There has been a kerfuffle in my step, a zidaction of my squimmetry.  A cock in my ass, so to speak.  What does that mean?  That just means there will be a SLIGHT delay in the publication of my next film review.  I wanted it to be up, like, now.  But it will be published!  As a token of my contrition, here is a PG-13 picture of Kendra Sunderland.  If the name doesn't ring a bell, she does things that are noooooot PG-13.


Album Cover of the Whatever

Isn't that a classy piece of art?  The dark, romantic colors.  The frost-bound blue.  The pensive burgundy.  The burgundy!  I have no idea what I'm talking about.  There's a reason why I'm not an art critic.  I do know something about metal, and this cover belongs to Orsok, the full-length debut from Nyrst.  They're an Icelandic black metal band.  I'm listening to it at this very moment.  It's...okay.  Honestly, I doubt that I'll remember much of it tomorrow.


Blood Capsule #92


I really hope you weren't expecting a positive review.  If you were, I am seriously worried about your mental welfare.  At this point, I'm worried about my mental welfare.  Enduring this grist-infused procession of despairing faces can and will turn a responsible member of society into an antsy, solicitous dune of jelly.  Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return is a sad movie, readers.  For the most part, the acting is dandy.  Lead cutie Natalie Ramsey almost seems like she's appearing in a credible feature, but you know her soul had to be on the brink of death.  Returning heavy John Franklin does his "diminutive demon" thing well, so what's the problem here?

We aren't given a reason to pay attention to the narrative.  Even if we did, nothing makes sense.  Nothing!  We find out the identity of He Who Walks Behind the Rows.  Who or what is He?  I don't fucking know!  Why is He so interested in cornfields?  I don't fucking know!  Why doesn't the lead cutie leave as soon as she is preternaturally carjacked by an undead vicar?  I don't fucking know!  "Vicar" might be the wrong term.  Again, I don't fucking know!  Fuck Isaac's Return.  I need a break.  I will finish this unhallowed series, but in order to stay sane, my next review will be something different.  Then I'll be back to annul this shit once and for all...!


A Band: Empire of the Moon

No, Empire of the Moon is not a chintzy sci-fi flick from the 80's (it fucking should be); it's a Hellenic black metal band.  Don't know why, but "kvlt" bands from Greece usually bring something special to the table.  Empire bring booming production and thrash-inspired leads.  Ah, I love it when shredding and black metal collide.  At the moment, I'm listening to this past January's Eclipse.  Across the interwebs, you'll see that title spelled in Greek symbols.  I'm a 'Murican, damn it!

Despite only having two long players to their credit, Empire of the Moon formed in 1996.  I feel cool jamming to their shit.  That's what you should take away from this column.  I.  Am.  Cool.  And dreadfully alone.  Look at those spooky dudes!


Utter Trash

Years ago, I wrote a piece for a buddy's zine.  Wouldn't you know it?  The zine is online now.  It's run by Bob Ignizio.  You Random Reviews superfans out there (all two of you) should recognize that name.  Ol' Bobby has written some comic book reviews for this very site.  Anyway, to visit Utter Trash, click HERE!


Rassle Inn #2


Did you guys know that there were "empty arena" matches contested before this global pandemic?  If you watch Raw or Dynamite, every match these days is held in an empty arena.  However, due to a unique conflux of circumstances, we have seen a few bouts arranged under traditional "empty arena" match rules.  Fuck, I'm already sick of typing "empty arena."  I shall be valorous and soldier on!  For you, my love!  This is all for you!

This seemed to start with Wrestlemania.  Edge and Randy Orton fought for days, though in all actuality, it was a Last Man Standing match.  Owing to its gritty nature (not to mention its substantial length), it gets grouped in with the other matches that I'll be covering.  What are those matches, you may ask?  Well, shit!  Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa on NXT and Jon Moxley versus Jake Hager on AEW's Dynamite.  With NXT's battle, the exact stipulations were left loose.  Triple H merely told the boys to finish their feud.  AEW's match was the most "old school" of the lot.  They even upped the ante by having Jim Ross deliver commentary.

I'll come right out and say it; all three matches were protracted beyond dialectics.  Beyond acumen.  Beyond fucking marbles!  They were too long, Daddy-o.  That doesn't necessarily mean that they were inferior.  Of course, I didn't love any of them either.  A favorite?  I'm not sure that I have one.  I dug the plot twist of sorts that resolved Gargano/Ciampa.  Nice payoff.  Edge/Orton...urgh, I couldn't jive with the angle.  The story felt lacking.  But!  I'm an Edge fan, and it was cool to see him back.

