Moving soon...

The reason why the site has been sporadic lately is because we're packing shit.  I'm moving this weekend, and when I do, RR Inc. will go on hiatus.  Things will return to normalcy once we have settled in.  I'm guessing before Thanksgiving, but it could be longer/shorter.  I've been needing a break anyway.  But have no fear!  I have two more items to post before my self-imposed hibernation (and yes, one of them is an edition of The Shitty Webcam Show that was supposed to go live today...it's a doozy, trust me).  Stay tuned.


Matches That Time Forgot #59

Hindsight can make anyone a judicious oracle of sapience (a what of what?).  In hindsight, we know that giving The Ultimate Warrior the brass ring wasn't a sound decision.  It didn't yield favorable results long-term, but when you watch an early Warrior bout, you can't blame Vinnie Mac for pushing the fucker to Saturn.  How was he to know that Jim Hellwig was a flake in waiting?  Look at the reaction he gets in today's match that time forgot, a six-man tag from 1988.  Relatively speaking, Warrior was a wishful apprentice.  He was as green as a turtle's undercarriage, but the crowd fucking loved him.

Watch as he teams up with The British Bulldogs to accost Mr. Fuji and Demolition.  The crazy son of a bitch doesn't even need the other five participants to entertain the attendees.  I'm not convinced that he realizes it's a tag team match.  That's our Warrior!  He botches a gorilla press slam towards the end, but who cares?  The shrill, deafening fans clearly don't, and that's what matters.


Album Cover of the Week


Halloween ('78)

I first saw John Carpenter's Halloween when I was a prepubescent waif.  Throughout my teenaged years, I maintained that it was overrated.  As I plowed into my 20's, my deportment softened a bit.  I mellowed out.  To tell you the truth, I like to think that I was beginning to mature as a horror buff (tee-fucking-hee).  I still didn't see the film as a singular masterclass in nail-shitting suspense, but I was able to enjoy it.  Fast-forward to last night.  My father and I attended a screening of Halloween at my local multiplex (heh, I make it sound so exclusive).  I will avow that the piercing audio and the sight of a 9-foot Donald Pleasence made me appreciate The Shape's exploits on a more discerning level.

But only slightly.  Is it an effective slasher?  Without question.  The best of all time?  That's a negative.  I am left with many of the same reservations that I held as a teenager.  Halloween didn't actually pioneer anything; it was merely the first successful stabshow to trot out a masked killer and yecchy POV shots.  A part of me resents it for dwarfing the fortunes bestowed upon Black Christmas (and to a lesser extent, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  That may never change, but I can't rightfully blame Halloween itself for being an overachiever.  It's a tight, crafty watch, and it's not responsible for the mistral of knock-offs that it spawned.

Maybe it's the seasonal weather, but for whatever reason, this picture's pros have become readily apparent to my erudite eyeballs (speaking of my peepers, they're just peeled grapes...don't tell the trick-or-treaters).  Carpenter knows exactly how to bottle the Halloween (the holiday, that is) spirit and release it in front of a camera.  He should reduce it to a rarefied broth.  A petrifying potage.  A vile vichyssoise.  Okay, I'll stop.  The atmosphere might be my favorite aspect of Halloween.  My second favorite is definitely the iconic score, as it always manages to gift-wrap my brittle bones in goose flesh.

With the exception of a dazed Nancy Kyes (seriously, what did she smoke before each take, and where can I procure a bag?), the cast is on point.  Obviously, Pleasence steals the screen, but how fucking adorable is P.J. Soles?  Totally!  I can't believe that I was lucky enough to meet her a couple of years ago.  The pace drags in the paunch of the second act.  C'mon, you have to admit that the death sequences are stretched out beyond comprehension, but hot damn, the finale is peerless.  That's how you end a slasher, folks.  Carpenter wrote the book on capping a climax.  It's called Capping A Climax: I Wrote This Book.

Above all else, Halloween is fun.  I can accept it as an authentic classic.  I do feel that my rating is fair, though.  I'm not blinded by nostalgia or franchise loyalty, nor am I oblivious to flaws that strike me as egregious on occasion.  Also, I'm right.



Soon, I'll be reviewing a film that I was lucky enough to catch on the big screen.  No hints!  You'll have to wait in terrible suspense.


