The Soda Jerk Unbound Part 6 of 6


We made it!  Together, you and I.  I'm not saying that I won't disinter this column in the future, but I am putting it to bed for a restful, slumberous autumn's nap.  Winter's nap?  That has yet to be determined.  At any rape, The Soda Jerk will be on the kip.  I must write about Kickapoo Joy Juice first, a distillation of marsupial semen. Everloving Cthulhu, can a review go off the rails before its engine collects enough steam to power the...I'm lost inside of an analogy. And of all locomotives, I pick a steam engine.  They're not trendy at all, doofus (I'm talking to myself; you're not a doofus).  Citrus! Kickapoo Joy Juice is a lemon-lime palm leaf oxygenating your weather-beaten body after a day of slave labor.

No, this drink has nothing to do with Tenacious D.

It doesn't say "lemon-lime" anywhere on the bottle, but that's clearly the objective here.  I'm reminded of Mtn Dew.  I would say Sun Drop, but it isn't nearly as pungent.  The caffeine punch is in attendance, though.  I only mention it because I know some people have to watch their intake.  I used to monitor that shit, but I was pissing calcium buckshot anyway, so all bets are off!  You hear that, kidneys?  You traitors?  Let's see; what other words can I use to describe the flavor of Kickapoo Joy Juice?  Apricate, to bask in the sun.  Rizzar, to dry in the sun.  Turnsole, a type of plant that turns with the movement of the sun.  Um, heliolatry, worship of the sun.

Okay, Dictionary dot com has a cool feature called Rise and Shine: 9 Sunny Words.  This carbonated solar energy tastes like sunshine. It's fucking sunny!  With a slight chance of my balls on your chin! Oh, and it's rather soothing.  It hits the throat without a flyspeck of friction. As you may (not) have noticed, I haven't alluded to an aroma. That's because I didn't smell one.  No, I didn't forget; there simply was no aroma to smell.  Whatev(er).  Hey!  Here is a useless piece of trivia. The name Kickapoo Joy Juice was taken from L'il Abner, a comic strip that ran for 43 years.  It ended in 1977, but I wish I could have read it while it was still in publication.  The title character was a pro-fighter for a spell.  He could beat up wrasslers and boxers alike!

I should clarify.  In L'il Abner, Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat concoct a "volatile brew" dubbed Kickapoo Joy Juice.  Apparently, it wasn't supposed to be moonshine, but have you seen Hairless Joe? He's the one on the left in the image below.  Yikes!  I'll close this puppy by formally requesting Donald Trump to send me the other three flavors of Kickapoo.  You've got your Fruit Shine (sangria, baby), Maliblu (pina colada, baby) and Fuzzy Navel (peach, baby). Click HERE to check 'em out.  This is not a sponsored review. However, I recommend the hell out of Joy Juice.  It brings an alpenglow to mind, the coral glimmer that kisses the ridge of a mountain just after a sunset.  Or argent, the silver, yet golden...you're not perfect either, y'know.  Maybe you ARE a doofus!

I'm just saying.  Dude's either downing moonshine or snorting coke.


Dead Links #18

I can't remember how, but I stumbled upon this rad art blog yesterday.  Art blog???  Put down your suitcase, you zonked transmigrant.  Monster Brains is fucking cool.  It's called Monster Brains, for Mary's sake!  The dude behind it all spends "many hours tracking down artwork, scanning, editing, cleaning up and formatting" the pieces he showcases.  As you can imagine, these abstractions - whether they are paintings or sculptures - share certain qualities. They are bizarre.  Creepy.  Boffo.  Thus far, everything I've scoped out is incredibly obscure (then again, I'm not much of an art buff).

He uploads in chunks by artist.  Take Per Krohg, for example.  I gravitated toward his style, which I would describe as "kvlt as shit." He was Norwegian.  Of course.  I'm providing a cropped section of one of his watercolors.  Actually, I have no clue if it's a watercolor or not; file that guesstimation as a ballpark figure.  No, file it a guesstimation.  Sounds less ridiculous.  Jesus.  BTW (Break The Wallydrag), click a few of the wild images on the right-hand side of the page.  You'll see more bedlam including righteous VHS covers...!


