995)

This was one of the first comic books I ever bought. I kept seeing TV spots for a monster movie called Species, and since I had low standards as a child, I was highly anticipating what was sure to be a science fiction classic. Ha! Actually, I do enjoy the film for what it is. It's a lightweight exploitation reel with a sweet H.R. Giger design and capable actors on board. Even the sequels are fun. Of course, I didn't know the meaning of "mindless entertainment" in 1995. That didn't stop me from squealing when I spotted a Species comic at the mall.

This is a standard screen-to-page retelling of the events in the motion picture. The plot is stretched out over four issues, three of which are in my possession. I won't bother with a synopsis, but I will say that this issue covers the first twenty minutes of the film. It's a fast read. In retrospect, it was the perfect book for an embyronic comic nerd to pick up. The dialogue is sparse, the narration is concise and the artwork is expressive enough to tell the story on its own legs. Everything is penciled and inked with atmosphere in mind. Dark, shadowy...and we haven't gotten to the violence yet!

The gore doesn't kick in until the second issue. We don't see much of the creature, which is a good thing. I was going to gripe about the character flaws, but writer Dennis Feldman didn't have a lot of room to work with. I can blame him for the film's screenplay, though. The scene where Ben Kingsley attempts to put a young Sil to sleep always vexed the hell out of me. He was too quick to the draw. It seems to me that he would have put more thought into flushing countless hours of hard work and research down the toilet.

But I digress. All in all, this is a decent comic book. Hope you enjoyed the first issue of Panels From Beyond the Grave. This is new territory for me, so cut me some slack, you ungrateful bastard.


Geek Out #22

I'm busy with twelve different projects, so I don't have time to write a proper review of Raw (I suck, I know). Parts Unknown may have to be scaled back. There are more columns to tend to than ever before, and I wouldn't want my wrestling reviews to overpower my movie/music/whatever reviews. I want Random Reviews to remain as wide-reaching as possible. For the time being, here is the 22nd edition of Geek Out. Like most good things in life, this trailer has Charles Band's fingerprints all over it.


Punk of Honor

Goddamn it! This is what I get for waiting until tomorrow to watch Raw. Apparently, CM Punk delivered the best promo ever, but I haven't seen it yet. That's not why I'm posting a blog entry, though. I'm posting a blog entry to tell you to buy the replay of ROH's Best in the World iPPV. I just watched it, and it was one of the best PPV's I've had the pleasure of stealing (hey, I'm broke). Seriously, most of the matches were incredible. Click HERE.

On Wednesday, I will be debuting my long-delayed new column. Yay?

Album Cover of the Week


The Lost Continent

For years, I brushed this film off in spite of the fact that I'm an avid fan of Hammer horror. I didn't have a reason for avoiding it. It just didn't strike me as...Hammer-y. Last night, I finally sat down with a glass of Vanilla Coke and popped this swank sci-fi digression into my DVD player. And...it's not very Hammer-y. It's not very good either. A cargo ship full of suspicious characters collides with a hurricane and drifts into murky, turbid waters. Our curious commuters are soon assailed by killer seaweed, a giant hermit crab and Spanish conquistadors who take orders from a brainwashed child.

The Lost Continent is all over the place. It's confusing. It's poorly edited. It's achingly slow. Things happen for no reason. Nothing is ever explained. Can I end the review yet? No? Damn. The first hour is a tame, clunky adventure that peddles itself forward on the strength of unique imagery and a few strong performances. It's obvious that every scene was shot on a cheap, claustrophobic set, but to the crew's credit, the set itself is well-designed. Everything is draped in copper sheets of fog. From a visual standpoint, The Lost Continent is presentable. I would compare it to a beautiful woman with a ghastly personality.

Eric Porter and Tony Beckley are convincing as the male leads, but they aren't given anything to work with. None of the characters are impressed by the otherworldly shenanigans that they cross paths with. Killer seaweed? Old hat, apparently. A scorpion the size of a minivan? Bitch, please. An octopus from Hell? Been there, done that. I can't express how random the script is. The members of the Spanish Inquisition cult (insert Monty Python reference here) have balloons tied to their shoulders. Because...because they do! Maybe they have back problems. Fuck, I don't know.