Hellraiser: Bloodline

In retrospect, I'm surprised that Hellraiser: Bloodline is as cohesive as it is.  The film's bedeviled production history is well-documented, but if you've been living 'neath a puzzle box for seventeen years, I'll give you the cardinal footnotes.  Special effects czar Kevin Yagher signed on to direct Pinhead in Space.  After countless scuffles with studio heads, he capitulated in disgruntled dissatisfaction and abandoned the project (his credit went to "Alan Smithee," Hollywood's go-to pseudonym for embittered filmmakers).  Halloween 6 marksman Joe Chappelle interceded to wrap principal photography.  I don't need to remind you that he was no stranger to Dimension's meddlesome infractions, so I'm sure he knew how to use his juke swerve to avoid certain landmines.

Three, maybe four cuts of Bloodline exist.  There were rewrites up the rectum, and in terms of box office staying power, the sequel/prequel hybrid left a crater the size of a phytophagous chalcid wasp in its wake.  I don't suppose it would help put things into perspective by mentioning that said wasps are microscopic little shits, would it?  Well, they are.  I don't even remember seeing TV spots for a fourth Hellraiser entry.  As a matter of fact, I was under the impression that it was a direct-to-video release until we acquired our first dial-up modem in 1999.  But none of this minutiae speaks to the quality of Bloodline itself.  Considering the circumstances, I find it to be a visceral triumph over a vested bureaucracy.

Crude tampering be damned, this is a well-groomed horror picture.  Is it too ambitious?  Possibly.  Is the acting patchy in spots?  Affirmative.  Are there bizarre plot specifics that are never addressed?  Holy clit Jesus, yes.  And yet, I was sated by an epic-as-fuck storyline that was easy to follow and introduced a multitude of vibrant, prismatic characters.  You have to be willing to suspend disbelief to enjoy Bloodline.  Deep thought is forbidden as soon as you press play.  Yeah, the original Hellraiser is quite cerebral (the same goes for Hellbound), but we're in goddamn outer space here.

Clive Barker traditionalists did not take kindly to Pinhead's foray into futuristic science fiction.  Most fans are quick to slander this flick to shreds, and I understand their ridicule.  Our lead cenobite is less reserved and more...Krueger-y.  Hellraiser: Bloodline is content to be a popcorn thriller.  I'm cool with that, seeing as how I don't have any sentimental ties to the series or its source material.  I approve of the rampant gore, I approve of the raw sexuality (Valentina Vargas can execrate my soul anytime) and I approve of the accelerated pacing.  What can I say?  I'm easy to please, especially when it comes to soda and beef jerky.


Shitty Webcam Movie Review Site Update I Have Heartburn #52

It took awhile, but I finally have proof.  This is what a champion looks like, folks.


A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

It had been awhile since I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, which is why I picked it over, say, Freddy's Revenge or New Nightmare.  I now regret that decision.  No, it's not because I abhor this flick; it's because I don't have a strong opinion in either direction.  These are the hardest reviews to write.  I want to leave it at "meh," but damn it, I have a reputation to uphold.  I scribe the best horror reviews in cyberspace (lol), and I can't afford to let my fans down.  Lamentably, director Stephen Hopkins has set all of his knobs and cranks to medium.  It's almost as if he was given stern, adamantine orders to make his Freddy feature good enough.

"What's all this talk about knobs and cranks?  Dom, are you sucking cock again?"  Yes.  That doesn't change the fact The Dream Child is an intermediate affair.  It doesn't do one thing exceptionally well.  Likewise, it doesn't falter wildly in any one category.  There was a conscience effort here to modulate the tacky wisecracks, but the script seems hesitant to adopt unflinching horror as its method of operation.  The premise had potential to be appallingly grody.  For twat's sake, we see a nun being raped by a thousand mental patients!  That's heavy stuff, but Hopkins only dips his toes into the hypoxia-ridden detritus.

Bear in mind, this lurid sewage is commingled with Freddy wearing a fluted chef's hat and bellowing, "Bon appetit!"  The levity doesn't click.  Still, the sight gags aren't as outlandish as they were in The Dream Master.  If I'm being honest, Freddy's resurrection sequence spooked me a bit (it's the way he stands up...brrr).  The art direction is astonishing.  Hopkins has a knack for concocting sleek imagery and keeping the pace afloat.  Those are common threads that run through each of his outings, I find.  Predator 2 for the win!  I wonder how many youngsters know that "ftw" came from Hollywood Squares.  Yeah, your chat acronyms aren't as tubular as you thought, are they?

Lisa Wilcox returns as the final girl, and that's fine with me.  She's certainly likeable, and it could be argued that Alice is the strongest heroine to square off against The Crispy One.  The supporting players are forgettable, but man, they die in spectacular fashion.  How could any sane, rational motherfucker sneer at Super Freddy?  Mark's comic book demise is a crowning coup for the Elm Street series.  On the barren wing of the ovarian follicle (give me a break, my brain is powering down), the kills are few and far between.  I don't want to use the term "half-assed," but...no, that's accurate.  A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is half-assed.

