Album Cover of the Week

Another Dad request.


Matches That Time Forgot #45

For this match that time forgot, we travel all the way back to 2010.  Believe it or not, the landscape of the WWE was markedly different.  The Undertaker was feuding with his bald, maskless half-brother (again), the brand split was still in effect and the tag team division was dwindling with the disequilibrium of a doddering duckbill damselfly with dick cancer.  At present, tag teams are a work in progress, but give credit where it's due.  We're in the midst of an honest-to-goodness tag team tournament to determine the number one contenders for Team Hell No's straps (I was sad to see that Well Dunn didn't even advance to the first round).

This bout involves a pair of pairs who weren't allowed to get a running start before being disbanded.  The Dudebusters debuted on ECW and proceeded to loiter on Smackdown for...a year maybe?  If that?  Caylen Croft and the barely-employed-in-2012 Trent Baretta were endowed with a failsafe gimmick; they liked video games!  The Gatecrashers were only known as The Gatecrashers for a couple of weeks.  Originally ushered in by Vickie Guerrero, Vance Archer and barely-employed-in-2012 (I'm noticing a theme) Curt Hawkins quickly became a "this guy and that guy" tag team.  They were supposed to be heels, but they were about as over as the breakout superstars of NXT Season 4.

Now, this match took place in August.  Caylen Croft and Vance Archer were future endeavored in November.  But God bless 'em, they try!  This is a simmering contest with plenty of back and forth action.  The finish is sweet, as Trent executes a nasty rope-assisted DDT for the clean win.  Alas, the crowd doesn't give a furtive, facinorous frick-a-fuck.  I can understand why these teams weren't pushed straight away, but I can't understand why they weren't given a fair shot.  Hey, remember when Superstars was a TV show?


28 Years Later

Taking the day off.  It's my birthday, so I can do whatever I want.  Tomorrow, I'll be posting...actually, I haven't decided yet.  I have a strict "no thinking" rule when it comes to birthdays.



So I'm on a Godzilla kick. Technically, I've been on a Godzilla kick for 27 years (well, 28 as of tomorrow).  I can't explain it.  I've just been in a Godzilla mood lately.  I watched Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II this morning.  I've been guilty of deriding the Heisei series, but the more I watch these flicks, the more I appreciate them.  This entry, in particular, impressed the dry roasted pistachios out of me.  The first battle between Big G and Rodan?  Holy fuckles, it's badass.  The shot composition, the art direction, the battle itself...at one point, Godzilla simply strangles Rodan with his bare goddamn hands!

I did some reading up on The Godzilla Power (half) Hour, the 70's cartoon that was co-produced by Toho and Hanna-Barbera.  Yeah, I need to watch it.  A handful of episodes stomped their way onto DVD, though it would be nice to see an official box set.  Oh, I also discovered that a Toho/Hammer co-production about The Loch Ness Monster very nearly happened.  The funding fell through and the project was abandoned.  UGH.



It's time to put another obscure anthology in the catbird seat.  1988's Terrorgram is a paint-by-numbers caucus, joining three tales of terrifying...terror by the hip.  For all I know, they could have been sewn together ass-to-mouth, which wouldn't surprise me.  We are in z-grade territory, after all.  I'm not privy to concrete numbers, but apparently, the makers of Terrorgram had enough money to ensnarl a name actor.  Well, his vocal chords anyway.  The vignettes are introduced by the rumbling timbre of James Earl Jones.  He is credited as The Voice of Retribution.  Naturally, retribution is a recurring theme, and that's why I described the film as "paint-by-numbers."  Just off the top of my head, I can't think of a genre anthology that doesn't involve snide, unsavory characters being accosted by just desserts.

There should be a bakery called Just Desserts.  Hey, I should tweet that.  Right...the title is literal.  Each story finds the lead receiving a package from a mysterious delivery boy.  It's a terrorgram.  Get it?  Get it???  We aren't treated to a wrap-around narrative, but between you and me, we don't need one.  The opening segment is my least favorite.  Allow me to trot out an itemized list.