I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy certain moments of The Lost Continent. The third act is teeming with tacky special effects, and I couldn't help but smile at the "crab vs. scorpion" death match. However, this is easily one of the worst Hammer outings that I've ever seen. Even the worst Hammer outings are worth watching, though. You'll have to use your own judgment on this one. I stopped giving advice after I told Ryan that he seemed okay to drive. Too soon? I thought so, but I'm leaving it anyway.


Parts Unknown #64: Smackdown

I hate to say it, but I've been getting bored with Smackdown as of late. It seems like we've been seeing the same matches week in and week out. While last night's episode wasn't groundbreaking, I'm thrilled to report that it entertained my Iron Maiden boxers off.


~ I'm going to have to disrupt the chronological order of this column. The first "pro" is an important one. Why? Because The Uso's have arrived! I love their new entrance. It won't be long before they start receiving the loudest pops on the card. They are a true tag team, so it's heartening to know that they are finally on Vince's priority list, even if it's somewhere near the bottom. I see gold in their future.

~ The Sin Cara/Ted DiBiase match. I didn't notice any major botches. The finish was weak (dude, go back to the flippy move), but everything before it was stupendous.

~ Daniel Bryan's promo. His detractors bash his mic work, but in my opinion, he proved that he can talk. It's not his fault that the writing isn't always up to par. Of course, his match against Cody Rhodes was a smooth, highly competitive contest. The IC strap. Give it to him.

~ I dug The Big Show's hushed interview. He doesn't need to go over the top.

~ Mark Henry's winning streak continues. I can't believe that they let him pin Randy Orton.

~ Ezekiel Jackson's Intercontinental Championship defense. I'm assuming that Wade Barrett will be promoted to the main event. If so, that's cool, but they need to tweak his character. He is not as over as he could be. Still, this was a decent match.

~ Jinder Mahal's impatience. I can totally see him and Khali feuding with The Uso's. Eastern winds are blowing!

~ Naysayers be damned; Kane can still go. As a matter of fact, his match with Christian was better than any of his recent matches with Edge.


~ The lack of star power on Smackdown is more evident than ever. I'm tired of Christian begging for "one more chance." Give someone else a title opportunity. Y'know, it wouldn't surprise me if Captain Charisma won at Money in the Bank, only to lose the belt a few minutes later to a redhead carrying a briefcase. Speaking of which...

~ No Sheamus? Boo. Hiss.

~ The person responsible for these Johnny Curtis segments should be fired. And brutally raped.

Coccaro out.


What rock have I been living under?

When did the first three Subspecies films arrive on DVD? And why wasn't I notified? I bought the triple-feature disc at Wal-Mart of all places. It was the best/worst five bucks I've ever spent. I doubt that I'll review any of the films (I seem to recall writing a review of the original at one point, but I don't know where I posted it). I just wanted the entire world to know that I own most of the Subspecies series in various formats. For whatever reason, I never bothered to check out Bloodstorm, the fourth and final installment of this underrated Full Moon saga. Can anyone tell me if it's worth picking up?


Matches That Time Forgot #7

A few weeks ago, TNA released the man that they should have pushed to the moon. I'm referring to Jay Lethal. He has every tool he needs to succeed in the wrestling industry, but aside from a dash of false starts, TNA officials had no clue how to utilize him properly. Jay is currently with ROH. I can take comfort in knowing that he is employed by a company who understands what he can bring to the table.

In this match that time forgot, Jay works his Black Machismo gimmick against Cute Kip (a.k.a. Billy Gunn). This was just a short webmatch, but both guys have fun with it. Kip is led to the ring by Velvet Sky and Angelina Love. Their entrance may be mesmerizing, but all I can do is shrug my shoulders whenever I see their names mentioned. Velvet would be a nobody without her curves. Angelina is a solid wrestler, but her character has been depredated thanks to clumsy writing. What is she now, a zombie?

Moral of the story...Jay Lethal rocks!

Geek Out #21

Feeling nostalgic. The Geek Out videos are all about nostalgia, so I thought I'd upload a new reason for me to ask, "Why does everything suck nowadays?" I wasn't allowed to watch this show as a kid, which means that I watched this show as a kid (I was a stealthy little sumbitch). Man, I forgot how funny these two morons were. This episode is just...perfect.


