5/16/21

I mean, I dug Jeepers Creepers...


It's no secret that I love Creepshow.  It's my second favorite horror film of all time, beaten only by the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  When I heard that there would be a streaming series based on the fictitious omnibus comic book, I had mixed feelings.  At the time, I didn't know who the hell would be involved.  As soon as Taurus Entertainment became attached to the project, my pancreas sank into my cunt.  Did we learn nothing from Creepshow 3?

Thankfully, Greg Nicotero (the "N" in KNB) jumped into the fray.  It's evident that he cares about the material.  Apart from the odd fizzling misfire, the majority of vignettes maintain a consistent stratum of quality.  I miss those communal days when you tuned into a certain channel at a certain time to watch, say, The X-Files, but I have to admit we are fortunate that a serialized Creepshow isn't bogged down by TV censors.  Zombies are free to munch on intestines.  Barbara Crampton is free to tell a plumber to fuck himself.  That's a win/win situation!

I won't review each installment, but I was compelled to jot down a few thoughts on "Night of the Living Late Show," the latest episode.  Unlike its precedents, the entirety of the episode is devoted to one story.  First off, it's nice to see Justin Long again.  I have so many questions for that guy.  Anyway, the way that "Living Late Show" interlaces classic footage into the narrative is ingenious.  How neat would it be to walk into your favorite movie and speak to the characters?  The premise is full of possibilities.  Honestly, I'd love to hand the plot over to Christopher Nolan and just...stand back.

That's not to say that Nicotero (he occupied the director's chair for this little ditty) defalcated the minutes with which he was entrusted.  His efforts are splendid.  I had fun with "Living Late Show," though I was marginally disappointed by the ending.  Without spoiling it, the payoff wasn't worth the build-up.  In my opinion.  Shit, Herman's Head is starting.  Later!

5/14/21

The McPherson Tape


Just when you think you've seen every obscure horror nugget on this sublunary sphere of ours, a new title smacks your capillaries.  Of course, The McPherson Tape was only "new" to me.  It was released in 1989.  The budget was so microscopic, it barely made its way to video shelves.  Hell, it barely existed.  Master footage was vaporized in a warehouse fire, so fans are lucky to see this flick at all.  What is The McPherson Tape, you may be wondering?  It's the first "found footage" film where the entire running time is allocated to mysterious surviving rushes of videotape.  Cannibal Holocaust doesn't count, even if the concept is identical.

I would admonish the makers of The Blair Witch Project for conspiring to concoct the perfect shell game, but honestly, I'd be surprised if they had knowledge of The McPherson Tape.  How many of you have heard of it?  Put your hand down, Dean.  The tape, as it were, was directed by Dean Alioto.  He also stars as Mike, the bloke behind the camera.  We're at his niece's birthday party.  Aunts and uncles are present; Grandma is here and...no friends?  She's old enough to have friends, so what gives?  Do Mommy and Daddy observe one of those weird religions?  Do they pattern their lives after Foof-Sa, Redeemer of Clits and Calisthenics?

Right, so the manly men of the family go outside to investigate a loud crash.  The crash was accompanied by blinding lights.  Before you can enunciate "I want to believe," they stumble upon a grounded spacecraft, shadowed by three peculiar beings.  The family is given a spook, and thanks to Mike's running camcorder, we find out what happened on that fateful night.  Apparently, many denizens were deluded into concluding that The McPherson Tape was really, really real.  For 1989, this is chilling stuff.  I won't tell you that the acting is 100% convincing, but I was impressed.

You have to meet the film halfway in the sense that you have to be patient to reap the most spine-tingling rewards.  If you're willing to play ball, you'll get to know the key players before they are faced with the supervention of curious, concerning circumstances.  You learn a lot about someone by observing how they respond to a crisis.  The family featured herein feels like a typical assemblage of people, and personally, I recognized elements of my own family (both immediate and extended).  I'm certain that connection assisted in my enjoyment of The McPherson Tape.  The lack of special effects didn't bother me one bit.

At 63 minutes, this sci-fi morsel doesn't get a chance to wear out its welcome.  I need to be careful not to overhype it.  I didn't have a religious experience or anything, but it's worth taking out for a spin.  Hey, here's a factoid!  None of the characters in The McPherson Tape bear the surname of McPherson.  That's a name that shows up in the 1998 remake, also helmed by Alioto.  Somewhere along the way, information was mixed up and UFO Abduction (this movie) was released onto DVD/Blu-ray as The McPherson Tape.  I dunno.

   

5/13/21

MORE foreshadowing?


I swear, this is a real clue.  Can you guess which film I'm reviewing next?  It will either be posted early afternoon tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday.  I would be legitimately shocked if someone guessed correctly, but if you do, I'll send you something.  I don't know what yet.  Nothing major.  But something.  God, you're so excited.

5/11/21

Dead Review Collection #2 - BUTCHERED!


Strangely, I don't have a strong opinion on Butchered at Birth.  I do know how I feel, but the impression it left on the slate of my metal mettle is somewhat faint.  You can't say he same thing for that artwork...holy fuck!  It's intense and immodest in 2021; can you imagine how flagrantly dissolute it was in 1991?  The band was over its puttering dalliance with thrash.  This was a blunt-force death metal record and it couldn't be mistaken for anything else.  If you weren't sure, Chris Barnes has aimed his vocals lower than usual.