"Heroine Overdose" ~ The misspelling is intentional.  A sleazoid exploitation director storms off the set of his latest cinematic abortion.  Upon retreating to his office for a tincture of flea powder (that's street slang for shabby China White, ya dig?), he collects his terrorgram.  Oooooh!  What's in the mystery package?  His own scripts.  He is directly transported to a Twilight Zone-esque parallel dimension where gender roles are reversed.  It isn't long before he is antagonized by corrupt cops with big boobs, lecherous mechanics with big boobs and volatile bikers with big boobs.

This premonitory parcel wears out its welcome.  It takes too long for the horror to kick in, although I did appreciate the hammy acting.  There are several references to cult b-movies.  I couldn't tell if the jabs at trash auteurs were fun-loving or demeaning.  Either way, "Heroine Overdose" leaves a lot to be desired.

"Pandora" ~ A vainglorious TV reporter accidentally hits a little boy with her car.  Fearing the adverse effect that manslaughter might have on her career, she drives away from the scene of a crime.  Her terrorgram comes in the form of a jack-in-the-box, the same toy that her dead pedestrian was clutching at the moment of impact.  This is a vast improvement over the first yarn.  The gore is grisly (love the zombie make-up), the lighting is moody and the ending has "EC comics" written all over it.  We're batting .500; will Terrorgram's denouement nudge our average skyward or earthward?

"Veteran's Day" ~ Eric is a dickwad.  Years prior, he outed his friend as a draft-dodger.  Said friend would go on to perish in Vietnam, and you can probably tell where this is heading.  Eric is forced to relive his fallen comrade's harrowing demise.  The tone is much more solemn here.  I detected shades of House, but unfortunately, Big Ben was a no-show.  Again, the special effects are impressive.  I don't have any nagging complaints, so I guess this is my favorite vignette.  Eh, I'd say it's a toss-up.  If you replaced "Heroine Overdose" with something respectable, I wouldn't have a problem with calling Terrorgram a hidden classic.

Meat Loaf had a point.  Two out of three ain't bad.  Writer/director Stephen M. Kienzle is clearly talented.  Strangely enough, Terrorgram is the lone credit on his IMDb page.  I would have liked to see what else he could conjure up, but I'm afraid we'll never know.  I'm still nonplussed by the presence of Darth Vader's pipes.  James Earl Jones should have played every role in this flick.  And in Star Wars.


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #6

I talk about The Cabin in the Woods and Godzilla vs. Gigan.


Geek Out #66

Here is one-third of an unaired Elvira pilot (hit up YouTube for the rest).  It's...glorious.  Why wasn't this picked up???


Album Cover of the Week

As per my father's request.


Parts Unknown #108: Saturday Morning Slam

It took a month of sleeping past noon (I don't get along with alarm clocks), but I finally woke up in time to catch Saturday Morning Slam.  Yeah, I could watch it online.  As I said in one of my video updates, I felt that it was important to watch this show as it was meant to be seen.  Besides, this gave me an excuse (albeit flimsy) to relive my childhood.  I miss taking in cartoons and wrestling on Saturday mornings.  Who doesn't?  Being a kid is fucking killer.  The question is, did I bother with cartoons or did I forge ahead to the feature presentation?

Dumb question!  I was committed to this semblant experiment, so I watched Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Justice League: Unlimited.  The latter was a tad clumsy, but the former?  I must admit, Iron Man is tense and well-written (relatively speaking).  I imagine that it's popular with superhero votaries.  It should be anyway.  Okay, on with the program...prepare for flank speed because I'm about to revivify the pro/con format.  That's right; this is serious goddamn business.


~ Slam started out on the right foot.  They listed the Top 5 Intercontinental Champions.  I'm fine with Randy Savage being numero uno, but no mention of Bret Hart or Mr. Perfect?  Bullshit.  And you can expurgate The Honky Tonk Man.  Fuck his long reign.  That guy is one of the worst champions in WWE history, IC or otherwise.

