Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

NOTE: I did use an African poster (Ghana, if I'm not mistaken), but that's only because...well, look at it.  It's just as zany as the film itself.  Yes, zany.  If I didn't know any better, I'd believe that modifier was created for this thing.  1995's Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest was directed by James Hickox, brother of Anthony and son of Douglas.  It was a filmmaking family.  I'll let you decide who inherited the most talent.  Now that I've ruminated for longer than two seconds, it was probably sister Emma, an editor.  Crimeny, I'm shitting all over the poor guy and I enjoyed this vacuous kernel!  Watch your step, for there may be other corn puns potted in the soil.

The franchise moves to the big city when adopted brothers Eli and Joshua...sorry, that sounded way too much like the back of a video box.  I miss video boxes.  Anyway, Eli is the younger kin.  He's the evil one.  It takes his family a sweet while to suspect that something unnatural is astir.  What tipped you off, Joshua?  Was it the cornfield that your little bro-bro planted next to an abandoned fucking warehouse?  Seemed shady, did it?  Alright, I'll call it quits with the rhetorical questions.  This whole flick is bonkers.  The school that our children (y'know, of the corn) attend educates multiple grades, but we only ever see older teenagers.  Even if Eli's stature is on the diminutive side, his classmates come off as a wee bit mature.

Whatever.  The acting is substandard.  Heh, I guess I should explain why I prize Urban Harvest.  This is b-movie verdure, pulpy entertainment of the finest caliber.  The pacing is a breeze, the gore is squishy and every ten minutes or so, we get what I call a "spook sting."  Not quite a jump scare.  You've seen them hundreds of times.  It's when a genre nugget (and they are usually dumb nuggets) feels like it has to remind you that you're watching a horror film.  Because remember, the studio deems you doltish, and your intelligence will be insulted.  In the case of Urban Harvest, I don't mind.  It simply adds to the carnival vibe.

I can't express how easy it was to view this scroungy sequel.  I'm making it sound base and tawdry, but in all honesty, it was produced reasonably well.  Hickox is no slouch behind the camera.  Urban Harvest had the slender, yet comfortable budget that any other direct-to-video Dimension property was afforded.  It's all very felicific.  In particular, I loved the scene where Joshua's buddy is attacked by roots and stalks in a nasty, spine-stretching way.  A few of the death sequences reminded me of 1995's Night of the Scarecrow, but I'm not crying ripoff.  After all, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest was shot in 1993.  Why it fermented on the shelf for two years, I have no idea.

Fun motion picture.  I don't know if it's on your favorite streaming service, you entitled millennial, but hey!  HEY!  Give it a whirl.


Rassle Inn

This could/should be a new column, but I need to cool it with creating new columns.  Basically, these are my scattered thoughts on the most recent happenings within the world of AEW (All Elite Wrestling).  Do any of you remember my old, ollllllllld Parts Unknown column?  I do not wish to put spade to earth and quarry the scraps of editorials past, but I remain a wrestling humanoid (read: nerd).  For nearly two decades, there existed a void where a promotion once stood.  Once WCW was cleared out, Vince McMahon was given free rein with domestic viewers.  It was clear, however, that he could not hold onto those eyeballs.

I feel like I'm starting too wide.  I'm being too general.  For fuck's sake, all you need to know (and you may already know) is that fans were dying for something fresh to watch.  WWE programming is stale.  Formulaic.  I was going to employ blue humor, but I'll spare you.  I will neatly flank the edges of a "dry vagina" joke.  You'll never know what I almost typed!  At any twat (pull yourself together, Dom), AEW's Dynamite has a distinct flavor.  Of course, it's their flagship show, although its Wednesday night time slot pits it against NXT, WWE's third-tier brand.

Speaking of NXT, I dig it!  Quite a bit, actually.  Because I do have the WWE Network, I can watch both programs.  Overall, I prefer AEW.  This is in spite of the fact that NXT possesses the best female worker on the planet (she's in contention for "best worker," regardless of gender) - Io Shirai.  Where am I going with all of this drifting burble?  I.  Don't.  Know.

I do know that next week, I'll be far more specific with my pro-wrestling prattle.  They have probably looked into this, but does anyone know if Shirai needs a green card?


Blood Capsule #90


You know me.  You know that I'm a kaiju nut.  So please, PLEASE take these partially positive comments with a grain of salt.  Reigo is not a good movie.  In factoid, it's barely passable as a b-movie.  The "plot" is threadbare, the special effects...fuck, I need to pause there.  If you squint at other reviews, you'll notice cracks about Playstation cutscenes.  Yeah, that's because the CGI in this ocean-set monster mash is baaaaaaaaad.  It isn't limited to the creature(s) either; no, that would be humanitarian.  The ships and explosions are also digital.  You are probably waiting for those partially positive comments, but I really needed to belabor the stodgy, downright disreputable production values.  Fuck.

See, this is how I know I'm a puerile, gorked manchild.  I had (a modest amount of) fun with Reigo.  Everything is rotten with the exception of the characters, and while it's true that the characters are very nearly rotten, they are agreeable enough to keep this miscreation afloat.  I did want to see how it concluded.  Speaking of which, I can't decide if the last 10 minutes are unspeakably awesome or vomit-inducing.  How the hell do I even describe them?  The picture shifts into kabuki mode after we learn that all of the main players die.  Oh, spoiler alert.