I suppose I'll start there.  St. Christopher's performance is fucking killer.  His tone is brutal, and while I wouldn't describe his style as clear or intelligible, he is more than serviceable (in other words, "fucking killer").  Lyrically, we are disinterring brand new ground.  I find the material to be highly entertaining.  Why does society get so touchy over dead babies?  As.  If.  In all seriousness, the topics covered correspond with the racket, so at least Cannibal Corpse is a consistent unit.  As an adult, I still giggle reading the lyric sheet.  You can't take my iniquity away, middle America!

I mentioned earlier that the songwriting promulgated a narrow focus on death metal.  Normally, "narrow" would have a negative connotation, but in this case, attenuate ambitions contributed to the album's success.  The guitars sound like they crawled out of the sewer.  This is husky, claustrophobic music.  Yes, you can hear Suffocation and Immolation, but CC had their own thing.  The roustabout rhythms, the grunt riffs, the...well, the grunts.  I'm not conveying the most accurate image.  The guys in CC were not unskilled cavemen.  These songs simply inspire me to bash my head into concrete as an unskilled caveman would.

Standouts?  "Meat Hook Sodomy" is a perfect opener, and I'm not just talking about the strident feedback and the pitch-shifted irruption ("irrupt" is an actual word; I couldn't believe it either...this language is bogus).  I love the drum fills and the open-note bolts of riffage.  NOTE TO SELF: Create a metal thesaurus.  "Covered With Sores" might be the heaviest track.  Again, riffage.  "Vomit the Soul" and the title track irradiate my floodlights, which is my goofy way of eulogizing them.  I've tried to underscore the sharpest aspects of Butchered to placate nagging guilt.  Of what am I guilty?

I don't like this record very much.  I know.  If I were to rank Cannibal Corpse's prolific discography (ain't gonna happen), Butchered at Birth would appear somewhere in the teens.  It's not the worst opus, but it's rare that I'm in the mood for this particular shade of rot.  To be specific, the production is a downer.  Jack and Bob are castrated in the mix, whereas Alex is nowhere to be found.  Everything is muffled.  Okay, Paul and Chris come out alright, but at the end of the day, this set doesn't leap out at you.  It slumps over.  However, it's an early 90's death metal LP, so it's cool by default.  You're cool by having read this review.  Me?  Fuckin' fuggedaboutit...

  

5/10/21

Album Cover of the Whatever


One of metal's finest EP's, if not the finest of all time.  Is that fair to say?  Regardless, it's cool.  I don't need to inform you that I cherish the cover.  The coffin surfboard is a brilliant touch.  That giant wave...that's my favorite color.  I feel like I've said that before, but on the off-chance that I haven't, my favorite colors are hot pink and teal (or variants of turquoise).  Gander the Miami Heat's "ViceVersa" jerseys.  It's almost like I designed them myself!

5/8/21

Dom the Mail Cripple


Every time I subscribe to Shudder, I drop it after a month or two.  Then...I subscribe to Shudder!  Right now, I'm a subscriber, and I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy.  I know what I want to review next (and of course, there are other ways to watch movies), but I'll ask anyway - is there something on Shudder that I should review?  You tell me.  If I pick your recommendation, nothing exciting will happen.  Send entries to P.O. Box 5eszxghjkoplmdrui!

With proof of purchase.

5/5/21

Blood Capsule #108

THE DAY OF THE BEAST (1995)

Alex de la Iglesia is rapidly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers in the solar system (Jupiter's Zepo-099 is nipping at his heels, it's worth mentioning).  I have only seen three of his works, but all of them are practically perfect.  Okay, that might be hyperbole.  I see that I gave 2013's Witching & Bitching four Z'Dars.  If this were a full review of The Day of the Beast, I'd slap five Z'Dars at the bottom of it.  Iglesia spins style and impudent humor around a tale of a priest committing sins in a bid to invoke Satan.  He wants to sell his soul to the devil and seeks favor from legitimate Satanists so that he can slay the son of the Antichrist at his birth ceremony.

There is a lot going on here, which I'm finding is somewhat of a staple in Iglesia's chiffonier of wild cards.  Despite the busy storyline, Beast hangs together quite nicely.  It never feels like too much.  You would definitely jam this picture into the horror section of your make-believe video rental, but as with the bulk of Iglesia's joints, it acts as a genre kaleidoscope.  There are bursts of action, moments of monster magic (get a load of Goatman), and above all, strokes of comedy that are actually funny.  The script is sharp, and dare I type it, brainy!  Metalheads will love the references to death metal bands.  One of the characters owns and operates a record store...dude, "awesome" doesn't do it justice.  I guess you could say the same for The Day of the Beast.  Watch it pronto!

5/4/21

Sex, Lies, and COVIDeotapes


That's a chunk of the censored artwork for Cannibal Corpse's epic Tomb of the Mutilated, one of the best death metal albums of all time.  Obviously, I'm not reviewing it yet (I'll have the Butchered review done by Sunday), but I wanted to say a couple of things.  A) CC's censored covers are still pretty sweet.  B) See that rotting zombie gentleman front and center?  That's me, or at least that's how I feel.  No, I don't have Covid.