~ Honestly, I'm on the fence as it relates to the half-hour time slot, but I'm listing it as a pro.  This show is part of a zippy, bustling block of programming aimed at children with sugar coursing through their veins.  At 30 minutes, you might be able to entertain a few brats who aren't necessarily wrestling fans.  Ideally, Vinnie Mac would dump Superstars (seriously, why does it still exist?) and extend Slam to an action-packed hour.


~ I'm cool with a kid-friendly show.  With the exception of the Attitude Era, WWE/F has always been kid-friendly.  However, Slam is too kid-friendly.  You've probably heard that the matches comply with a rule interdicting any and all moves/holds that pinpoint the neck area.  Yeah, that's fucking ridiculous.  Hulk Hogan's finisher targeted the neck area.  Y'know, the dude who said prayers and inhaled (injected) vitamins ("vitamins")?  Christ, if The Undertaker was still working a full schedule, he wouldn't be able to wrestle on Saturday mornings!  My first memory of The Undertaker took place - you guessed it - on a Saturday morning.  Oy.

~ This week's exclusive match pitted Zack Ryder against William Regal.  I won't fault them.  They tried.  Unfortunately, the match was dull because of the aforementioned rule.  Boy, nothing excites wee Cena marks quite like grappling and stalling tactics!  Get this...they cut to the commentary booth when Ryder hit his finisher (a leg-drop bulldog).  I swear to Allah.  By the way, Santino Marella was the guest color commentator.  Insult.  To injury.

~ The Miz got his own segment.

Saturday Morning Slam is rough around the edges, but I suppose it serves its purpose.  I doubt that I'll tune in next week, unless The Uso's are allotted screen time.  So basically, I won't be tuning in next week.


Vanity Scare #11

THE DARK SIDE (#90, April 2001)

This should be interesting.  I've never read an issue of The Dark Side, mainly because I don't live in the UK.  A compendiary rundown...this bi-monthly sovereign state publication emerged in 1990.  Aside from a two-year lapse in productivity ranging from 2009 to 2011, The Dark Side has maintained its pole position as the chosen fright rag of Brit...er, Engl...er, Iri...people who live in the United Kingdom.  It reads like a transoceanic answer to Fangoria.  But is it worth the extortionate subscription?  I may only have a moth-eaten relic to go on (heh, it's barely a decade old), but I'll try to reach a fair, even-handed conclusion.

- Might as well start with the cover.  It's tubular.  I'd recognize that skull anywhere.  It's lifted from the one-sheet promoting 1972's Tales From the Crypt, though it's flipped horizontally.  The left eye socket should be empty.  Fuck, I need to get laid.

- The first feature proper is an interview with Hideshi Hino, the manic chap who helmed Guinea Pig 2: Flowers of Flesh and Blood and Guinea Pig 5: Mermaid in a Manhole.  Actually, I'm just being melodramatic; Hino isn't manic at all.  As it turns out, he's an articulate cartoonist who seems genuinely shocked by the series' cult appeal.  Hats off to Jay Slater (and his intrepid interpreter, Junichi Tomonari) for conducting a breezy, yet edifying talk.

- Why haven't I seen Cradle of Fear?  I dig anthologies, I dig brazen exploitation flicks and I dig "old school" Cradle of Filth.  For the record, I'm partial to everything up to and including 2000's Midian (I do make exceptions for certain tracks on 2004's Nymphetamine).  Damn, I digress with the frippery of a vernal tween glomming onto a ruby red iPhone.  Focus, Dom!  Focus!  I remember reading about the London-lensed genre treat when it hit video shelves, but I never took it home.  Thanks to the interview with writer/director Alex Chandon, I have been shaken out of my ambivalence.  I shall add it to my rental queue pronto.

- I expected to find a wealth of reviews, but The Dark Side's backlog of film and DVD critiques is borderline overkill.  Stretched out over a couple of columns, the reviews themselves are dry and often synopsis-heavy (a big no-no, in my book).  What's more, some of the selections are arbitrary as hell.  I mean, Pulp Fiction?  Really?  The spacing is hard on the eyes.  So yeah, there are plenty of cons to countervail the pros.