Splatter Farm

I just upgraded to a Blu-ray player, so naturally, one of the first flicks that I popped into this newfangled technology was a shot-on-video monstrosity from 1987. I rented Splatter Farm on VHS about thirteen years ago, and to my recollection, it was my first "extreme" exploitation experience. I couldn't believe what I was watching. The production values were jarring enough, but the necrophilia? The incest? The fisting? Christ in a motorcade! I honestly don't remember whether I liked the film or not. I was preoccupied with my bedroom door, praying that it wouldn't open with a horrified parent on the other side of it.

Splatter Farm was written and directed by the Polonia brothers. They have littered the past couple of decades with one z-grade obsequy after another. This is their most notorious offering, though I have no earthly idea where it stands with regards to the rest of their chrestomathy. Heh, chrestomathy. The "plot" follows twin brothers Alan and Joseph (played by - you guessed it - the Polonia brothers) as they travel to their aunt's house. Because she's lonely. That's the reason we are given. Whatever. Unfortunately, her son is a cannibal who kills/fucks/eats anything that moves.

Splatter Farm is almost impervious to horror critics. The small percentage of gore goons who get off on shot-on-video schlock will buy this title knowing exactly what to expect. The only thing that I can say in favor of this particular exploitation flick is that it's gorier than your average handheld slasher. It's not as fun as, say, Cannibal Campout, but it does break more taboos. Have you ever wanted to see a guy masturbate with the severed hand of a woman that he dismembered? Here is your chance!

A word of warning to the purists out there...the DVD is missing ten minutes of bloodshed. And strangely, the Polonia brothers edited this "director's cut" themselves. What gives? I'm lucky to have seen the uncut version, but I was still disappointed to find that the so-called definitive edition of Splatter Farm was short on actual splatter. Since my memory of the VHS release is hazy at best, my rating reflects my opinion of the DVD release. If you're into shot-on-video b-sewage, it's worth a look, especially if you can track it down on videocassette. Of course, if you're into shot-on-video b-sewage, you probably already own Splatter Farm.


Parts Unknown #63: Raw

No time for an intro. I've got three hours of sports entertainment to sift through!


~ CM Punk making a stand, arguing with the anonymous general manager, spreading his snow wings and vowing to take the WWE Championship with him when he leaves the company on the morning after Money in the Bank. All of it was perfect. If he really does say goodbye to the WWE Universe, Raw will be in a world of hurt.

~ I would have preferred either Eve Torres or Beth Phoenix, but I'll let Kelly Kelly slide. It was good to see her react to winning her first championship. It almost makes the Diva's title seem important. Did the Bella bitch even bat an eye when she became a champion?

~ The arm wrestling match gone awry. Mark Henry impressed me. He will never elope to the main event, but he is making the most out of his situation. Dug the table spot.

~ R-Truth. Need I say more? He has created an interesting character that stands out in a crowd of safe babyfaces and pablum heels. I couldn't write more indelible one-liners if I was forced to at gunpoint.

~ The "two out of three falls" United States Championship match between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. I'm deducting points since the first fall occurred during a commercial break, but this was still a nice chunk of wrestling. It was refreshing to see a DQ finish that didn't feel like a cop-out.

~ CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio worked one of the best Triple Threat matches that I've ever witnessed. It was seamless. Match of the year candidate. I shit you not.


~ They can give all of the excuses they want; the voting was fucking rigged. No one wanted Evan Bourne to square off against Mason Ryan.

~ I'm sick of these "hot tag" main events. Hey, let's throw everyone into the ring! Rhyme and reason? We won't be needing any of that.

~ The goddamn dance-off.

~ The absence of a certain Long Island Iced superstar is deplorable enough, but where the fuck has Drew McIntyre been? Oh, that's right. Both men wrestled on the show that Vince doesn't want to promote.

The cons sting, but looking back, this was a strong episode. We got great promos and great wrestling. They should put the three-hour format to bed for awhile, though.


Album Cover of the Week

I finally sold out...

There is no Smackdown review on account of it being a hectic weekend (more hectic than usual), but I do have big news. I now own a Blu-ray player. I'm not going to upgrade my entire collection, but look, when someone offers to buy you a Blu-ray player, you have to oblige. Those who know me personally know that I couldn't care less about the Blu-ray craze. I'm more concerned about getting my VCR fixed. That said, I will buy a Blu-ray every now and then. My first Blu-ray purchase was the director's cut of Dark City. Great flick.

So! I've got some cool shit planned for this week. Keep your eyes sufficiently peeled.