My mother and I received our second Pfizer vaccinations yesterday, and golly shit, our side effects have knocked us loopy.  We're both freezing.  Without grossing anyone out, we have had materials eject themselves from the piths of our cores.  We MIGHT be trending in the right direction?  This shouldn't last too long.  Unfortunately, I was going to post a Blood Capsule, but it can wait until tomorrow.

Please keep us in your twats and bears.

4/30/21

Geek Out #148


Rare footage of Alfred (of Batman fame, of course) being a badass and besting The Joker at his own game.  This stuff is too priceless.

4/29/21

Rassle Inn #17


In a past entry, I questioned the logic of "invading" Impact Wrestling.  Cross-promotion activity is exciting, but it seems like AEW is reaching down to lift a nephew/niece so that the scamp can sit on an adult's shoulders.  Winning their top title should be a momentous occasion.  But it's Impact.  Holding AAA's Mega Championship is more impressive.  What does it mean to most viewers?  Sure, it's Mexico's number one wrestling company, but where does it rank in the States?  Hint: it doesn't.  I'd wager that MLW attracts a higher number of eyeballs online than any promotion south of the border.

Hold up!  I'm not trying to slam AAA (or CMLL, for that matter).  I did say that I was impressed by Omega's grab for gold.  He traveled to a different country during a pandemic for the business he loves.  To me - Dominic Jay Coccaro - The Cleaner is sitting at the apex of professional wrestling.  As Queen Elizabeth II would say, he is King Shit of Fuck Mountain.  However, most of America hasn't noticed.  Even capturing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship wouldn't shift tectonic plates, though it might cause a few extra heads to turn.  The combat sports world would only stir if Omega won a significant prize under the banner of...you guessed it.

When that does happen, you could probably guess the temperature it will be in Hell.  Again, I arrive at frustration.  AEW always does this shit to me.  How do I feel about Omega holding three championships from three separate companies?  I like it.  And I don't like it.  See, I was cursed with one of those active brains and I can see both sides of almost any issue.  The WWE looks at AEW's main event scene and laughs, especially now that Impact is involved.  Unfortunately for them and their universe, AEW's product is twice as entertaining (and that's lowballing it).

Apropos of nothing, you should check out MLW's Fusion.  Apparently, they are returning to live crowds and a new network in July.  They might just creep up the ladder without a Khan or a McMahon catching wind of it.

4/27/21

Dead Review Collection #1 - EATEN!

I'm reviewing every full-length Cannibal Corpse album.  Yes, I'm crazy!  Each piece will be posted according to a rigid set of guidelines.  A review is published when...when I'm done writing it.  So check back on those days?


This blood-splattered platter stands apart from the rest of Cannibal Corpse's discography.  As die-hard (all puns are intended) fans know, Eaten Back to Life is suffused with streaks of thrash.  It wasn't a matter of geography; the guys were based in New York.  If they were going to absorb local leanings by osmosis, their music would have had a hardcore bent to it.  The members simply listened to a lot of Slayer and Kreator.  I don't know that they deplored the more melodic, accessible stuff (I'm thinking of two M's), but CC had a specific goal.  At this point, death metal may have existed in some form, but it wasn't a concrete thing.  Thanks to these badass motherfuckers, it was about to be a thing.

Throughout this series, I will use "CC" as shorthand for Cannibal Corpse.  Trust me when I tell you that I'm never referring to C.C. DeVille.  I wanted to squash that confusion from the get-go.  I'm also going to use an unnecessary amount of profanity.  Anywho, this fucking fucker was not my introduction to the gore gods, despite it being the debut.  I started with a record from the George era.  I had an inkling of what to expect from vintage CC, but honestly, I popped it into my CD player with mild trepidation.  You see, I knew that Eaten was basically a thrash album on performance-enhancing drugs.  I'm not the biggest thrash nut in the world.

Calm down.  I like the usual suspects from the 80's, but my favorite thrash was recorded in the late 80's/early 90's.  Y'know, when the subgenre was dying?  Holy Terror, Realm, Demolition Hammer, Mordred, Exhorder...that shit kicks my ass.  Okay, so maybe I do like thrash!  It's a moot point.  Eaten contains 20% thrash and 80% death metal.  The elements are there, but "Put Them to Death" will never be mistaken for sunlit Bay Area rage.  I will say, the beginning of "Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains" is pure Slayer.  I almost wonder if it was intentional as a nod to a revered band.

Eaten is fun.  That's the main vibe I get from these tunes.  They certainly don't make me feel icky or odious (that comes later).  No, I imagine myself skateboarding home from school and listening to CC while chugging a can of Crystal Pepsi.  I could never skateboard, but just go with it.  Segue!  Man, these riffs.  Look up "heavy" in a thesaurus and pick any of the suggested synonyms.  Sweet bastard, the opening of "Born in a Casket" sends my mind into a wrestling ring where I pummel a poor sap.  In fact, that would be my entrance theme.  Go listen to it.  How badass is that???