While it would be a fair assessment to claim that I'm on the fence, my general impression of this spiritless sequel is positive.  It's fun somehow.


Album Cover of the Week

Tomorrow, the Halloween review special will continue.  And "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a killer track.


Just Visiting

I just realized that my birthday is only eleven months away.  Feel free to purchase Monopoly: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Edition for me.  Apparently, it exists.  Get crackin'.


These Three Wrestlers Aren't That Bad

I might turn this into a regular thing where I list three random wrestlers/bands/movies unjustly traduced by headlong, expressive fans.  Today, professional wrasslers are on the docket.  Observe as I continue to curtail my chances of ever finding a soulmate.

GIANT GONZALEZ (seen here exchanging catty glances with God)

Well, this pick shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me on an uncomfortably personal level.  Gonzalez served his purpose at Wrestlemania 9.  He provided the PPV with spectacle, a long-forgotten component of sports entertainment.  The match wasn't an emulous rumpus (you'll have to trust me on that one), but it didn't need to be an amateur wrestling exhibition.  It was stapled to the card to make children coo with awe and stupefaction.  Hell, that's why Gonzalez was brought in from WCW in the first place.  I will concede that the 7-foot-6 human narwhal was not a supple cruiserweight, but lately, I've been reading quibbles that send soldier ants marching into my pecker hole.

Whenever The Great Khali (or The Punjabi Playboy, if you prefer...puke) fumbles his way through a match on Raw, smart marks convene to allege that "he still isn't as bad as Giant Gonzales."  Woah.  I'm seeing this bullshit way too much.  Jorge (the man behind the gimmick) could actually move in his younger days.  Khali has never been able to execute a dropkick, much less a competent vertical suplex.  Moreover, the former El Gigante had a responsive (you might even call it "demonstrative") face, which helped him get over with dimwit rednecks.  Inferior to Khali?  African-American, please.

PHANTASIO (seen here administering a magical armbar)

1995 was the year of stillborn characters, at least for the World Wrestling Federation.  The majority of these gambits deserved to miscarry, but I always thought that Phantasio had some modicum of potential.  What was his deal?  He was a wrestling magician.  Think less "Criss Angel mindfreak" and more "the guy you hire for birthday parties."  Sure, the tricks were corny, but the crowd dug his act.  If you look up his match on YouTube, you'll notice that he didn't struggle to secure a babyface reaction.  Yes, I used the singular form, as Phantasio's TV debut conjointly functioned as his swan song.

Did he spurn Pat Patterson's advances?  Did he despoil an underage Stephanie McMahon?  Did he give the rest of the locker room nightmares (look at him, for Christ's sake)?  Who knows?  The New Generation Era was kid-friendly, so I have no doubt that Phantasio would have prospered in the midcard.  It's somewhat baffling that he didn't go on to compete for WCW.  Speak of the devil...

DISORDERLY CONDUCT (seen here understanding each other's plight)

Tough Tom and Mean Mike, the most insignificant tag team of the Monday Night Wars.  They had a habit of facing off against towering scamps in handicap matches.  And losing.  If I'm not mistaken, Tough Tom was also a member of The Texas Hangmen, a separate jobber tag team.  While it's true that the lads in Disorderly Conduct were not that fucking bad, their subsumption is primarily comedic in nature.  There, I admitted it.  I can't imagine an overwhelming number of people absorbing this whole column.


Geek Out #98

I've probably already mentioned this, but TCM is kicking ass this month (AMC dropped the ball years ago).  There are several time slots that I have penciled into my schedule.  Take 9:15 PM on Saturday, for instance...that's when I'll be watching Mark of the Vampire, an unheralded bloodsucker romp starring Bela Lugosi.  If that doesn't imbue your genes with the Halloween spirit, nothing will.


Shitty Webcam Movie Review Site Update I Have Heartburn #51

I just got back from the dentist.

Curse of Chucky

I meant to post this yesterday, but I was wiped.  My apologies.  Keep your eyes peeled for another edition of The Shitty Webcam Show, which should go live around 10 PM tonight as scheduled (EST, bitches).

I think it's safe to say that horror fans flinched at the prospect of a direct-to-video sequel to Child's Play.  We've been burned by ill-omened franchise extortion before.  Obviously, we didn't want to see that happen to everyone's favorite Good Guy.  Would series creator Don Mancini manage to buttress the tenability of a horror icon, or would we have another Candyman 3: Day of the Dead on our hands?  I must say, I'm surprised by the heterogeneous crossbreed of opinions that Curse of Chucky has received by dyed-in-the-wool dollsploitation lifers.  Viewers have been split into love/hate camps.  From where I stand (shut up), there isn't much to hate about this all-inclusive installment.