Carpenter Calls Zombie A Darn Scoundrel

"Two posts in one day?  The cripple has gone mad!"  Possibly.  I just had to put this crumb of joy on the site.  It won't make everyone happy, but it made me happy.  During a recent interview, John Carpenter casually referred to Rob Zombie as a piece of shit.  His words, not mine.  And you can read them HERE.  He goes on to give his opinion on the remake of Halloween, which isn't very positive.  In my mind, I keep circling back to joy.  That's the theme of the night, I guess.  NOTE: While I'm not the biggest Rob Zombie fan in the world, I will find a way to see 31.  Because why not?

Blood Capsule #66


Well, I've managed to cap off the trilogy.  I was expecting my third journey with Sinbad to be the least fulfilling, yet here I hunker with cackleberry on my face (it's an egg; don't test me).  The Seventh Voyage is still the best, but Eye of the Tiger ranks above The Golden Voyage.  These are just the opinions of a frail earthling. Honestly, I impeded this viewing, as I forecasted more of the same. Sinbad and his merry mates are skirring the open seas, a princess is pirated (I have cutlass-sharp wit, I tell you), our bevy of swashbucklers encounter cool monsters on their way to an island...that's the thing.  That's the thing I was anticipating.  While the formula isn't trifled with too much, the structure of the script does have its own propulsion judder.

We get two hot chicks in peril.  Jane Seymour and Taryn Power melted the electronics in my wheelchair.  Their performances are commendable, so it's unfortunate that their roles were lazily written. Patrick Wayne injects some personality into Sinbad.  Needles to type, Ray Harryhausen injected A LOT of personality into his creations.  He crafted a baboon (it was decided that a real baboon would be too hard to wrangle), a troglodyte, insectoid freaks (not sure what the fuck they were), a giant saber-toothed tiger (I wanted to cuddle it) and an automaton minotaur (pictured above).  For certain live action scenes, the minotaur was played by Peter Mayhew.  He acted in this suit before he was fitted for Chewbacca. I'm an encyclopedia of film trivia you can find on IMDb.

In conclusion, I had fun watching Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. As an added bonus, Zenobia (the bitch baddie) is the eidetic double of Rita Repulsa.  She even acts like her.  So that's kind of awesome.


Blood Capsule #7,034

I think it's a German brand.  That's weird, right?


The Soda Jerk Unbound Part 5 of 6

So his fingers won't grip.  He'll still be next to you when you wake up tomorrow morning.


Swamp pop is a musical genre.  It gurgled out of the Louisiana sphagnum bogs ("Sphagnum?  I nearly fucked him!  Uh.") in the 1950's, and when it came time to name their product, cousins Collin Cormier and John Petersen saw an opportunity to be clever.  I see those opportunities all of the time.  It's not so easy being brilliant, is it?  Guys?  I'm sure they will get back to me in due course.  More about their product, a soda (!) based out of New Orleans.  I was eager to try this stuff because I tend to dig raw materials processed from this part of the country.  Acid Bath, Goatwhore, Down (duh), Crowbar, Graveyard Rodeo, Exhorder, girls who flash strangers on floats...it's a nice place.  Plus, I'm an unabashed fan of cream soda. So what is my ruling?  Hand me a bottle opener!

That was stupid.  I started writing in past tense.  Hand me a bottle opener?  If you are reading this column, the bottle has clearly been opened.  Christ, have I chosen the wrong path in life?  Here's an idea.  Why don't you hand me a bottle of vodka and a fucking handgun?  That way, I can HEEEY!  And we're back!  Sorry, folks!  If you're not familiar with praline candies, they are described on Wikipedia as "confections made from nuts and sugar syrup."  They can have different ingredients depending on which continent you live on.  I live on Antarctica where pralines usually consist of seal blubber and an ice mountain.  My original joke was a Gorgoroth reference.

The aroma?  Notes of maple and brown sugar.  I was a bit surprised. I've never had pralines before, so I was expecting a basic cream soda bouquet.  The color - much like Flying Cauldron - is a beer amber.  Whoa, you might say that amber is the color of your energy (I'm sorry; I mean, I can't apologize enough).  The flavor!  Should I discuss the flavor?  Fine.  You win.  There is a lot going on here. Maple syrup, brown sugar, pecans, almonds, vanilla and finally, cream soda hit your tongue in a cannonry of holiday bursts.  For what it's worth, this would make a damn fine Christmas beverage for a family of white churchgoers.  I enjoy it, but I don't love it.  It certainly doesn't hold a candle to Flying Cauldron, which also revolved around nuts and cream.