It's a rhetorical question.  You don't have to respond via snail mail.  Put away your stationery, cute though it may be.  Elsewhere, "Mangled" clubs itself over your head with Paul's relentless drumming and the gang shouts of "Maaaangllleeed!"  As for other choice cuts, I'm partial to "A Skull Full of Maggots" and "Buried in the Backyard," the two tracks that close this horror film on tape.  The former is a call-and-response live staple, while the latter identifies as awesome.  What do I write about the lyrics?  In my heart, I'll always be an irresponsible teenager, so I think they're cool.

Compared to 1994's The Bleeding and every Six Feet Under record, Chris Barnes seems to be trying to devise sensible lyrics.  His vocals haven't matured yet.  It's a decent bark.  And again, compared to downstream SFU releases, he sounds fine.  I'm not here to gauge how Eaten Back to Life stacks up against Altars of Madness or Scream Bloody Gore.  I'll leave that to "professional" journalists.  I do quite enjoy it and recommend it to fans of Crystal Pepsi.

   

4/23/21

Album Cover of the Whatever


Bats!  A castle!  One of Earth's moons!  That's a sweet cover.  And I dig the chalky look, as it gives the image texture instead of being simple black-and-white.  The music?  Norwegian black metal.  It's mostly mid-paced, which I appreciate.  Blastbeats get old (old death) after awhile, y'know?

4/22/21

The House on Sorority Row


If 1982's The House on Sorority Row was released in 2002 (or even today), it would have been met with groans and pupils swimming to the backs of heads.  No, it wouldn't have caused orgasms.  This kind of thing is old hat.  It was certainly platitudinous in the early aughts.  But just as distance makes the heart grow fonder, time has a way of sweetening incidents and circumstances we leave behind.  Sorority Row wasn't released today, so I can attach a hospitable warmth to it that I can't attach to, say, the prostitute I murdered last night.  Don't bother sending condolences.  She had no friends or family.  Now that I think about it, she's probably in Hell.

See, the whore...oops!  I forgot which trash I was reviewing.  That's unfair; this film doesn't feel nearly as trashy as I expected.  The plot is standard fare.  A group of sorority sisters are planning a graduation bash (or whatever), but the den mother insists on pissing in the direction of their parade.  They decide to pull a prank on the battle-axe biddy.  In short, they accidentally neutralize her.  They neutralize the shit out of her.  Should they call the cops?  Where will they hide the body?  Does Vicki have a license for that gun?  Answer me!  DOES VICKI HAVE A LICENSE FOR THAT GUN?

The rest is a slasher.  I have to hand it to the effects crew.  The death sequences are brutal, even if they aren't thoroughly convincing.  Eileen Davidson (fuckin' Vicki) drops her top.  Good for her!  I find it funny that she has spent 36 years playing one character on a soap opera.  Goes to show that if you bare your delicious flesh in a "body count" flick, you are practically guaranteed stable employment for decades to come.  Director Mark Rosman succeeds in capturing splashy colors and framing smart sets at just the right angle.  If Sorority Row was a Christmas present, it would be meticulously wrapped with care.  No visible bands of Scotch tape here!

On a sidenote, the sound of a tape dispenser causes my brain to bleed.  Gah!  Sorry for the tangent.  Most of the characters are realistic, the pace is nimble, and while the "twist" is easy to decipher, the ending is somewhat tense.  Somewhat.  I enjoyed The House on Sorority Row.  That's what I'm telling you.  Look, I wasn't ejected into outer space by the force of dumbstruck bewilderment, but this is a sly shindig.  I'm not typically a slasher nut.  Nine times out of ten, a spookshow of this mold (especially from the early 80's...I'm more into the mid-to-late 80's) won't jolt my jodhpurs, so if it entertained me, it would probably entertain you.

   

4/19/21

Geek Out #147


I've been getting into the habit of foreshadowing reviews with misleading clues.  Or are they misleading?  Foreshadowing!

4/17/21

A Blog Full of Maggots


I don't review as much music as I used to, but I've been meaning to rectify said breach.  I'm about to undertake a massive...um, undertaking.  The metallic among you know that Cannibal Corpse have just released their fifteenth album.  It is Violence Unimagined.  It is holy.  Eventually, I'm going to cover it, but not before covering the fourteen records that preceded it.  That's right, nation; I'm planning a Puppet Master Series Review redux where I swap out loopy (read: mostly shitty) b-horror in exchange for cool death metal.

This will be a tiring endeavor, but it won't be nearly as painful as subjecting myself to Puppet Master: The Legacy.  Still, I want to smooth over any potential sand traps that I encounter on the back nine, if you'll excuse the golf metaphors.  I won't have much to type on certain Corpse platters, so for the rare instances when I'm short on words, I'll utilize my patented Blood Capsule format (patent pending).  I'll need a catchy title for those bits.  After all, I'll probably do other "musical Blood Capsules" in the future.

Ideas?  Yes, I'm asking you.  The adventure starts in approximately one week.  You can hardly contain myself!