Sometimes, I think that the only reason why metalheads champion the most obscure bands on the planet is to cushion their street credibility. If you've ever gone to a metal show, you know that it's a thinly veiled contest to see who is wearing the baddest "underground" band shirt. No one ever admits it, but listening to music that the rest of the world hasn't discovered yet makes you feel special. When it came to Winter, an eco-friendly trio credited with fructifying funeral doom, I figured that they had an ardent cult following thanks, in part, to their near anonymity. As it turns out, they kicked a whole lot of ass in their day.

Winter released one full-length album, 1990's Into Darkness. This isn't the wistful, melodic funeral doom that bands such as Evoken and Shape of Despair popularized. This is crusty, low-fi thunder sludge that borrows from subgenres that you wouldn't normally associate with doom of any kind. Which subgenres? Try hardcore and powerviolence. Lyrically speaking, Winter is far removed from the likes of Trouble or Saint Vitus. These dudes might use ominous metaphors, but at its core, Into Darkness is a collection of songs about the environment. You could call this a "green doom" record. Y'know, if you were one of those douchebags who feels the need to label everything.

Sonically, "bleak" and "caustic" are adjectives that spring to mind when I describe this stuff to other people. The guitar tone is fucking brutal. I can honestly say that I've never heard guitars quite like these. They rumble like vacuum cleaners from Hell (I would totally pay to see a movie called Vacuum Cleaners From Hell). Obviously, the tempos range from slow to slower. "Servants of the Warsmen" is the fastest track here, and it gives off a strong Celtic Frost vibe. "Oppression Freedom/Reprise" and "Eternal Frost" are eerie epics that get mucho mileage out of a couple of apocalyptic notes. This is a case where less is more.

Vocalist John Alman has a wicked death growl. His biodegradable croaks are front and center in the mix, which is a good thing...and a bad thing. Good because the vocals are killer; bad because the drums are buried underneath a mound of aural turbulence. Into Darkness is held back by an uneven production. You really have to crank the shit out of it to enjoy it, and that can be a problem if your parents are trying to sleep in the room adjacent to yours. But hey, fuck 'em! It's not your fault that Winter is more metal than they are.


Geek Out #20

The Internet is a wonderful place. Where else would I find an in-depth profile on Divine (a.k.a. The Original Lady Gaga)?


Matches That Time Forgot #6

Here we have the two greatest wrestlers who never worked for a McMahon. It's Sting vs The Great Muta! Of course, that's just my opinion, but I've heard worse opinions. Can you imagine how cool the WWF would have been in the mid-90's with Sting and Muta in the main event scene?

This was a United States Championship bout from 1989. Say what you want about WCW, but at least their midcard titles were treated with respect. And this would have been an amazing match if it weren't for the mystifying non-finish. It has Dusty Rhodes written all over it (he might have been wrestling under Vince at the time; I can't be too sure). Enjoy.


American Grindhouse

I wanted to have this up yesterday, but I've been having some personal issues as of late. I'm back on track, though. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Horror hounds are familiar with the term "grindhouse," right? I've never been to an honest-to-Satan grindhouse theater, but I have a pretty good idea of what one looks like and smells like. I've read the Quentin Tarantino interviews. I've heard the eulogistic chestnuts of nostalgia from friends who have been to these inviolable shrines of b-movie worship. I know the basic details. However, I wouldn't be able to give you an explicit, illustrative definition of "grindhouse," and after viewing American Grindhouse, a documentary on this very subject, I still wouldn't be able to describe such a place without using vague adjectives that you've already heard.

I went into this film hoping to learn more about the theaters themselves and the movies that are considered to be grindhouse fare. And I did. Sort of. American Grindhouse delves into the degrees of exploitation. It discusses every subgenre under the sun from "nudie cuties" to anti-drug propaganda. We see clips from "roughies," "women in prison" flicks, Nazisploitation pictures, splatter cinema and softcore pornography. Okay, great. But I thought that American Grindhouse was going to focus more on the origin of the nomenclature in its title. I already know the story behind Blood Feast. Why is it christened with the "grindhouse" tag?

Am I making any sense? As far as I know, Blood Feast was screened at a slew of drive-in theaters. So what makes it ripe for inclusion in a documentary about grindhouse theaters? You can play any type of film at a grindhouse theater, can you not? That's what I don't get. Isn't this just a documentary about b-movies? I doubt that most schlock junkies would ask as many annoying questions as I did while watching American Grindhouse, so take this review with a grain...no, a freight ton of salt.