Fact is, I have a spotty relationship with maple-imbued...anything. When I was 13 or 14 (give or take fifty years), I was eating maple sausage one morning when my body decided to open the chapters of my stomach and read them aloud onto the living room carpet. Ever since that fateful day, the shit has made me nauseous.  Simple as.  Ingesting Swamp Pop, maple was the first thing I tasted.  But that's my hang-up.  Most ladies and gentlemen don't have a problem with The Tree That Should Not Be that is grown for sap or timber (I totally ripped that part from a dictionary).  Ironically, my mother didn't care for this carbonated cola water.  She loves maple in all of its devious forms!  I don't know what that means other than the obvious - tastebuds are weird.

As a cream soda, Swamp Pop Praline Cream Soda rates as average.  It's heavy.  There are so many (almost too many) competing flavors, that lovely cream gets lost in the shuffle.  Again, I did enjoy it.  It's ridiculously smooth.  I will advocate for the Swamp Pop brand.  They have five other flavors, and some of them sound intergalactic.  Ponchatoula Pop Rouge is drenched in strawberry reverb.  Jean Lafitte Ginger Ale furthers the use of cucumbers and the marketability of WWF legend Jean Lafitte-Pierre.  Satsuma Fizz appears to be orange soda, but they don't come right out and say it. I appreciate that.  Click HERE to check out their website.  This was not a sponsored review.  Here is a giant clown in Hell.

The only visible DVDs are Hellraiser and Bill Maher's Religulous?  How perfect is this picture?


Album Cover of the Whatever

Hail!  That's the name of the band.  Sludgy black/death metal out of Finland circa 2003.  This is their only full-length release.  Is it worth checking out?  I...don't know.  I'm just now listening to it as I type. The production certainly gets "kvlt" points for being raw, but as I'm only midway through the first creation (which runs for fourteen minutes), I'll hold off on passing judgment.  Look at that cover, though!

Soda tomorrow.  Bring straws.


Two Paiges Stuck Together

Sweet merciful everything.

Let's be frank, shall we?  A.J. Lee saved the Diva's division.  There were great Divas (and Women) before her in the WWE/F, and there were sweeps of time interrupted by cycles of less exciting time that featured well-booked females.  Strong, capable females.  But even Lita and Trish were having terse, snip-snippety matches on television.  WrestleMania moments...what if I told you that neither Diva wrestled a match that lasted any longer than nine minutes on the grandest stage of them all?  That was Trish versus Mickie James.  Lita only wrestled once at a WrestleMania.  It was a triple threat that also involved Trish and Jazz.  Six minutes, if we're rounding down.

These patterns began to change when A.J. joined the main roster. Granted, it took awhile.  Her NXT was a world away from the NXT that exists at present.  But I watched it, and I knew she had what Chris Jericho is always yapping about.  It!  Man, she had "it" in spades.  She demanded your attention, and she demanded your respect in the same way.  Diva's matches were (very) slowly being given more time on pay-per-views.  Fast-forward!  After effacing the whole lot of the chicks at WrestleMania 30, A.J. lost her pink butterfly title to the debuting Paige.  Who was this alluring creature calling herself The Anti-Diva?

We know what happened from there.  This isn't a fucking recap.  As you (should) know by now, Paige is on her way out of the WWE. When she started banging Alberto Del Rio, I was puzzled.  I thought to myself, "Why would she start dating someone who probably won't be with the company before year's end?"  Then I looked back at her behavior.  She had spent the lion tamer's share of 2015 acting like a petulant teenager.  "Oh," I exclaimed.  Paige didn't care anymore. She renounced her sobriquet of Anti-Diva when she signed on for Total Divas.  It was there that fans were licensed access to her true form.  Heh, I don't mean to characterize her as a demon witch.  My phraseology is a tad on the dramatic side.  I know I sound harsh.

Here's the deal.  We were sold a goth chick who screams at the night sky and wins physical contests on the potency of her experience, as bequeathed to her by generations of grapplers.  We bought it because - for a few years at least - she played her character well. That's what professional wrestling is built upon.  Paige's truth is different.  She's a bratty punk who likes to party.  She's immature. "How do YOU know, Dom?"  Well, the latest is that she got Alberto's name tattooed on her ribs.  Remember, they have been together for three, maybe four months.  She is giving up cushy-as-fuck cash for this cat.  Hey, she may have left anyway.