- Reading Jay Slater's piece on the relevance (or lack thereof, rather) of Video Nasties in the new millennium, it occurred to me that horror fandom is/was an entirely different experience in the UK.  I can't imagine growing up in a country where it was once illegal to own a copy of Cannibal Holocaust.  Slater posits that technological advances have rendered the forbidden fruit of banned films null and void.  Bear in mind, this was written in 2001.  In concert with the pullulating immediacy of the web, the BBFC was finally beginning to slacken their ratings system.  You'd think that the value of Pre-Cert VHS tapes would have depreciated as a result, but as a card-carrying VHS collector, I can tell you that hasn't been the case.  It's pretty sad.

- Every other page spread is black-and-white.  The Dark Side alternates between banausic grayscale uniformity and resplendent thwacks of color.  It's jarring.  I don't care for it.

And that's all, folks.  This magazine could be fine-tuned as of 2012.  I don't know.  The content is certainly strong enough to recommend an online subscription.  This issue sported a few standout articles, but the page count is dreadfully low (57), considering the asking price.  Then again, I have no fucking clue how to convert foreign currency.  A pound is worth five billion American dollars, right?


Dead Links #6

It feels weird to admit this, but I've recently slogged my way into a deleterious trap...Facebook games!  SongPop was my gateway drug.  From there, I experimented with Family Feud and Words With Friends.  I told myself that I could control this newfound addiction.  Well, I was in denial.  These habitual, unmitigated urges only intensified when I discovered Backyard Monsters.  Do I really need to explain why I was drawn to this portentous time-waster?  Hello!  Monsters!!!!!

Originally, I was going to use this column to share goofy games that I find online.  What can I say?  I get bored easily, and I need preoccupying distractions like Backyard Monsters to achieve optimal procrastination.  Without going into labyrinthine details, BM (eh, they should change the name) lets you build a base and a monster army to attack other bases.  You have to pool resources to construct pebble shiners, goo factories, sniper towers, hatcheries, monster lockers, storage silos and a litany of similar buildings.  If it sounds tragically geeky, that's because it's tragically geeky.  But it's also fun!

PS-My favorite monster is Eye-ra, a cyclops blob.  C'mon, that's rad!



What the hell is that?  I'll tell you what it is.  It's foreshadowing.

As for today, I was too busy to write anything.  But tomorrow?  You get THAT.


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #5

The dog barks at midnight.


Blood Capsule #20

THE P.A.C.K. (1997)

Usually, I try to apprehend a screencap to consort with Blood Capsules, if only to mix things up. But The P.A.C.K. is so damn obscure, I couldn't find one. It's an incogitable miracle that I nabbed a thumbnail of the VHS cover. If I'm being honest, that's what attracted me to this flick in the first place. If I've never heard anyone mention it in all of my years as a compulsive, habit-forming horror junkie, I simply must own it. What is The P.A.C.K., you ask? Well, imagine if Syfy spitballed an "original" "film" for network television back in the 80's. I realize that sounds enticing, but trust me when I say that this is an underwhelming viewing experience. What is it with low-budget sci-fi crapcakes and acronyms?

No, really. You've got R.O.T.O.R. (somewhat badass), Syngenor (not badass), B.O.R.N. (I've yet to pick it up; please objectify it for me) and The P.A.C.K. Was this actually a trend? It doesn't matter. Despite a benign prologue of sorts where loutish rednecks are dismembered by a Prefabricated Animalistic Cybernetic Killer, this spaceship crash lands almost immediately and skids across maggot-ridden soil for the next 80 minutes. The plot is a diluted rehash of Critters. Just replace the titular balls of mayhem with a guy in a beggarly android suit and replace the faceless bounty hunters with...a guy. God, The P.A.C.K. is mundane. Even the climactic battle (pfft, a fistfight) is a fucking chore to sit through. It's an errand. It's menial labor. It's scutwork.

I do believe that I've stumbled upon a fitting simile. Enduring The P.A.C.K. is like washing the dishes and preparing a load of dirty laundry. It's the sleeper hit of the summer!