You probably think that I hated this documentary, but that couldn't be any further from the truth. It's definitely entertaining. The production values are pristine (I've never seen The Tormentors look so dignified), and director Elijah Drenner picked the right personalities to interrogate. NOTE TO SELF: Stalk Kim Morgan. American Grindhouse is worth renting just to hear Don Edmonds explain how he stumbled into directing Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. To sum things up, I didn't quite understand the point of this feature, but I ended up enjoying it regardless. A word of warning...do not eat a Big Mac during American Grindhouse. Why Drenner chose to linger on a close-up shot of a live child birth is anyone's best guess.


Parts Unknown #62: Raw

Well, that was...entertaining? I don't have much to say about last night's three-hour Raw extravaganza. The storylines didn't progress much, and apart from the main event, the matches were unsound afterthoughts.


~ The majority of the promos were fantastic. Stone Cold did his job, squeezing a few laughs out of a dead crowd. But what did he do? Yeah, he made matches and he belted out all of his catchphrases, but he didn't enter into a feud. He didn't reveal any revelations. He didn't...do anything! That's my biggest complaint about the show in general. Nothing happened.

~ The short match between Kane and Alberto Del Rio was decent. Big Show kicked ass.

~ R-Truth hugging and then kicking Hornswoggle. It was good to see JoMo, but why bring him back if he's not ready to wrestle? I guess that Truth needs all the heat that he can get.

~ Sheamus's new submission hold. Maybe he finally has a set finisher. I do like the fact that he kicked out of The Cobra. It shows that they are taking him seriously as a future champion.

~ Stone Cold mentioning his ringmaster gimmick. Straws. I'm grasping at them.

~ Any segment involving Rowdy Roddy Piper is a "pro" by default. For whatever reason, he never connected with the (lame) crowd, but I was amused by his Pit.

~ The all-too-brief encounter between Stone Cold and CM Punk.

~ The main event. It was actually a solid match, and the right person went over.


~ Too many midcard tag team matches. Too many wrestlers. They shouldn't have made this an interbrand event. I could have booked a more coherent episode of Raw on the shitter, and I'm one of the fans that Eric Bischoff thinks is wrong about everything.

~ 14 Diva's = 2 minutes of wrestling? What the fuck was that? Is it too late for Kharma to have an abortion?

~ The Christian/Rey Mysterio match. Terrible. Just terrible. The 619 is one of the worst finishers of all time. I'm surprised that Captain Charisma didn't pull a Mick Foley and leave an ear on the ropes.

I'm sorry, but this was a lazy show. I'm having some personal issues at the moment, so the stress might have played a part in my disenchantment. Who knows? Blah.


I want a Big Mac...

I've been busy as shit today, so all you get is...this paragraph. BUT! Tomorrow, I'll make it up to you by posting the Raw review and a movie review. If you haven't joined the Random Reviews Incorporated Fan Club yet, you can do so by clicking HERE.


Album Cover of the Week


Parts Unknown #61: Smackdown

This will be a simple review, as last night's edition of Smackdown was a simple show. That's a good thing, mind you.


~ Christian's opening promo. I doubted his ability to elicit boos from the audience at this stage of his career, but it didn't take long for the WWE Universe to acquiesce and greet Captain Charisma's heel tactics with antipathy. Rubbing shoulders with Michael Cole was a great way to draw heat. I was waiting for Christian to ask him to act as his manager. Wishful thinking? Most likely.

~ The six-man tag match between The Corre and The Uso's/Ezekiel Jackson. I don't know why my beloved Uso twins were on the "babyface" side of the fence (more on that later), but I was thrilled to see them in action. This was a fantastic match. I dug the finish. To be specific, I dug the implications of the finish. Have Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel severed their ties with Wade Barrett? Have they officially become a tag team? Color me enthused!

~ Trent Baretta can sell like nobody's business. That might have been the highest back body drop I've ever seen. I sincerely hope that his efforts aren't going unnoticed. He made Jinder Mahal look downright ferocious.

~ Finally! AJ was given a singles match, and what's more, her opponent knew what she was doing. They weren't granted much time, but they worked fairly well together. Mark my words; AJ Lee is the next Mickie James.

~ The matches involving Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. The term "wrestling clinic" comes to mind.

~ The no-holds-barred bout between Sheamus and Randy Orton. They didn't use enough weapons, but I can't deny the fact that these two gentlemen know their spots. Thankfully, The Celtic Warrior always pulls a decent performance out of that other guy.


