Fanta Orange is surprisingly delicious...

This isn't much of a post.  Sorry about that.  I just wanted to report that AEW's Double or Nothing was impossibly fun.  The crowd...wow.  That crowd was a draw!  Most of the matches worked.  By that, I mean they did what they were supposed to do.  Overall, the card was a tad bloated (I had to check out after hour three), but you have to believe this was a resounding success.  Kudos to Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.!  Why can't she be my dentist???  And why aren't all sodas available in those adorable mini cans???


Ginger Snaps

Poster found on Etsy.

Has it been twenty years already?  I remember reading about Ginger Snaps in the pages of Fangoria before it came out.  The film's novelty was readily apparent; its quality was not.  It could have sizzled and faded.  I had no idea that two decades later, it would be couched as a generational barbican from which other teen-centric genre affairs are judged.  Would it be improper to call it a contemporary of The Lost Boys?  How about The Craft?  Because I don't think so.  Granted, I didn't experience adolescence in the 80's and I was never a goth chick, but this lycanthropicture nails the ticklish discomfiture of tatterdemalion youth.

Wait, tatterdemalion?  Goddamn it, I'm throwing my thesaurus away.  What I'm getting at ~ I fancy Ginger Snaps.  It's excellent.  I'm not certain that a synopsis is necessary, but here goes nothing.  The Fitzgerald sisters are inseparable.  They are both ostracized at school, they are both mocked for their appearance, and they share a morbid, trenchant sense of humor.  "Dark" would be an understatement.  Hell, they often fantasize about their suicides ("Out by 16 or dead in the scene.").  Ginger, the slightly older sister, is blossoming into her catamenial cycle (forgive the dopey turn of phrase) a bit late, but she's still developing ahead of Brigitte.  As you can infer, Brigitte is the younger sibling, and she feels a twinge of resentment when she sees Ginger beginning to chum with boys.

See, that's what the best horror films establish.  Character!  These are people with personalities and stories to tell.  And that's without adding fucking werewolves to the mix.  While loitering past the bewitching hour, Ginger is attacked by a sinewy, brutish beast.  Ginger Snaps runs with one of the most clever metaphors in the history of horror cinema.  I don't need to drub your skullcap with the parallels of transformation that our titular lead undergoes, at once turning into a woman and a werewolf.  The script isn't too forceful with its subtext either.  We are given plenty of breathing room to find our own meaning and make our own connections.

There are so many damn things I love about this flick.  You don't have to be a teenaged girl to enjoy it.  Moreover, it never forgets that it's an old-fashioned monster mash.  The practical effects are tubular (props to director John Fawcett for taking an anti-CGI stance), the autumnal atmosphere is Halloween-ready, and the gore looks gory.  But is the acting up to snuff?  Um, yeah.  You will believe that Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle are sisters.  I want to go back to high school and hang out with them in an alternate dimension.  I mean, without the werewolf carnage.  Riveting!  Bruce Willis has done it again!  Magnificent!



An EP Interpolation

I don't want to derail my Cannibal Corpse train by discussing every little thing they released.  Originally, their extended plays were going to be met with icy dismissal.  I can be a catty bitch if the situation calls for it.  I've already evaluated this EP's title track, but there are two other selections (or four, depending on which version you're spinning).  First up to bat, a cover of Possessed's "The Exorcist."  If you dug the original, I don't see why you wouldn't get a reasonable passel of jollies out of the refucked rendition.  Obviously, the vocals slay.  From the sound of it, I'd say this material was recorded during the Tomb sessions, so we're in the Chris Barnes sweet spot.

The "last" song (quotations because again, it depends on the version) is a deathly take on Black Sabbath's "Zero the Hero."  I love the fact that they opted to tackle a deep cut.  It would have been too easy to make a run at "Paranoid" or "War Pigs."  I'm sure that would been cool in its own way, but then we wouldn't have heard that chorus with those growls.  Priceless.  Oh, about the alternate Hammer Smashed Face...I don't know if it was exclusive to Japanese pressings or fan club bundles shipped to the moon, but in total, it features two extra tracks.

Calm down!  You've heard both of them.  Hopefully.  "Meat Hook Sodomy" and "Shredded Humans" are the fourth and fifth decompositions, respectfully.  All three CC albums are represented, which is kind of neat.  Remember, they only had three to represent.  Hammer Smashed Face works as a heavily, heavily truncated greatest hits compilation.  And of course, the cover art is sick!


Dead Review Collection #3 - TOMB!

I have reached the first capstone in Cannibal Corpse's demented delectus.  It's a significant juncture in their career.  Most fans will tell you that 1992's Tomb of the Mutilated is the finest work bestowed upon our butcher blocks, the epitome of early 90's death metal, the crackerjack quintessence of kindergarten cunt carnage.  Okay, that's a bit far, but have you noticed the review material?  Going too far is a central theme.  I don't know that Chris Barnes was actively trying to shock rustic homemakers with his lyrics for "Necropedophile" or "Entrails Ripped From a Virgin's Cunt," but regardless of intent, they fucking shocked people.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Chris brought this stuff into rehearsal.