Album Cover of the Week

Thanks to my buddy Matt, the king of obscure metal. If I didn't know any better (and I don't), I'd swear that he dreams up imaginary bands and wills them into existence. Matt, you badass motherfucker, you.


Geek Out #65

I'm hoping that this will appease the gods until I crank out another edition of Panels From Beyond the Grave. "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" is one of my favorite episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? It concerns a creepy-as-fuck clown demon who jumps out of the pages of a comic book. Christ on rye, The Ghastly Grinner scarred me as a child. Of course, it seems silly as an adult, but there are still certain moments that make my pubic hairs stand at attention. If you have 24 minutes to spare, fucking watch it.


All Hallow's Eve, the first line of feminine hygiene products for witches!

A random house I found on Google.

Ah, I can practically smell it. Halloween is imminent! Every year, I try to do something epic to celebrate my favorite holiday, but this time around, I'm considering a low-key approach. I might just stay in. Well, that's my plan as of today. There is a good chance that I'll wind up throwing a party or helping out at a local haunted house. Truth be told, I haven't decided. I haven't decided what to do with this website either. Should I attempt to curate a theme week/month or would that compromise the randomness of Random Reviews Incorporated?

That is the question, dear readers. I want your opinion. Drop me an e-mail. Tweet me. Post in the official Facebook fan club. All of the pertinent links are on the right-hand side of every page. You can find them; don't be lazy.

"One day, the world will realize that every month should be October." - Dom Coccaro


Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

I'm on a winning streak. I would hate to jinx it, but it's been awhile since I've seen an irrevocably scrimpy dud. Fuck, I jinxed it; I just know it. Let's hope my providential luck continues past Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. This 1976 blaxploitation wassail (or wingding, if you prefer) was directed by William Crain. Ring any bells? Doubt it, but I'll forgive you...this time. Crain helmed 1972's Blacula, one of my favorite vampire romps of all time. He wasn't particularly prolific in the horror genre, though his modest contributions are well-renowned in the Coccaro household. If his terrifying talkies (ugh) are any indication, he espoused simple doctrines. Uno! Let the story do the talking. Dos! Let the actors do their job.

With Blacula, Crain was afforded the talents of a master thespian. I'm sure that having a guy like William Marshall at his disposal made principal photography relatively painless. With Dr. Black, he was lucky enough to land Bernie Casey. I shouldn't have to explicate a highly wrought synopsis. You know the score. The dispermic Castor and Pollux dichotomy that drove the original Robert Louis Stevenson novella sees a mad scientist guzzle a serum that transforms him into a grotesque monster. There. That wasn't highly wrought, now was it? Needless to say, the script does make minor adjustments to the literary classic. Dr. Pride (no, his last name isn't Black) devotes his life to researching a cure for cirrhosis of the liver.

His mother died from liver problems. She expired on the floor of a bordello where she worked as a maid. In consequence, Pride developed a deep-seated disdain for prostitutes. When an experimental drug brings out his inner beast, he targets street corners with the mortiferous tact of Jack the Ripper. Yay for dead hookers! What is it about the naked corpse of a whore that brightens a b-movie? Eh, don't answer that question. I was taken aback by Dr. Black. At this point, it shouldn't surprise me that a blaxploitation reel was written with depth and social commentary in mind. Dare I say it, this subgenre is scandalously underrated. To the writers of pictures such as J.D.'s Revenge and Fight For Your Life, these films were a cut above drive-in padding.

The dialogue is realistic. As cliched as it may sound, Dr. Black tackles sobering issues that still resonate with those who reside in impoverished areas. I was practically raised on the streets, so I know what's up. I gotta come correct. Every day, I be hustlin' and movin' pussy around the projects. Don't fuck with me, muthafucka. I said, don't FUCK...woah, sorry. At any rate, I was acutely entertained by Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. The pace is stout, the cast is savvy and the violence is physical. Our "Hyde" could pass for an albino zombie, so that's cool. The make-up effects are superannuated. It's an old-fashioned Universal-style approach to villainy, and I appreciate the added elbow grease.