4/13/21

Rassle Inn #16


I've developed a habit of compiling my favorite albums of the year when the time is appropriate.  Eh, it's something that metalheads do (not that it's exclusive to metal).  I hate ranking anything, but I understand the compulsion to point to one album and crown it as the absolute best in its field.  I would compile a similar list for films every year, but I'm out of the loop.  Sad to say, I don't catch nearly enough current flicks to accurately judge the creamiest of the crop.  It would be as pointless as redlining a recalled batch of Chrism, the admixture of oil and balsam that is consecrated and used for baptismal anointment.  You know???

Then you have your matches of the year.  No, I don't want to start ranking wrestling, but something occurred to me while watching the main event of Wrestlemania 37 (night two, that is).  We're only in April.  That's the fourth month out of...18?  19?  But my point!  My point is that I don't see any match for the duration of 2021 topping the masterclass put on by Edge, Daniel Bryan, and Roman Reigns.  When it was over, I literally uttered, "Holy shit."  Look, I can appreciate the dereliction of duty that has been WWE television.  It has been an abomination.  If I could, I'd fucking fire Vince McMahon.

However, it's important to commend the highlights when they do happen.  This sucker had a "big match" feel.  The crowd was hanging on every single thing that these three tough customers did, even when they did nothing.  I glimpsed a couple of spots that I've never seen before.  Of course, this wasn't a spotfest.  Everything made sense, and going in, I had no clue which superstar was going to walk out with the Universal title.  And the storylines...too epic!  All of the participants were stripped away from their vocation, their fucking passion in life, only to persevere against harrowing odds to battle for the ultimate prize.  I mean, damn!

2021 has seen its share of killer matches.  If this were a formal list, I would say honorable mentions include AEW's Jungle Boy vs. Dax Harwood, ROH's Bandito vs. Rey Horus vs. Flamita, NJPW's Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi, NJPW's Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi, NXT's Walter vs. Tommaso Ciampa, WWE's Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan (with Edge as special enforcer), and Christ, this is the fourth month out of, what, 26?  We have a lot of wrestling to ogle yet!

4/11/21

A Band: Ljosazabojstwa


Don't ask me to pronounce this band.  In fact, if I'm not in front of a computer, don't even ask me to spell their name.  It's a bugbear that comes with being a "tr00" metalhead.  We see cool bands mentioned online, and half of the time, we can't pronounce their names.  I'm not just talking about foreign acts.  No, Americans like to be cute with their creativity, too.  Everyone wants a logo that can't be read for a band that can't be name-dropped without accidentally biting one's jaw (that shit hurts, man).  "Have you heard of Rhthrrlrhry?  They sound like a cross between Uuzquiizzsep and Aeae5ea?"

I'll move on.  I've never seen or heard anyone else mention Ljosazabojstwa.  On one hand, I'm not surprised.  They seem content with the level of success they have already attained.  None of their songs are in English, so they aren't pushing too hard to be discovered.  On the other hand, I'm a tad mystified.  I mean, this stuff rules!  Where are they located, you ask?  Minsk, Belarus.  Don't look now, but there is a pretty sweet scene brewing in Belarus.

Ljo...ugh, LSZB (the group itself uses this abbreviation as shorthand) play a grimy mosaic of grinding death metal and blithely profane black metal.  Nothing here is too technical for its own sake.  Every tune punches me in the throat, and let me tell you, my uvula has never felt this happy being swollen.  LSZB's badassery doesn't end with the music.  All of their artwork is handled by the same guy (I presume he's a band member, but they don't want us to know), and dude, it's fucking sick.  The below image adorns Gloryja Smierci, their lone long player.  His creepy, rudimentary, horror-friendly style can be found on all of LSZB's releases.

I thought I had something else to say that would warrant a paragraph break, but nope!  I'm tapped.  Check out Ljosazabojstwa.


4/10/21

Album Cover of the Whatever


I was going to write something else, but as you may or may not know, Wrestlemania starts tonight (it's a two-night event).  Will I regret watching it?  Possibly, but I'm only human!  Anyway, Chainsword.  They clearly play death metal.  Recommended for fans of Bolt Thrower, Bolt Thrower, and Bolt Thrower.

4/7/21

Blood Capsule #107

THE OILY MANIAC (1976)

I've seen a couple of the Shaw Brothers films, but man alive, I need to see others.  Stat!  They specialized in wacky martial arts/sci-fi/horror/exploitation binges.  Notice that I didn't use commas.  That's because most of their junkets combined all of those "special interest" genres.  The Oily Maniac is light on kung-fu, but more abstruse pursuits are well-represented.  Synopsis incoming...when a man's uncle is butchered by thugs, he invokes black magic to enact slick revenge.  Get it?  Oil slick?  I'm too goddamn clever for this fertile, cerulean marble.

If you haven't figured it out by now, our protagonist mutates into a literal oil demon (newspapers actually refer to the brute as The Oily Maniac).  It's a transformation thing, but he can transform if he slathers oil all over his frame.  The creature suit is marvelous.  I mean, it's just adorable.  Thankfully, the titular anti-hero is featured prominently throughout The Oily Maniac.  If the meat of the film was digestible, that would be a pitfall.  But the sad truth is that the monster happenings are the only bright spots in a rayless - damn, I've already used slick.  Texas Tea kettle?  Anyhow, unless you're enthused by crude* characters and unpleasant nudity (okay, 20% of the nudity is pleasant), I'd advise passing on this one.