Curse is better than it has any right to be.  For the most part, the scrimpy budget doesn't louse up the finished product.  Not that five million cucumbers is a negligible amount of dough, but Mancini is used to working with surfeited, chockablock reserves.  There were only a couple of occasions where I was reminded that this flick bypassed theaters.  Regrettably, the sets do feel small.  You can tell that the story is eager to break out into other locations, but in all fairness, Mancini milks the fuck out of an archetypal Gothic backdrop.  I don't see it as a coincidence that Curse just happens to be Universal's intellectual property.  My adenoids detected notes of Tod Browning's Dracula and James Whale's The Old Dark House in the neighboring areas (read: everywhere).

The synopsis does not suggest a sequel that recognizes series continuity.  On the surface, the script concerns a wheelchair-bound dame (Nica) saddled with the responsibility of arranging a family gathering in the wake of her mother's passing.  I hesitate to reveal any further exposition.  You know that the plot involves Chucky in some capacity, and quite frankly, that's all you need to know.  The lion's share of the felicity inherent in Curse lies in the bold, enterprising twists that crop up out of nowhere.  Kudos to Mancini for reaching beyond the call of duty in terms of mapping out a network of events that interlaces each of the previous entries.  Because he could have parented a stand-alone rehash, and his paycheck would not have suffered.

Many impugn Curse's solemn tone.  I guess the majority of genre enthusiasts were on board with Seed of Chucky's preposterous chaffing, but where do you go after voodoo semen and the lonesome death of Britney Spears?  I, for one, applaud the decision to take Chucky back to his menacing roots.  The suspense is surprisingly taut, and the aforementioned Gothic milieu is categorically splendid.  Look, I didn't despise Seed, but this shit kicks ass.  And I haven't even mentioned the cast yet!  Fresh face Fiona Dourif (seed of Brad) acts as a photogenic anchor, supplying her role with depth and natural charisma in equal measures.  She's the clear star of the show, her proud papa notwithstanding.

Speaking of Charles Lee Ray, his plastic visage is...different.  I understand why certain people cite his remedial look as a hindrance, but it honestly didn't bother me.  Curse of Chucky has a distinct flavor; it required a distinct Chucky.  Man, who knew that this wicked whirligig would rival the original?  I guarantee that it will catch on as a cult classic.  Don, if you're reading, bring on part seven!  Robert Z'Dar says, "I hate it when Coccaro uses half of my head.  It fucking hurts."


I just murdered several people...

So if you click on "Blood Capsules" across the top, you'll notice that the page doesn't exist.  I accidentally deleted it yesterday, and I still don't know how.  FUCK.  I Ctrl + Z'd, motherfucker!  Why didn't you undo yourself???  Oy.  I'll have it back up by the end of the week.  I need to hire someone for data entry.



Album Cover of the Week


Blood Capsule #40


C'mon, I had to review this film.  I had to!  It's known as a trite riff on Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the casting of Donald Sutherland doesn't help its reputation), but it's actually based on a novel that was written four years before Invasion's source material...um, materialized.  I haven't read the book.  Does the silver screen adaptation hold up?  Is it the bee's knees?  The canary's tusks?  The plankton's gizzards?  Mostly, yeah.  The script doesn't waste any precious seconds getting to the "alien slug" pandemonium.  These agglutinative quasi-facehuggers latch onto your neck and tap into your cortex.  For all intents and purposes, you are their bitch.  Or puppet.

We follow a sect of government agency types as they try to contain an abeyant outbreak.  The pacing is immediate, and well-worn themes (trust, betrayal, etc.) are given a fresh coat of pertinence.  Eric Thal and Julie Warner are spot-on as our mock Mulder/Scully tandem, respectively.  On the downside, the third act loses considerable steam, which is a side effect of the protracted running time.  The Puppet Masters doesn't know how to wrap itself up.  Maybe the nine (!) writers on staff couldn't decide on a proper resolution.  Still, sci-fi nuts are encouraged to rent this flick.  Watch it alongside 1993's Body Snatchers and 1998's The Faculty for gilt-edge kicks.


"Leave my family alone, Mr. Band!"

You can't hurt me anymore, Charles.  I have vanquished you.  I feel free, free to review anything.  Next up is a beautiful Blood Capsule, but THEN!  Then I review a random Freddy flick, a random Jason flick, a random Chucky flick, a random Pinhead flick and a random Mikey flick.  Halloween shall be...tasty.