Conversely, I didn't buy Dr. Pride's transition from a straight-laced philanthropist to a self-seeking mercenary. It felt forced. That's the only objection I have. Yeah, it's implied that the injections change his personality, but in my opinion, his psychosomatic u-turn is too abrupt. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got money to collect. Bitches better have my fuckin' money!



I'm a little late on renting this one. Bereavement is a prequel to 2004's Malevolence, a gritty throwback to minimalist slashers. I dug Malevolence. In fact, I think it's one of the best straight-up "body count" flicks of the past decade. While I'm satiated on origin stories (not everything needs to be explained away), I was curious to see how writer/director Stevan Mena was going to embroider his indie hit. How was he going to distend his killer's childhood? For the most part, I'm content with the answers I found. Bereavement spells out a haunting, monopolizing origin story...for Michael Myers. I'm not whistling Dixie. Sure, I manage a reputable barbershop quartet (we are currently fielding offers from major labels), but I do not deal in mendacity.

As far as the plot is concerned, this would have made for a bitchin' prequel to Halloween. The Akkad clan had their chance to annotate The Shape's seemingly innate iniquity. What did they come up with? The fucking Thorn cult. A few years ago, the pumpkin-scented baton was passed to Rob Zombie. What did he come up with? I still don't know. But this Martin Bristol fellow, he has more in common with John Carpenter's Boogeyman than any recent "interpretation" of the Shatner-masked phantom stalker. I realize that wasn't Mena's intention, but that's what I want to talk about. Hey, it's my review. Moving on to pinker pastures, Martin was born with congenital analgesia. In layman's terms (I keep forgetting that I have to talk down to you plebeians...this is a heel promo, by the way), he can't feel pain.

Martin's condition works as a metaphor. When he is abducted by a moonstruck schizoid and forced to watch unspeakable murders, he learns to intercept emotional pangs before they affect him. Simply put, he doesn't feel anything. That's why he reminded me of a young Michael Myers. The kid doesn't react to being stabbed, for shit's sake. He is groomed to be heartless, inhuman even. Why couldn't this be Rob Zombie's Halloween II!??!!? Okay, it's time to assess Bereavement on its own merits. I prefer Malevolence, but this is a solid motion picture. It abdicates the standard slasher formula. If I had to toss it into a specific subgenre, I would label it - and this pains me to no end, believe me - torture porn.

We get A LOT of screaming and supine, agonizing death sequences. Bereavement is definitely a modern horror film. Now, that's both positive and negative. Positive because this is a gory, creepy affair. Negative? Eh, the production values are too clean. The heroine is profoundly stupid. I mean, she's dumber than the semen stains on my WWE-themed sheets (shut the fuck up). The climax is nearly pauperized by her inexplicable actions, which include instructing her 5-year-old cousin to go upstairs in a burning house. Thankfully, the cast is up to snuff. Michael Biehn hits all of the right notes as the concerned uncle. Alexandra Daddario's cleavage is stunning. Her performance might have been convincing. To be honest, I wasn't really paying attention.

Seriously, her boobs should win a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony award, a free bag of pretzels out of a vending machine...um, Bereavement is worth a rental.



Dead Links #5

I came close to giving prominence to a different site today.  Let's face it; if you're a dyed-in-the-drool wrestling fan (and you have an Internet connection), you already love Botchamania.  It doesn't need PR promulgation.  Well, I hope not anyway.  Webmaster Maffew has compiled over 200 videos worth of bloopers, near-fatal bumps and general hilarity gleaned from every wrestling promotion under the sun.  No one is safe.  Personally, my favorite bits almost always involve WCW.  Fuck, I miss WCW.  But I digress...thanks to the inclusion of new columns and a couple of guest contributors, Botchamania has been updated on a regular basis for quite some time now.

If you're a smark, you won't be able to visit this site without laughing at least once.  SEND FOR THE MAN!