I won't belabor the point, but it's hard not to address the controversy associated with this album.  It's an elephant in the room...raping a dead kid.  Bad elephant!  I remember reading the lyrics as a teenager.  It was the late 90's, so I read them online.  Hopefully, that won't subtract too many points from my Metal Cred Score (MCS).  So I'm sitting in front of my boxy mainframe, praying to God (I wasn't completely evil yet) that my mother wouldn't walk in and catch sight of these ghastly descriptions of ghastlier actions.  I couldn't believe the words on my monitor.  It wasn't "safe" bringing a CC record into the house until my senior year in high school.  Even then, it was the relatively tame Bloodthirst.

Should I discuss the music itself?  Really?  Fuck, I'll pack a lunch.  This killer opens with the group's breakout hit.  I mean, it wasn't a crossover smash, but it was featured in 1994's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  I wonder how many CC disciples were turned onto them by the white guy from In Living Color.  I was a mere scamp, but I distinctly recall my cousin playing "Hammer Smashed Face" in his bedroom.  We thought it was funny.  Honestly, I was too young to have a critical opinion on death metal.  As of right now, I rate it highly.  "I Cum Blood" is the abutting jam, and blessed Mary, this has got to be one of the heaviest songs of all time.

Abrupt paragraph break!  Sorry if you experienced wormlash (a.k.a. bookworm whiplash).  The shifting of time signatures, the deviations in tempo, the heaving riffs...all of it is arranged to achieve optimal brutality.  Hey, deathcore dweebs.  "I Cum Blood."  That's it.  That's the song you've been trying to write for fifteen years.  Did I need to bully a niche of the metalhead community?  No, and in fact, I feel petty and immature.  But goddamn it, that speaks to the sheer ferocity of Tomb.  It made me dumber!  It will probably make you dumber, but that's not a reason to keep it at sickle's length.

After Ed Gein shares diet tips with the listener, the staggered pulse of "Addicted to Vaginal Skin" thumps your speakers.  I dig the stop-start sequences of "Split Wide Open."  Didn't The Dixie Chicks cover that tune?  Surprisingly, "Necropedophile" is a pedestrian track, at least in comparison to the rest of Tomb.  Closer "Beyond the Cemetery" sends the pit home happy with a mid-paced stomp that my neck is still feeling.  The songwriting has improved since Butchered at Birth, and as players, CC are beginning to dip their toes into the glamorous waters of technicality.  The vocals suck.

I'm jerking your chain, you gullible twerp!  I'm going to fuck your sister and bu--wow, sorry.  Apparently, I enjoy bullying.  Huh, who knew?  It's clear that the vocals DO NOT suck.  This is prime Chris Barnes.  His growls are smoother and deeper than ever before.  Tomb of the Mutilated also contains his best high-pitched screams.  Just my opinion, but if you scope out every recording that Monsieur Barnes appears on, these screams sound - I'm not proud of holding this position - the least like Monsieur Barnes.  Less than a decade later, he was employing his cracked "pig witch" screech.  By the way, if there isn't a stoner band named Pig Witch (I will also accept Witch Pig), I'll lick my own scrotum.



Album Cover of the Whatever

My apologies for the cruddy image quality.  I tried to clean it up, but it is what it is.  I couldn't find a decent scan.  So what the fuck am I talking about?  Dutch black metal from the mid-90's.  I'm sure you can read the band logo with ease, but if not, it spells Deinonychus.  Yes, there is actually a black metal band named after a dinosaur.  I didn't realize that Europe was spacious enough (in square miles) to accommodate that much awesome.


Blood Capsule #109

Yongary, Monster From the Deep (1967)

How has this ingot of Korean mintage slipped under my radar?  For shit's sake, I'm a kaijusexual.  Our freedoms may not be acknowledged by your system, but I still demand to know every Godzilla knock-off under the sun.  Technically, I did know the title.  1999's Reptilian is known as Yonggary (don't forget the extra "g") in its native South Korea.  The point remains that I'm just now exposing myself to the raffish radioactivity of Yongary; nevermind the fact that this is a rare occasion where the monster has nothing to do with atomic testing.  Nope, our herculean hooligan is kindled by a series of earthquakes.  I was going to try to work in a Tori Amos joke (y'know, Little Earthquakes), but I'll spare you the desperation.

There is virtually nothing unique or noteworthy about this b-litter.  I liked it!  Why?  I can't really explain it.  Most of my veneration owes to the destruction sequences.  The miniatures aren't particularly detailed, but they play their role.  At this point, Korea was ravaged by war, so any effects-laden production has to be graded on a curve.  The pace is alert.  I was more entertained than I expected to be, and that's even taking the requisite "annoying child" kaiju trope into account.  My God, that kid is annoying.  Yongary isn't dancing, you dense little shit!


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!


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.



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.


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...



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!


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.


Blood Capsule #108


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!


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.