~ When did The Uso's become fan favorites? This is the third or fourth time in the past several months that Vince has decided to drastically change a certain wrestler's intentions without explaining the shift in character. You can't do that! That would never fly in the old days. Hell, even Tatanka had a reason to turn heel. The WWE is lucky that most of the people watching at home are too stupid to ask questions.

~ A "cut the cheese" joke? Who wrote that, a veteran sitcom writer who freelanced for The Nanny, Family Matters and According to Jim?

Overall, this was a satisfactory episode. We're so close to having a tag team division. So close, yet so far.


Go Mavs!

I'm not a Mavs fan, but they are the lesser of two evils. Nothing would make me happier than to see LeBron finish another season without a ring. But that's neither here nor there. Tomorrow, I'll be posting my Smackdown review, and early next week, I'll be debuting a brand new column. I don't want to say too much about it, but I will say that the subject matter is extremely geeky. I can't wait to unveil it. It will be fun to write. I'm not an expert in this particular field, so it will give my readers a unique perspective on a popular hobby.



Suburban Commando

After watching Suburban Commando, I went back and watched The Nostalgia Critic's review of the film. While it's true that this family-friendly sci-fi romp could be called Bad 90's Movie, I had fun with it. How could I not enjoy it? It combines "old school" wrestling icons with cheesy creature effects and laser gun shootouts. Dom, did you say icons? As in more than one? Yes. Yes, I did. This is no secret to wrestling fans, but Mark Calaway (a.k.a. The Undertaker) plays one of the bounty hunters. I geeked out when he first appeared on screen, and I subsequently ruminated on my fruitless attempts to find a soulmate.

Dying alone. It's my greatest fear. What? Oh, the movie. It's about a space warrior named Shep who is forced to lay low on Earth to recharge his hovercraft in between epic battles. Uh-oh! It looks like we have a fish out of water on our hands! The jokes will write themselves. Actually, Commando is pretty funny. I wasn't crying with laughter, but the playful, lighthearted script managed to cajole my jaded sensibilities. I think that I even smiled at one point. It goes without saying that Hulk Hogan is a horrid actor. His performance is truly wretched, but surprisingly, he didn't aggravate me too much.

The rest of the cast is dependable. Christopher Lloyd does his job, although it's hard to buy him as a normal citizen. Shelley Duvall is...Shelley Duvall. Likewise, Larry Miller impersonates himself. Spoiler alert! His character is smarmy. I'm going to skip ahead and discuss the special effects. This was a mainstream picture, but if I didn't know any better, I'd say that it was released by Vidmark Entertainment. The production values are inordinately shoddy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Arena had more convincing set pieces, and it was produced by Charles Band!

The only effect that works is the badass creature suit that shows up for the climax. So at least I got my monster fix. Suburban Commando is dragged down by plot holes and a couple of false endings, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't entertained throughout. Hollywood fluff has its place. A friend of mine described this flick as easy, and that's probably the best way to describe it. It's very easy to watch. To use a wrestling analogy, it's the cinematic equivalent of a squash match. Ding, ding, ding!


Geek Out #19

Yes, I own this movie. On VHS. And you know what? I might even review it. Got a problem with that? I didn't think so. Bitch.

Matches That Time Forgot #5

I know that I've already posted a WWF match from 1996, but dammit, this one is too random for words. I couldn't pass it up. Here we have a match from Superstars pitting The Goon against The Stalker. These were the two worst gimmicks of 1996. The Goon was supposed to be a hockey player. Apparently, he was too "violent" for the NHL, so a career in wrestling was his only other option. Really, Vince?

The Stalker was just Barry Windham in camouflage pants (with matching make-up to boot). They referred to him as Barry Windham during his matches, so what was the point of the hunting gimmick? Towards the end of the year, they dropped the make-up, but it was no use. Windham later resurfaced as Justin Bradshaw's tag team partner in The New Blackjacks. They could have had a decent run, but they were broken up by squirrellly, asinine booking (Windham turned heel for no reason whatsoever).

The match itself is basic and forgettable. It's only worth posting for two reasons 1) It's The Goon and The Stalker. 2) Goldust on commentary! He is in full-blown "homoerotic headcase" mode, and he is fucking hilarious. Enjoy.

PS-A superplex as a finisher? Egads.