*-Pun intended, and you knew it as soon as you saw it.

4/5/21

Geek Out #146


When I visit YouTube (y'know, dot com), the website recommends videos that its algorithms have decided I'll enjoy.  I think that's how it works.  In any case, YouTube knows me extremely well.  Today's Geek Out is an example of what I see when I go tubing.  Metal and candy?  Yes, please!

4/3/21

Godzilla vs. Kong


The pandemic has claimed thousands upon thousands of casualties, the most adverse and woeful being - you guessed it - the cinema!  I have heard that the death toll included humans, but that seems a little farfetched, no?  Back to the matter at hand.  We haven't felt safe enough as a nation to visit multiplexes in chorus since March of 2020.  That was a fucking year ago.  Apparently, moviegoers are getting antsy and downright indignant, as Godzilla vs. Kong has rustled up robust numbers at the box office.  I'm impressed.  One would think that the cushy HBO Max deal would appeal to kibitzers who prefer to watch their blockbusters on the sofa.

It makes sense.  If anything was going to snap Hollywood out of its wampum-divested coma, it was going to be this electric, exhilarating sugar rush of a film.  The plot is both basic and convoluted.  Set fifty years after the events of 2017's Kong: Skull Island, Titans are now an accepted splinter of society.  Kong is allotted his own enclosure, a virtual reality environment made to mimic Skull Island.  When The Big G awakens and unexpectedly abrades turf he once protected (a heel turn???), The Eighth Wonder of the World is solicited for his beast-thrashing powers.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, we also follow Madison (Millie Bobby Brown's character from Godzilla: King of the Monsters) as she and a pal go on an ill-advised journey to divulge conspiracies at the heart of Apex Cybernetics.  She's a teenager, but she has no problem toppling this evil empire and discovering vehicles below the earth's surface that, like, race across continents faster than you can say "cackleberry."  A hen's egg.  A cackleberry is a hen's egg.  Blammo!  I provide entertainment and education.  My point is that a few of the subplots are hard to swallow, even in a cosmogonal spiel pitting giant monsters against each other.

Obviously, circumstantial failings don't ruin an otherwise boisterous wingding.  I described Godzilla vs. Kong as a sugar rush earlier, and that's more appropriate than I realized.  This flick is a cartoon.  It's dialed into what 11-year-old Dom would have wanted to see.  That's not a negative, folks!  If not for an airplane hangar's worth of creature guts, it probably would have been rated PG.  Tonally, it's brighter than the prodromal entries in the Monsterverse, but the script achieves accessibility without talking down to the viewer.  I can't say that about Toho's 1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla.  Many have labeled the modern version as ridiculous, but if you haven't seen the original crossover, you don't know ridiculous.

Of course, I still love the Toho mold.  I love Godzilla vs. King Kong as well.  Because of course I do!  My only nitpicks involve lapses in logic and tragic attempts at comedy.  I don't believe I laughed at a single instance of labored, contrived levity.  Thankfully, the true stars of the show didn't spend crucial time cracking wise.  It was all killer, no filler.  I didn't want to include spoilers (and I doubt it counts as a spoiler...I'm playing it safe), but I dig the villain's appearance.  Reminds me of something out of an episode of Ultraman.  Right on.

   

3/30/21

Bam Bam Jay Coccaro

Ugh.  This is tough to write, but I wanted to memorialize my boy in some way.  Earlier today, we had to put down Bam Bam, my dog of roughly fifteen years (that's him to the right).  I'm not even sure what to type.  I'm still in the dumps, honestly.  But I know that's okay.  This is life.  These events occur.  Actually, I handled it better than I thought I would.  Many pet owners don't realize that they can euthanize their fur kids at home (with the help of a professional, that is).  That's the option I chose, and I'm glad that I did.

He was cozy in bed with me.  My room was his room, so he was super comfortable.  There was no sense in traumatizing him with a vet visit.  Without the euthanization, he would have passed on his own in a few weeks (cancer), but I didn't want him to continue to waste away.  He had already lost so much weight.  On the bright side, he was still happy and he wasn't feeling any debilitating pain (ironically, because of the cancer).  This was the perfect way to "send off" the BEST DOG EVER.

I mean, as pet owners, we all believe our pet is the best ever in the history of pets.  And none of us are wrong.  I wish that everyone reading could have met Bam Bam.  So sweet, so friendly, surprisingly gentle for a Shepherd mix (he hardly ever barked)...I'm fortunate to have rescued him.  I vividly recall the day I met him.  We had been wanting to adopt a Shepherd, so we notified a local shelter to let us know if they chanced upon one.  One day, they called to tell us that a little boy brought in a puppy that we might be interested in.  By the way, I'm sorry if this isn't written well.  I'm not on my game.

Anyway, it was love at first sight.  I knew he was our dog.  He immediately licked my nose.  We've been asked about his name quite a few times over the years.  To tell you the truth, he came equipped with his name.  The little boy named him Bam Bam and I could tell that it was a fitting name.  What a wild puppy!  He never truly outgrew his puppy phase, not 100%.  Even in his last year, I could still see that playful glimmer in his eyes.  I can't tell you how glad I am that I was able to be his hooman.  My mom feels the same way, and I know my dad loved him just as much.