Puppet Master X: Axis Rising

Well, here we are.  The eleventh (or tenth, if you go by official canon) Puppet Master film is...another prequel...dealing with Nazis.  Goddamn, Hitler loved puppets.  Who knew that he had his finger on the pulse of the puppet show circuit?  Of course, Axis Rising is a direct sequel to Axis of Evil.  Our teenaged couple - as portrayed by different actors - is recognized for their heroic deeds in the previous entry.  They are paired up with Sgt. Stone, an irascible general who is ordered to babysit them, more or less.  The intrepid triumvirate eventually clashes with Nazi scientists hiding out in Chinatown.  Oh, and living puppets.  This movie contains living puppets, a fact that Charles Band sidesteps with chilling detachment.

Did I not mention that Axis Rising is directed by Band himself?  Because why not?  In his mind, he has directed each installment of this franchise anyway.  The script could easily exist without Blade, Tunneler, Leech Woman and Pinhead.  This may be intentional.  After all, the puppet "effects" are profoundly sad.  I think Band just shot two kids playing with action figures for the fight sequences.  If you close your eyes, you can almost hear little fucknut Billy vociferating, "Grrr, I'm gonna stab you!"  The shocking thing about this flick is that it's halfway decent.  I liked it!  Now remember, Axis Rising is rated on the same scale as Retro Puppet Master and Puppet Master: The Legacy.

How else can I break it down?  If The Legacy is being castrated, then Axis Rising is receiving a blowjob by a girl who assumes that biting is the speediest way to a climax.  Hey, it's still a blowjob.  I didn't hate the characters, I was able to follow the admittedly blinkerfritz* storyline and I dug the evil (pronounced "eeeeevil") puppets.  That's right, whore children; we get four untrodden Nazi puppets!  Bombshell is a stacked blonde with machine gun boobs; Blitzkrieg is a toy robot that bops; Kamikazi is a racist Asian caricature that detonates an explosive; Wehrmacht is a goddamn werewolf.  Did I use semi-colons correctly, you ask?  No.  I most certainly did not.

But back to Wehrmacht.  He's easily the coolest fucking creation in the series, and yet, he proves to be largely useless.  He randomly claws at Blade during the low-scale capstone of a finale, but that's it.  God, the missed opportunities.  I mean, Wehrmacht isn't as useless as Jester, but my legs aren't as useless as Jester.  Gore?  Not really.  Nudity?  Cleavage will have to suffice.  Mediocre acting?  Check!  You can't expect the second coming of Jack Deth, though.  Generally speaking, Puppet Master X: Axis Rising is one of the tolerable bantlings in the nursery.  I've run out of metaphors to describe this heap of increasingly arthritic marionettes.  Goodnight and good riddance.

*I made that word up.


Spider Walk

So was Battleground a PPV or an episode of Raw?  For the most part, the card delivered, but what the fuck kind of ending was that?  No decision?  People paid cash (well, I didn't) for a non-resolution?  They seemed to be going in the right direction as recently as a few weeks ago, but at some point, you have to present a payoff.  The WWE needs a champion, and I'm not talking about Alberto Del Rio.  The main event is in a state of disrepair.  Luckily, the midcard is thriving.

Goldust/Cody Rhodes versus The Shield was a "Match of the Year" candidate.  It's rare to see consummate wrestling collide with consummate storytelling, but that's precisely what happened.  And fucking Goldust hit a diving crossbody off of the top rope!  Holy shit!  We also saw Dusty's bionic elbow make an appearance.  Talk about a crowd pleaser.  I'm hoping that this will lead to The Bizarre One working a semi-regular schedule.  Oh, the spider walk.  If you didn't catch it, Bray Wyatt fucking spider walked during his bout against Kofi Kingston.  It was creepy and amazing.

Seriously, someone needs to make an animated graphics interchange format (or GIF) of that shit pronto.  I still need to review Puppet Master: Axis Rising, don't I?  Goddamn it.


Album Cover of the Week

I'll be back tomorrow.


"Ergh," he said...

I apologize for pulling a disappearing act yesterday.  Truthfully, I'm struggling with a surly influx of depression, and when it hits, I become useless.  I'm getting my shit together, though.  I hope to have real content posted within the next day or two.  Bear with me.  Again, I apologize for my indolence.  It bothers the fuck out of me that I'm not able to be productive when I want to be.  Well, I don't want this to be an entry in my diary, so that's all for now.  Thanks for your patience.


Geek Out #97

I'm in a rut.  I need motivation.  Here's some crazy shit.


Shitty Webcam Movie Review Site Update I Have Heartburn #49

A Halloween announcement.