Parts Unknown #60: Raw

Now we're talking! We're finally getting to a place where the future stars of the WWE are spreading their wings and taking flight.


~ The opening segment. Vince McMahon makes everything better, as does Stone Cold Steve Austin. I haven't been watching Tough Enough, so the drumroll announcement didn't mean much to me, but it acted as a springboard for a succession of entertaining promos. R-Truth has fucking arrived. Even John Cena was decent. I loved hearing the chairman of the board gnarling "Monday Night Raaaaaw" one more time. He should commentate a match or two. How sweet would that be?

~ The Santino Marella/Michael McGillicutty match. Hopefully, this will lead to a tag team title transfer. Were my eyes deceiving me or was Santino channeling the spirit of The Ultimate Warrior? That was rich.

~ Say what you want about Kelly Kelly (I know I have), but at least she uses her time in the ring to showcase a couple of inventive moves. I actually wouldn't mind if she became a champion.

~ The finish was lazy, but CM Punk and Rey Mysterio put on an outstanding match for television standards. It featured psychology, exceptional counters and a deluge of nearfalls. It's funny to think that I used to loathe Mysterio. Years back, he would refuse to lose to certain men, but it appears that he has softened over time. And you can't deny his raw talent. If WCW wasn't such a clusterfuck of a company, he could have had anywhere from five to ten world titles by now.

~ Hey, it's Zack Ryder! Yes, he lost, but be patient. He'll go places.

~ Booker T feuding with Jack Swagger? I'd sign up for that. Their match wasn't spectacular, but it was fun seeing Book back in action.


~ No Drew McIntyre? Ship him to Smackdown pronto!

~ The Bella Twins couldn't wrestle their way out of a womb. I fear that their cloddishness may be contagious. They make everyone around them look uncoordinated, even Beth Pheonix. They have no fucking clue what they are doing. Did they train at the Madison Rayne Dojo of Death?

~ Alberto Del Rio's unfunny, drawn out promo. I don't blame the crowd for falling asleep.

This was a solid Raw. It wasn't perfect, but it succeeded in developing key characters and coloring the card of the next PPV. We were also treated to an ample amount of wrestling. Bravo!


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The Soda Jerk #7


Pitch Black might be the most popular flavor under Mountain Dew's bumbershoot of multi-hued sodas. They seem determined to give consumers as many choices as possible. A new flavor is launched on a regular basis, but most of their libations fail to boost sales. Pitch Black was initially introduced in 2004. It was received well, but it disappeared as soon it began to pick up steam. Fast forward to 2011. Mountain Dew decides to bring back some of their discontinued flavors, and naturally, Pitch Black is one of the first brews to be rolled out. It's back by popular DEWmand. Get it???

I had never tasted this stuff before it rose from its purple, syrupy grave. All of my friends love it. The can design is badass. Could this be my new favorite drink? It has the makings of a product that I could potentially become addicted to. I could easily abuse my addiction. I could see myself lying and stealing to get my hands on a can of this savory sorghum. I could even see Pitch Black dethroning the almighty Vanilla Coke as the soda of the gods. Jesus, I couldn't wait to pour a glass of what was sure to be my latest obsession.

I did just that as soon as I got home from the grocery store. And...I fucking hate it. Wow. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, AMERICA? This is the shit that the public was clamoring for? Are my friends drinking the same Pitch Black that I'm drinking? What the fuck? At first, it's passable. But the aftertaste...goddamn, the aftertaste. Mountain (I'm sorry, I meant to type "MTN") Dew Pitch Black tastes like a mixture of Welch's grape soda, regular Mountain Dew, vodka and Dimetapp. It's more bitter than I was when I was shot down by a cute blonde at a dance in the fifth grade (seriously, fuck that whore).

Do you want to know the worst thing about Pitch Black? I'm stuck with eleven cans of this cock poison! Honestly, I don't like any of the Mountain Dew flavors with the partial exception of Code Red. Mountain Dew Throwback was decent, but it didn't hold a candle to Pepsi Throwback. At any rate, I am not impressed by Pitch Black. I'd rather watch the Vin Diesel film, and that's saying something. Good heavens.