Towards the end of the week, we'll receive his ashes.  We could sprinkle them in the backyard, but he wasn't an inside dog.  If you were to ask him, he would have told you that he was a person.  He wasn't much for the outdoors.  He didn't play fetch, and no matter how many times we tried, he didn't care about chewtoys.  Not a single toy stuck!  That was just Bam Bam.  I'll be keeping him in my - wait, scratch that - our room in the corner where his bed resided.

Not sure how to end this thing.  I'll simply add one of my favorite picture of Bammy.  Yeah, the Wolfie doll didn't last very long.  I think Bam was appeasing us.


3/28/21

Rassle Inn #15


Originally, this wasn't going to be an edition of Rassle Inn.  After all, I just wrote one.  But since this post will have everything to do with wrestling, why not?  I know that there are 1,500 of you who rate Rassle Inn as your favorite column, give or take 1,499.  It's your lucky day!  There are a few things that spurred me to rhapsodize on the industry.  The headmost thing?  Last night, I acted as the announcer for what Jim Cornette would call an "outlaw" wrestling show.  It was my virgin gig at a wrestling event, and yes, this has been a dream of mine for a seriously long time.

Around 2010, I started watching WWE (and eventually, TNA...God help me) out of morbid curiosity.  That was the first time I had thrown myself into the product since my early teens.  Strangely, when I began to realize that professional wrestling was a work, I felt betrayed.  I dropped it like a bad habit (i.e. smoking) or even a good habit (i.e. heroin).  I say "strangely" because most fans don't share my reaction.  I've found that being smartened to the business isn't a big deal for the lion's share of kids/teenagers.  Maybe I'm a dainty, finespun milksop.  Shut the fuck up.

Anyway, it didn't take long to catch the bug.  I wanted to be a wrestler.  Of course, I can never be a wrestler.  That sucks.  I compromised with myself and decided that I would be content near the ring if I couldn't be inside of it.  Announcer, commentator, manager...ideally, I'd be a heel manager in the same vein as a Cornette or a Heenan.  You have to start somewhere, though.  I landed the one-time announcing spot through a friend, but if wiggle room exists, I hope to turn it into a more meaningful position.  By the way, the promotion is XCW.  The link takes you to their Facebook page.  It's a tiny company, but it's also an open door.

Speaking of Bandito (???), Ring of Honor recently held its 19th anniversary show on PPV.  I wish I could watch ROH's flagship series on a regular basis, but that would cost money.  I'm already paying to watch New Japan and WWE (well, we'll see).  Oh, right.  Bandido!  If you get the chance, check out the triple threat involving former trio partners Bandido, Flamita, and Rey Horus.  Lucha is an acquired taste, but holy shit.  Those three banditos never downshifted, and I mean that in a positive way.  If it were three American greenhorns, the psychology would have felt aimless and disjointed.  Here, the breakneck pace worked.

I mentioned that I'm paying for New Japan, and brother, I'm glad.  Otherwise, I would have missed the New Japan Cup final between Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi.  Early contender for Match of the Year.  Both gentlemen are in their prime, and if you ask me, Ospreay - The Aerial Assassin himself - is currently the best wrestler in the world.  And that is all, friends.  To recap, I'm fixing to be a top manager, ROH is flippin' awesome, and NJPW is fuckin' awesome.


3/27/21

4shadowing

Story tomorrow!



3/25/21

Rassle Inn #14


It has been a sugary while since I penned a wrestling column.  What's new?  Boy, I tell you.  I was watching that one program - the one with the evocative title - and fuck howdy, the maneuvers!  The way that the muscular wrestler grappled with his game opponent, why, I nearly spilled my expired Tab cola directly into my vaginal cavity.  Okay, okay...enough malarkey.  I have yet to watch this week's episode of NXT, but I did measure out my weekly dose of Dynamite.  And?  It was supreme.  In fact, it was one of the best episodes in recent memory.

An individual show's quality isn't reflected in the ratings until the following week.  I expect the number to rise, preferably above 900,000.  This week's ratings?  A meager 757,000.  Dynamite wasn't that bad last Wednesday, was it?  Contrariwise!  If anything, AEW should have generated buzz coming off of a blistering main event that saw Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker tear the roof off the place in an unsanctioned match bereft (bereft, I say) of rules.  It was even a double juicer.  If pro-wrestling doesn't start to bring in new viewers, I'm genuinely concerned about the future of the business.  In America, that is.

We can't look to WWE for inspiration.  For every step they take forward, they take two steps back with either nonsensical Charles Band flummery or basic, everyday plot holes.  At least we have Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai.  Mind you, my penis isn't playing favorites.  I'm just as psyched to see fucking WALTER battle Tommaso Ciampa.  Going back to the ladies for a moment, could I comment on the pros and cons of a bloody unsanctioned match?  No?  Oh.