Album Cover of the Week


Blood Capsule #19


James Hong might be God.  He's everywhere.  Don't believe me?  The man has amassed close to 400 acting credits, and he has directed a couple of chintzy cult favorites.  He wrote and directed The Vineyard, an ostentatious b-bauble about a winegrower who has found the secret of eternal youth (and it's goddamn electric).  For those playing at home, said secret involves off-color libations and ritualistic bimbo butchery.  I had a field day with this flick.  Any schlock maven would.  We get random zombie outbreaks, a gnarled witch insulated in an attic and James Hong being a fucking pimp.

Drawbacks?  The villain is so cool ("Kill the eunuch!"), that the protagonists become racking nuisances.  I wanted all of the characters to meet their respective makers, but sadly, there are quite a few dullards left standing.  That doesn't change the fact that you need to see The Vineyard.  Where else will you find kung fu, inverted acupuncture and a scene where a girl pukes spiders while brushing her teeth?  I hope that's a rhetorical question.



Just realized that I haven't reviewed any "antique" horror films lately.  It hasn't been intentional, but at some point, I'd like to break out of the 80's and 90's.  Of course, most of the upcoming films on my to-review list are from the 80's and 90's.  Go figure.  Things that are happening within the next couple of weeks...

- Updates to the archives (Blood Capsules are on deck).
- Music reviews.
- A new contest (!).
- A Dead Link.
- A Part(s) Unknown.
- Other shit.


Matches That Time Forgot #44

This match is so epic, I'm going to have to actively try to keep myself from typing "OMFG" over and over again.  Are you ready for this?  We have Big Josh (a pre-Doink Matt Borne) and El Gigante versus Black Blood (Billy Jack Haynes bedecked in executioner threads) and One Man Gang.  I swear I'm not being sarcastic when I say that this is a great match.  I love the way they tease a stentorian collision between Gang and Gigante.  Gang, in particular, is fucking brilliant.  He acts like a legit loon poised to rape the entire audience.  And then eat them.

I'm a Borne mark, so of course, I dug the lumberjack gimmick, as senseless as it was.  The same can be said for Jorge Gonzalez.  He is reasonably healthy here, and he is downright frightening.  He actually whips out a suplex at one point.  A suplex!  Yeah, he does seem a bit lost towards the finish, but I still commend his performance.  Imagine if he was this agile during his WWF run as Giant Gonzalez.  A man can dream...


Monkey Boy


Back in the day (holy shit, I'm old), America got sandbagged when it came to overseas genre films.  If you're a kaiju fan, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  We had to settle for an artless, truncated version of King Kong vs. Godzilla.  Sure, it still ruled, but only because it was King Kong vs. Godzilla.  That shit is one of a kind.  Other, more cerebral creature features didn't survive the inculcation of a dozen scissor-happy home video censors.  Take Monkey Boy, for instance.  It began its life as a BBC mini-series entitled Chimera.  Based on the book of the same name, this sci-fi teleplay told a tale of foolhardy genetic experimentation over the span of four hours.  I don't know about you, but to me, that sounds a little too smart for domestic consumption. 

Just kidding!  Or am I?  OR AREN'T I?  Either way, someone thought that Chimera was too high-brow for us, so Prism Entertainment whittled it down to 100 minutes, give or take.  If that wasn't insulting enough, they packaged it as an exploitation film, sideshow title and all.  Now, I implied that Monkey Boy suffered from exorbitant cuts, and maybe it did.  That seems to be the general consensus.  However, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't rapt by its layered script and deliberate pacing.  Would I have a different opinion if I had seen Chimera?  That is the question.  Of course, it's a dubious question, since I'll probably never lay eyes on the original mini-series. 

With nothing to compare it to, I'd wager that most horror fanatics would get a kick out of Monkey Boy.  Admittedly, the plot is a habitual melange of "mad scientist" euphuisms that wore out their welcome in the 50's, but writer Stephen Gallagher finds a way to repurpose those conventions.  Adapting his own novel, there is no doubt that he knew the characters better than anyone.  I didn't spot any one-dimensional stereotypes.  It's kind of amazing that the leads are fleshed out, seeing as how the film is missing OVER TWO HOURS of footage.  Naturally, the exposition is rushed.  From what I understand, the first episode of Chimera ends at the 15-minute mark of Monkey Boy.  Wowzers.