Mox/Hager was fine.  That's it.  While I appreciated the technical matwork in the beginning, the rest of the brawl was just that.  Tedious brawling.  I can't say that it was executed poorly, but I can say that it was tiring.  So no, I don't have a favorite.  If we're talking all-time, hold on there for a hot minute.  Ironically, three clashes come to mind.  The three best "empty arena" matches are as follows...

You'll have to excuse the poor video/audio quality of that last link.  In addition, you'll have to excuse the fact that I'm exhausted.  Goodnight, cruel moon.


Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

Did you know that Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror was based on a story written by - get this - Stephen King?  That's right.  Stephen fucking King.  The master of horror himself!  He probably hasn't seen this particular sequel, but that doesn't matter.  His fingerprints are...nowhere to be found.  I'll give it this much; it's sleek merchandise.  The visuals are mylar-smooth.  How the budget was stockpiled north of seven figures is anyone's best guess.  Was The Gathering actually successful?  It's neither here nor there.  The movie was made and I watched it.

The plot suggests that writer/director Ethan Wiley didn't give a fuck about anything.  Why are these children evil?  Because.  Technically, the superintendent brat, the agitator-in-chief (hmm, that wasn't as clever as I imagined), is "possessed" by a mystic, generic force in the middle of a cornfield.  Zero context.  By the way, said brat is played by Adam Wylie, no relation to Ethan.  That appellation won't ring a bell, but it's THIS kid.  Yeah.  Doesn't he look creepy and intimidating?  Son of a bitch, how did they settle on him?  Michael Cera has scared more moviegoers, and those were the squinting viewers who thought he was wearing a Michael Myers mask.

On the whole, the casting is fucking random.  We get a pair of Zappa kids (Diva and Ahmet), Alexis Arquette (pre-transition) and Eva Mendes in her first feature role.  The acting itself is wildly uneven.  To make matters tragic, Mendes stays incredibly clothed.  If we're talking characters, I didn't care for these fuckheads.  It's just a congregation of college students marooned in a small town looking for the long-lost brother of, um, Female Lead.  I'm positive that's her legal name.  No need to fact-check.  None of the components of the narrative are compelling or interesting in the slightest.  And the script is bald in terms of sustenance.  It doesn't field all of its players, and wow, I'm begging myself to come up with a vagina joke.  Sorry, me.

Two Z'Dars, which implies that I've spied worse.  I have!  Aside from the production values, there must be other saving graces.  There are!  But what are they?  Well, the running time clocks in at a merciful 83 minutes.  I didn't despise Female Lead.  She's bland, but again, I didn't despise her.  So those are two items in the "pro" column.  The gore is acceptable.  Christ, if this review were a person, it would be asleep.  My asshole itches.  Paragraph filler, paragraph filler.  I'm listening to a Christian doom/thrash band right now.  Seventh Angel.  Cool stuff all-around.  Can I stop typing?  Pleeeeeeease???


In Parenthesis

Here's a (small) site update.  I've been wanting to review a new-ish release or two, but I'm still shackled to a certain goddamn series.  I won't name it!  But I'm committed to finishing it.  I'm a man of my word.  Sometimes.  There is a chance that I'll temporarily break away to cover something fresh, but that's only if I can find it free or cheap.  Back in the day, I never thought I'd miss Blockbuster, but you know what?  I fucking miss Blockbuster!


Album Cover of the Whatever

It seems like I just posted one of these.  Ah, phook it!  I like this cover because it's just a blue sky.  It doesn't try to be clever or pretentious.  "Maybe the ocean represents the"--NO!  Shut the fuck up!  By the way, this is The Inalienable Dreamless, the third outing by Discordance Axis.  It's twitchy, scabrous grindcore, which makes the calming artwork all the more badass.  In my opinion, dude.

PS-Apropos of nothing, I've been giving grindcore a bit of my ears lately.  I've never really enjoyed it.  Apart from a couple of bands here and there, I'm finding that I still don't.  I'm cool with Axis, though.