I will anyway, but I'll try to keep it short.  The garbage match.  The backyard match.  The Light Tube Texas Shit Death match.  Should men or women be having these contests on a regular basis?  Because they are, and I can see both sides of the argument.  If a match is cool, it's cool.  Rosa/Baker was effin' sweet.  My only request would be to hold off on the next ultra-violent main event.  These gushers should be held for special occasions (like to blow off a feud, for instance).  Goddamn, at a certain point, that level of hard-hitting frenzy won't mean anything.

The focus of a fight shouldn't be the presentation of weapons and the careful arrangement of furniture.  Personally, if I was sparring with someone I hated, I wouldn't grandstand.  However, I would definitely try to use the tombstone piledriver.



3/24/21

Psycho Goreman


I'm still working on the fictional slice of creative writing that I referenced fourteen epochs ago, but I'm at a place where I'd like to try t juggle both endeavors.  Simply put, I missed this bizarro cubbyhole that I built for myself.  It's my playhouse.  Be careful when you visit, as you could step on a number of geeky widgets.  I'm talking gimmicks ranging from a teal plastic jack-o-lantern, a VHS copy of The Guyver (alongside its sequel), and a loose Goatwhore compact disc.  What the hell did I do with the inner sleeve?  Maybe I'll find it lounging next to my broken heart.  Aww...kidding!  My heart committed suicide, a vitiated, unusually violent suicide.

I wrote that inductive paragraph to illustrate why last year's Psycho Goreman is tailored to fit my palate.  Yes, it's an 80's/90's throwback, but it doesn't have a lordly, supercilious bone in its figurative body.  What do I mean?  I sense a current of cold patronage in most of the "retro" cult flicks that have been released in the past 5-10 years.  They are "retro" because it's cool.  Fans are bound to fork duckets over to check out, say, Chainsaw Whore: The Bleeding of Bouncing Teenagers (I need to copywrite that title) if it's produced to emulate their Vestron favorites.  PG is just fun.  What's more, the unique storyline warrants drippy nostalgia.

You have likely heard of the film by now, but if not, I'll set the scene.  A brother and his domineering sister find a glowing orb buried in their backyard.  This orb gives its possessor the power to control Psycho Goreman (an appellation brainstormed by the kids), an interdimensional mutant bent on destroying everything in sight.  We are told that he has already destroyed several planets.  Well, he is now controlled by Mimi, the brattiest of brats.  You can tell that the basic premise holds untold potential for amusing scenarios, and for the most part, I'd say that PG fulfills that potential.

While the film does cater to my age group, it should appeal to any lover of camp cinema.  Naturally, the budget is on the skimpy side, but the special effects are fantastically charming.  A handful of the aliens (or ghouls or whatever the fuck) are lifted straight out of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.  This writer went through a Power Ranger phase, so you can bet I was cheesing when those creatures were on display.  If I'm making it sound like a kiddie show, unbolt your haunches.  Collect yourself!  The gore is poured on thick.  Granted, PG is tonally lightweight (if it were rated, it would be a PG-13...no pun intended), but in terms of brutality, I was reminded of Turbo Kid.

A majority of the naysayers have directed bilge at Nita-Josee Hanna, the wee actress who plays Mimi.  "She's too annoying!"  No shit?  That's the whole point.  Her performance is over-the-top because the plot calls for her character to be over-the-top.  The acting is fine.  I did have a problem with the protracted ending and goddamn monologues being delivered while the climactic action played out.  There are similar moments throughout Psycho Goreman where it tries to be a little too cute.  But hey, I wasn't expecting a flawless masterpiece.  I'm late to the game in reviewing it, but if you haven't peeped this b-snack, you deserve a warrior's death.

   

2/23/21

An abortion walks into a bar...


Here is that update I promised.  I was afraid that I wouldn't have made any progress up to this point, but the truth of the matter is that I've been able to squeak out some writing.  It's taking longer than anticipated.  That's just one of the many scrapes that creative writing provides, in addition to bloating and cramping.  What would life be without stumbling blocks?  Enjoyable, probably.

I have the plot, the characters, the premise, the ending, I even have a title...I don't feel like revealing anything just yet.  Everything is in the foetal stage.  A lot of goo and perfectly acceptable to murder.  Sorry, I had to insert an abortion joke.  What would life be without abortion jokes?  Fairly similar, probably.  And that's my update as of right now.  As always, I've been on a steady diet of horror movies and badass metal.  Wait, should I start a new paragraph?  I'm...I'm gonna start a new paragraph.

Whenever I get back to working on this site, I'm eager to add to the "A Band" page.  There are too many goddamn bands.  Speaking of said column, one of the entries concerned Ruins of Beverast (click HERE to read it).  They recently released a new disc entitled The Thule Grimoires, which is sick.  Listen to me.  It's sick.  As.  The letter "f."  Also, I scored half a dozen random VHS tapes at a nerd sale (comparable to a yard sale, only in the parking lot of a comic shop).  Beaming, I cradled a copy of 1958's The Brain Eaters and politely declined blowjobs as I hurried it to its new home.

I picked up Stephen King's This is Horror and an Eric Red thriller called Undertow.  Can't believe it, but I may have accidentally purchased good movies.  It doesn't happen very often.  Alright, I'm done typing.  I'll post another update when I have something interesting to say or report.  So this could potentially be the last thing I ever upload.