So I've been trying to think of a new metal column.  You have any ideas?  What I might do is emerge every so often with a band.  A somewhat obscure band.  Write about them, describe their sound, link to their page(s)...what should I call it?  Basically, you're doing all of the work here.  I am your crippled conduit.  Expect the first edition of this as-yet-untitled column no later than December of 2036.  The next item up for bid will be a Blood Capsule.

By the way, I'm listening to Kuarahy, the debut disc from White Stones.  Mid-tempo death metal (I've been digging an abundance of mid-tempo death metal lately) brewed, in part, by Martin Mendez of Opeth.  Solid stuff!


Album Cover of the Whatever

Vampire: Hey, did you see that Dom is doing Random Reviews again?

Werewolf: Yeah, that's cool, I guess.  But like, what's his deal?  He'll probably just go on another hiatus.

V: Hey, give the crip a break.  Him and I have a mutual buddy.  I think he's just doing it to do it.  Stress-free, y'know?

W: No, I get it.  I do like reading about weird horror movies and extreme metal.

V: You'll be glad to know that he's upping the metal quotient an iota or two.

W: I know you said you have a mutual buddy, but how do you know so much abo--wait, Dom?  Is that you?

V: Shut your fucking hole or I'll kill you!

W: Wait, what the fuck?

*The vampire fucking kills the werewolf."

V: Christ, I just killed a werewolf.  Well, now that you're dead, I'll tell you about this incredible album cover.  It's Vaisseau's Horrors Waiting in Line.  Instrumental synth-metal.  Normally, I wouldn't be into it, but I'm cool with these tunes.  Super catchy.  Reminds me of Acid Witch.  And the cover...what can I add?  It's nuts.  Hey, are you still dead?


Color Out of Space

I have yet to read the source material (don't worry; I plan on rectifying that), but from what I gather, H.P. Lovecraft described the literal color that fell from outer space as "indescribable."  Like no color on Earth.  So y'know, pink.  With a tincture of purple.  I didn't realize that occult, cosmic horror could be demystified so easily, but I'll give director Richard Stanley a pass.  We had to see it, I suppose.  And I'm glad that Stanley was the auteur to bring this short story to the big screen.  It's unfortunate that it tanked harder than the RMS Lusitania.  Hmm, that's curious.  I thought my first trendy pop culture reference would be a COVID-19 gag.  But I digress...

As I was saying, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat, which wasn't helped by its awkward starboard tilt.  Historians have observed that all 1,198 casualties deserved to die.  How fortuitous!  I once witnessed a lunker of a barge being routed by a segue.  Came out of nowhere, man.  A meteor crashes onto the property of one Nathan Gardner, a retired everyman played by not-an-everyman Nicolas Cage.  If you know the general narrative, then you know that this uninvited quark causes strange things to happen.  Nathan's wife calmly slices off her fingers, alpacas are turned inside out in a nightmarish scene straight out of John Carpenter's The Thing, and of course, the outdoors turn pi--er, a bizarre color.

I want to start by discussing Cage, as he was the second biggest draw for me (next to the title; I was going to rent this fucker regardless).  At first, I came away feeling like he went through his whackadoo motions.  I could see him rationalizing his performance.  "Let's be honest, kids.  Going full-blown Cage is the crutch I will use to get sassy and my fans will eat it up.  Slurp my mayonnaise, buttercunt."  NOTE: That's simply how I imagine he talks to himself.  Please don't ruin that fantasy for me.  Contrarily, I decided that this was the perfect project for Nicolas Cage to be himself, for lack of a better phrase.  If he's going to flip out and riffle through splashy, chromatic profanity, it should be in Richard Stanley's adaptation of an uneasy Lovecraft yarn.  Ya dig?

I dig.  In fact, I liked the entire cast.  At the risk of resembling an immature twerp, how cute is Madeleine Arthur?  She portrays Lavinia, Nathan's holistic Wiccan daughter.  The script fleshes her out the most, even more than Castor Troy.  High-five me if you're also a Face/Off adherent.  Joely Richardson is nuanced as Theresa, the "accident-prone" wifey-poo.  Tommy Chong rounds out the company as Ezra, and I don't need to tell you that he kicks ass.  I really appreciate how his role is handled, but I can't say too much about it.  Spoiler landmines and all.

Speaking of spoilage, the mystery of the plot is dealt with dexterously.  Details are fed to the viewer at the right intervals.  Having said that, Color Out of Space retains all of its mystique.  That couldn't have been easy to accomplish.  Complaints?  Sure, I have a few.  The CGI...was that mess necessary?  This breed of genre reel uses subtlety to its advantage, and I can practically hear other critics opining that Lovecraft specialized in monstrosities that we couldn't physically see.  So did we need to see purple blobs of what-the-fuck?  I will admit, there are nice moments of practical make-up, one involving...eh, I shouldn't say.  Goddamn spoilers!

My only other quibble is that the family dialogue presents as stilted.  Is it just me?  I doubt it.  I'm right 100% of the time.  That's a fairly high percentage.  At any rate, I do recommend Color Out of Time.  Reading back, this has the makings of a 4-Z'Dar review, but in my arthrogrypotic heart, it just misses the mark.  Ideally, I'd go with a 3.8.  I don't do that shit, though.  Take it away, Cordell!