Wrestling-wise, she'll be fine.  I have no doubt that she misses the creative autonomy of free agency.  Promotions such as Shine and Shimmer will welcome her with open arms.  Her and her mother worked as a successful tag team in Shimmer before she made the jump to WWE, so that wouldn't surprise me at all.  Of course, AAA and/or Lucha Underground wouldn't surprise me.  I might think she's making mistakes, but at the end of the day, I'm still a fan.  In my opinion, her matches outside of WWE - now that she's a big girl - will be superior to her matches inside of WWE.  I would expect less botches and more intriguing psychology.

PS - I do understand why she's "acting out."  She's never really had a chance to go to college, so to speak.  Plus, she's still so young.  If she's still wrestling in 8-9 years (and I suspect that she's a lifer), she will be the best women's wrestler on the planet.  Mark my words. She just needs a minute to grow up.

PS II: The Final Sacrifice - I opened this editorial by praising A.J. Lee for kickstarting the Diva's Revolution.  Without her, I firmly believe that we would still be insulting WWE's female athletes by calling them Divas.


Lord Mary almighty.


The Neon Demon

NOTE: If you haven't seen this movie yet and you don't want it spoiled, read only the first three paragraphs.

I knew I was right not to perv out on Elle Fanning when the trailer for The Neon Demon hit the webnet.  She was only 16 when she shot this flick.  Her character, Jesse, does things a 16-year-old shouldn't do, man.  I'm sure that shit's legal in...I don't know, fucking Arkansas, but to me, she still looks like the adorable kid in Super 8.  Then again, Jesse is 16.  So it's supposed to be a pensive, well-nigh bereaved film.  That's the vibe I picked up on when I viewed The Neon Demon last night.  I've been wanting to see it for ages (legal ages, that is).  Ideally, I would have seen it during its theatrical run locally, and before you punctuate my sentence with your defensive interference (first down at the spot of the foul), I realize that this stylish bite of horror hasn't left theaters.  Hence the word "locally."

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it out in time.  Now that I've eyeballed The Neon Demon, I can safely say FUCK!  I should have tried harder!  This isn't a movie; it's a mural.  "Beautiful" doesn't begin to describe the visuals on display.  Director Nicolas Winding Refn frames his shots in such a fashion that they stain your cornea.  But I'll be damned if I buy a bottle of Clorox to remove these dazzling stains.  Plus, my mom told me not to spray Clorox directly into my eyes.  Again.  I could go blind, or color blind.  Speaking of which, I learned that Refn is color blind.  Yeah.  I didn't believe it either. Apparently, he goes by contrast because he doesn't notice the muted shades in between the loud pops of, say, red and purple.

Is this a case of style over substance?  Not so fast.  Refn may have been influenced by Argento, but he only cribbed the constructive habits.  There is a linear story here.  Jesse shows up in Los Angeles with "gullible" stamped on her forehead.  She wants to be a model (or rather, she feels that's all she has to offer the world), and she is told by an agent to lie about her age.  Naturally, everyone she meets tries to take advantage of her.  A petite guff, if I may be so bold. Early in the film, the photographer helping Jesse along the way becomes aware of her true age.  It was implied that they like-liked each other, but hey, he agrees to help her anyway.  What a swell trooper!  In the next goddamn scene, he endeavors to make out with her.

Ugh.  Up to that point, he was the sole likable character, aside from Jesse.  The film redeems him, acting as if the statutory effort never happened.  It's weird.  It's worth repeating that the rest of the characters - aside from the cherubic Jesse - are dickbags.  You know what else is worth repeating?  A great cast!  That would be more clever if I had acknowledged the cast once already.  My favorite soubrette (term used incorrectly) is Jena Malone, and it doesn't hurt that I've had a minor crush on her since 2001's Donnie Darko.  Her performance is the most transformative.  I can imagine Keanu Reeves being an asshole (not that he is), but I can't imagine Malone bonking a corpse.  Technically, she bonked herself while...eh, you get the picture.