A Band: Soliloquium

Soliloquium is a melodic death/doom metal band.  I remember digging their sophomore long player, 2018's moody Contemplations.  At first, they did come off as yet another tiny "bandcamp" project, but they sound more professional than, say, Finger the Cowboy or Skullcap Vertex.  I made those bands up, but still!  Is it too early to start a new paragraph?  Nah.

Things We Leave Behind is the latest Soliloquium jammer.  As a matter of public record, it was released in mid-March.  I'm undecided on which album I prefer.  Lead single "The Discarded" is a motherfucker of a tune, and the brutal drums on "Existential Misshape" twisted my xiphoid process into a xiphoid situation.  Trust me; that quip was both unnecessary and hysterical.  Two, maybe three people are buckled over with laughter right now.  Okay, no one is laughing.  May we continue?

A couple of the tracks on Things lose me.  Oddly enough, they feel too...simple?  It's hard to pinpoint.  Still, Soliloquium is an obscure band worth checking out, and hey, that's the purpose of this column.  As promised, here is some Kool-Aid!


Blood Capsule #91


The best one!  The most refined sequel of the series!  "Really, Dom?"  No!  Not really!  I can't believe how many reviews I've brushed over that hail The Gathering as the summit of this pelted franchise.  Honestly, I prefer Urban Sacrifice.  Profoundly feeble-minded, yes, but at least it had energy.  It had pluck.  It moved with purpose, deluded though it was.  This flick is a downer, man.  It's so listless and lymphatic, I would believe you if you said that it's listed as a symptom of Coronavirus.*  Naomi Watts is a stupendous actress and I understand that her character bears the brunt of abject stress.  But jeezy-creezy; am I the only one, or does Naomi look like she is fucking over it at several points during the film?  There is zero joy in her performance.

There is zero joy on-screen, people.  You can tell that the entire cast wanted to be elsewhere.  Too harsh?  Possibly, but if you haven't endured Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, I don't want to hear it.  If you have seen this blatherskite, feel free to disagree.  I can admit that the production values are adequate.  A creepy shot here and there.  Hey, I'm not capable of hating any feature starring Naomi Watts, even if it hates itself.  Next up?  I'm committed, so it's going to be Fields of Terror.  I must truly despise the face I see in the mirror.

*I am allowing myself another COVID joke.  It was either that or an abdominal aortic aneurysm.  Or dick cancer.


Rassle Inn #1

This is a wrestling column, so of course...OF COURSE I open with an image of a beautiful woman.  It's not random.  She's a professional wrestler.  It's shameful, and I'm ashamed.  But it's not random!  She's Penelope Ford, a quality "worker," in my opinion, for All Elite Wrestling.  If you're new here, I will be focusing on AEW, though irony is leaning its catawampus head over my shoulder.  I'm well aware that Wrestlemania is a mere two nights away.  Frankly, it should have been cancelled or postponed.

I get it.  I really do.  We want our entertainment, but at press time, we need our patience.  Countless calls to hold off on the event?  Vince says, "Oh, no.  We're running it twice!"  This is such a stupidly McMahon response to a solemn situation.  Will I watch?  I still own a Network account and I'm naturally curious, so yes.  I might as well.  It's going to happen whether I watch or not.  Isn't that a symptom of whatever virus Vince is hosting?  Mounting his "sports entertainment" circus regardless of extenuating circumstances?  The show must go on?  Etcetera?

His recipe, as banal as it has become, does not change.  It is impervious to ridicule.  I hate to say it, but I wonder if AEW should really be taping episodes of Dark and Dynamite right now.  This country still hasn't shut everything down.  That's going to prolong this period of communal syncope, but I don't want to tread near socio-political waters.  Eek!  That's not what I do best.  I'm much more comfortable saying that the 19-minute brouhaha between Trent and Kenny Omega was a "Match of the Year" candidate.  Loved the brutal action on the outside.  And Hikaru Shida's exchange with Britt Baker was simply awesome.

In all likelihood, I'll post comments about Wrestlemania next week.  We'll see what happens?  Excitement?  Yay?


Album Cover of the Whatever

The band?  Asunojokei.  The LP?  Awakening.  The genre?  Atmospheric black metal.  The country of origin?  Japan.  The red stuff?  Blood, maybe fire.  Ooh, feathers!  I'm thinking feathers.  Either way, it's a striking image.  Asunojokei just featured on a split with fellow atmoblackers Unreqvited.  It comes out Friday, but do start with this record.