Three paragraphs, and I haven't even mentioned the monster.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  Let me break it down for you.  If Curious George had a Belial-esque Siamese twin (and carried him around in a basket), it would look like Chad.  Oh, that's his name.  Chad.  Spooky!  Actually, he's a sympathetic anti-villain in the tradition of Universal icons such as Frankenstein's creation and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  The make-up effects are grand.  In fact, Monkey Boy succeeds in staving off the trappings of the television medium.  It's worth a look.  I'm being somewhat generous with my rating, but I can't fault a production for its production history.  Having said that, it's no King Kong vs. Godzilla.


Shitty Webcam Site Update Movie Review I Have Heartburn #3

I've decided that this will be a Tuesday thing.  So...here.


Geek Out #64

The shot of "The Head" driving his motorized scooter had me in stitches. Y'know, it's surprisingly difficult to find Full Moon trailers. Sure, I could locate the usual stuff, but I was hoping to find promotional materials for films such as The Werewolf Reborn, The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes, Mystery Monsters, Demon in the Bottle, Test Tube Teens From the Year 2000 and Shrieker. So yeah, I need to touch a woman. A live woman.

Album Cover of the Week

Ack, I was having log-in issues. Otherwise, this would have been up on the 2nd. Excuses, excuses!



Usually, I don't go for dactylic sword-and-sorcery flicks. Even as a kid, I recoiled from bombastic epics such as Dune and Conan the Barbarian. They just didn't appeal to me. All I saw was sand, immeasurable drifts of sand. You have to admit; these movies are fucking full of sand. Hell, Krull is two lounge singers away from being Ishtar. But I'm beginning to feel my way through this subgenre. I don't know why I didn't see it sooner, but this stuff is custom-built to jounce my juniper shrub. I'm finally mature enough to recognize that a bunch of cool monsters are buried beneath all of that sand. RAD MONSTERS FTW! WOOT, MOTHERFUCKER! WOOT!

Clearly, I'm at an age where I can appreciate the finer things in life. Y'know, like giant spiders and...um, unidentified beasts in ambulatory fortresses. Krull was released in 1983, and most genre geeks compare it to a certain sci-fi film that enlivened the box office in 1977. While it's true that the similarities to Star Wars are palpable, it doesn't really matter in the long run. This is still a powder keg of anencephalic entertainment (you'll have to obtain your own reference books; I can't do everything). The story is familiar. A final boss from outer space lands on planet Krull. He abducts the princess, effectively spoiling her wedding ceremony and undermining the efforts of a crackerjack catering service, I'm sure.

It's up to Han So...er, Colwyn to save the damsel in distress. In order to fulfill his heroic prophecy, he must locate the light sa...er, the Glave (a cuspidate ninja star) and gallantly enter the Death St...er, the Black Fortress to battle Darth Va...er, the Beast. You know what? Fuck it. I don't care if Krull is a ripoff. It exceeded my expectations. The special effects are adroit, the fight choreography is swift and the characters are well-written. To be specific, I was struck by the scene where Ynyr (the Obi Wan doppelganger who acts as a sage mentor) shares a tender moment with a former flame. Granted, said flame is guarded by a giant spider, but somehow, writer Stanford Sherman imbues their brief exchange with emotional resonance.

The pacing is kept in check. This is one of the shortest 120-minute films I've had the pleasure of watching, if that makes any sense. On the clammy end of the cotton plug (ew), the climax is defeasible. The Beast is subverted rather easily, and no, I don't consider that to be a spoiler. What, you imagined Krull ending with a shot of the Beast nailing the princess? In actuality, our badass mutant villain is emasculated almost immediately. Boo. Hiss. That won't stop me from recommending this rip-roaring adventure, though. God, that's something a proper, punctilious critic would type. Then again, a proper, punctilious critic wouldn't use a Robert Z'Dar scale, now would he? I win!