In my special opinion, Abbey Lee is tremendous as Sarah, a peevish, yet diffident model.  She's hungry.  Did I specify that she's hungry?  Lee hasn't been acting long, but it doesn't show.  I had no idea that she played The Dag in Mad Max: Fury Road.  You go, ghoul!  I've read interpretations of The Neon Demon's metaphors (not to mention its ending), and I have my own.  There is room for analysis, but I didn't find the basic plot to be overly complicated. Having said that, I'm ready to rewind and play it from the first reel!  I recommend this carcass-screwing, Fanning-eating, menstruation-celebrating Suspiria homage to fans of exploitation filmmaking at its finest.


Geek Out #126

Dinosaurs operating a diner.  That was a cereal.  How did I not know about this?  Don't bring up my age.  My age is irrelevant.  I adore 1943's Return of the Vampire and your mother's vagina.  They are both older than I am.  Dinersaurs is actually younger than I am, so what sedition has kept the knowledge of its existence away from me? Is it the THE MEDIA?

Look at how colorful it is.  Dinosaurs are wicked.  Yes, I know that I used present tense.


The Car

1977's The Car is about a car.  You probably knew that.  Chances are, you've seen this whirlwind pushcart.  Me, I saw squares and wrecktangles of it aeons ago, but I was too young to form an opinion. I wasn't the highfalutin' film critic I am now.  While The Car wasn't the first of its kind (way to go, Spielberg...dick), I don't mind saying that it's still an extremely effective genre treat.  Reading up on the production, I'm muddle-headed at the time and effort that went into the construction of the titular car(s).  There were four roadsters upreared for the project.  I understand that special provisions had to be made to account for safety and aesthetics, but to my ignorant eyes, the car in The Car looks like a junker.  It was sleek for 1977, I suppose.

Now I'm afraid that an elder is going to yell at me.  I don't know jack fuck about cars!  I will say this much; the villainous black Sedan (it IS a Sedan, isn't it?) is creepy.  Director Elliot Silverstein captures terrific wide shots of the car motoring in the distance, surrounded only by capacious desert flats.  Maybe a few sand slopes here and there.  This is normally where I would stolidly slide into a synopsis, but I covered it, man.  It's about a fucking car.  There are some people walking around in front of the camera.  James Brolin is steady as Wade, a copper who becomes the slewfoot in charge after the sheriff is mowed down.

Kathleen Lloyd isn't terrible as the love interest, but there are scenes where her delivery is cringe-worthy.  Take her "argument" with the car, for example.  It's so awkward.  It may be the dialogue, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.  Ronny Cox is convincing as the recovering alcoholic who hides a bottle of rotgut in his desk drawer. He falls apart as his partners perish, but he doesn't go into Hollywood hysterics.  In other words, he doesn't need to be slapped by our strapping hero.  He reacts realistically.  I found Eddie Deezen to be a peculiar casting choice as the front left tire on the car (in The Car).  Distracting, to say the least.

I'm averse to spoiling significant plot details (not that it would matter to too many folks), but I dig how the picture handles a certain character's death.  You can't predict the order of the fatalities.  This one, in particular, caught me off-guard.  If you've seen The Car, you know to whom I'm referring.  Was that...was that correct grammar? Sounds alright, but it feels shitty.  I'm going to scoff at it.  Scoff! We'll see if that fixes it.  Anyway, this is a tense movie that consummates most of what it sets out to achieve.  I don't get the spousal abuse angle, considering it's dropped halfway through. That's a bad thing. But overall, The Car is good.  It's a good thing!



Tomorrow, I'll be talking about a movie.  But movies are pretentious. Y'know?  Here, let me take a moment to discuss MY ART.  I created a separate Facebook page for scribblings.  Dark stuff.  Right now, I'm in the process of posting a short story as it's being written. I am also going to post poetry in the future.  But wrapped around the stories and the poems is a...well, a wrap-around story.  It's called Fovea, hence the name of the page itself.  Thus far, I've only revealed bits and pieces of it.  Slowly.  Vaguely.  It might be revealing itself to me.

Anyway, check it out HERE.  I need artists!  I would absolutely love to have original art for the cover photo, profile picture and who knows what else?  It would probably have to be a free gig, but think of it this way - you would be handing over your hard work and getting nothing in return!  Granted, that seems like a rotten deal.