Album Cover of the Week


The Burrowers

A friend of mine by the name of Christian (who shall remain nameless) turned me onto The Burrowers. He knows that I'm a sucker for monster movies, and since I generally trust his taste, I acted on his recommendation. Christian was right. This is a cultured, competent horror film that draws inspiration from Tremors, Ravenous and a host of sooty westerns. These two genres don't cross paths very often, but when they do, the results range from forgettable to astonishing. On a sidenote, 2002's Legend of the Phantom Rider is the best horror/western hybrid on the market. As for The Burrowers, it has admirable intentions. Just one problem...

It's boring. The storyline is a frail excuse to get our lead players to sit around bonfires and wander off into the clutches of a quadrupedal creature that burrows its way into the ground. A burrower, if you will. You see, a group of men rush off to rescue their women after their encampment is ravaged by...Indians maybe? I bet the burrowers did it. Anyway, the second act is acutely tedious. We sit through countless shots of the protagonists riding their horses and sleeping under spectral moonlight. Even the climax is somewhat lethargic. But as I mentioned earlier, this flick isn't a total misstep.

The Burrowers does a lot of things right. The photography is gorgeous. In fact, it's gorgeous enough to remind you that this isn't a z-grade production or an Asylum "film" helmed by the hellspawn of Fred Olen Ray. The acting is credible, the characters are complex and the scenery is breathtaking (seriously, they scouted the hell out of these locations). For all intents and purposes, The Burrowers works. It's an above average confection that would have rocked the horror community if writer/director J.T. Petty had paid more attention to pacing and story structure.

Ironically, Petty's claim to fame is a 70-minute (mostly) silent film. I'm referring to 2001's Soft For Digging, which actually did rock the horror community. The man is clearly talented, but in my opinion, he has yet to hit one out of the park. His scripts need to be fine-tuned. Wait a minute. I'm a monster freak, and I haven't dished on the monsters! The burrowers themselves are unique varmints, although I don't understand why they are hypersensitive to sunlight. Did they really need to drag vampire cliches into this mess? Vampires are annoying.

Um, The Burrowers is okay. That's my review.

Parts Unknown #59: Smackdown

It looks like my technical issues have been ironed out. So I can't worm my way out of reviewing what was a bizarre, spotty Smackdown. Damn.


~ I like it when WWE starts one of their shows with a match. Here, we see Mark Henry attempting to work with Christian. I'll cut him some slack, but this match could have been better. After the draft, most of the sound wrestlers were dispatched to Raw, which means that my favorite television program now has a cast that includes Henry, The Great Khali, Alicia Fox, the evergreen Ezekiel Jackson and Sin Cara (yeah, he's cool, but he's a walking - or flying, rather - installment of Botchamania). By the way, the fact that I'm complaining this much in the "pros" section should clue you in on the rest of this column.

~ Jinder Mahal's in-ring debut. I'm not crazy about his attire, but he performed reasonably well. And hey, Yoshi Tatsu was allowed to come out and play.

~ The Daniel Bryan/Ted DiBiase match. Just give The American Dragon the Intercontinental Championship already. He is your workhorse, and he could restore honor to a fallen title.

~ Tamina's Samoan drop.

~ The main event. Christian's heel turn may have come too late, but it's their only option.


~ Why do they keep pairing A.J. up with Kaitlyn? Give her a singles push. She has what it takes to go the distance (watch a few of her FCW matches). Unless Kaitlyn becomes a valet, she needs to be fired immediately.

~ IC Title matches used to be...good. What happened? A 5-minute throwaway bout between Big Zeke and Wade Barrett that ends in a countout? Are you fucking kidding me?

~ Johnny Curtis. The milk promo. Explain.

I'm worried about the blue brand. I'll try to remain optimistic, but so far, the post-draft landscape has been discouraging.


Dom here...

Since my cable modem has been bipolar for a couple of days (it works for a little while, then it conks out for hours), I won't be posting anything on Random Reviews until this problem is resolved. A technician is dropping by tomorrow, so hopefully, I'll be up and running tomorrow night. If not, I'll find a way to keep you - my dear readers - in the loop. I hate it when webmasters disappear for several days/weeks with no explanation.

Once my Internet connection is 100% good to go, these are the things that I'll be delivering to your doorstep...

A new edition of The Soda Jerk!
A new music review!
A new movie review!
More wrestling-related nonsense!
And...a new column! Holy shit!



Internet still down. RAW review canceled. Hang in there.

By the way, this is not me. This is A.J., a fat friend of mine, posting on my behalf.

Blasted technology!

Internet was down. Long time. Raw review. Coming soon.